When it comes to increasing brand awareness through the powers of PR, there’s no magic formula. If there was, then trust us… we would have bottled the stuff by now and be living on a private island with pools filled with champagne. We will let you in on a little secret though. One of our tried-and-tested tips for securing press coverage is actually quite simple: offer relevant, good quality content written up in a press release to your media contacts on a regular basis.
No one-hit wonders, no ‘oh-heck-it’s-been-six-months-since-we-told-anyone-anything-about-us’ motivated articles. But what do you do when there’s no obvious news on the horizon to write about? We’ll let you in on another little secret… giving them away today aren’t we? There are no fewer than five things you can always write a press release about.
1. Charity events/fundraisers
Raising money for a cause that is local, or close to the hearts of your team, isn’t just a great way to follow your moral compass – it can put you in the headlines too. Fundraisers can take on many forms, from a cake sale at coffee time to a sponsored hike up (and down) Snowdon. If it involves your people going out of their way for a worthy cause, then the press will likely want to hear about it. Top tip – Take lots of pictures and keep track of those donations!
2. Your own generated piece of research
It should come as no surprise that utilising public research data to back up claims about your brand is a great way to build credibility. But what if the research doesn’t exist yet? You know what they say – if you want a job doing right, do it yourself. Survey your customers or the open market, asking the questions that will bring back relevant data. Funding research is a big investment, of both time and money, but the press will see this as a valuable contribution to your sector and news worth covering. Top tip – If you’re going to do the research, make sure you ask enough questions to cover more than one message and have a respondent group large enough to result in meaningful data. Offer a prize as an incentive for people to complete your survey.
3. Launch/expansion story
Launches and expansions will always be newsworthy because a new business endeavour is exciting. It offers audiences a sense of hope in the local, or sector specific, economy. New businesses are born after months – if not years – of hard work and determination, so the media is often keen to share the news with their readers. Top tip – Planning a grand opening event? Invite the local mayor or a celebrity to come along and cut the ribbon for you. Entice journalists and online influencers to visit your next event with a goodie bag.
4. Overcoming adversity
The great British public love this sort of story. And who can blame them? There’s a reason ‘The King’s Speech’ was such a smash-hit! People who have achieved greatness in the face of adversity or in spite of a challenge will forever be newsworthy – they resonate with a wide audience. Whether it’s someone in your team or a customer, be clear about what sharing their story entails and ask them to formally sign off the pitch and press release. When someone has overcome adversity, it makes for an inspirational and engaging headline. Top tip – Make sure they’ve cleared their story to go public with the rest of their family or anyone else mentioned in the release – once it’s out in the public domain, it’s almost impossible to take back.
5. Career swaps
If you or your most recent employee has joined the brand having done something entirely different before, contact the press with comments on why they decided to enter a completely new field. This is especially interesting if they’ve always hoped to work in the sector or if the two roles are polar opposites. We worked with our client, Water Babies Bucks and Beds, to secure press coverage about one of their swimming instructors, who had been working as an electrician. This is exactly the sort of thing the local press wants to hear about, so get writing!
Top tip – Before & after photos which showcase the career swap do a great job of telling the story in picture form!
Finding the stories really isn’t that difficult – it’s much more about understanding what is newsworthy and why it uplifts brand value. Just remember: offer relevant, good quality content to your media contacts on a regular basis. We recommend contacting your target press with one of these sorts of stories every four to six weeks. It won’t be long before journalists have you on speed dial to fill a gap in their content planner.