We’re feeling a little philosophical with this one, which we fully appreciate may not be to everyone’s taste. But you know us, so, here we go anyway.
Over the last few weeks, perhaps even months, it’s been impressive – and sometimes distressing if we’re being brutally honest – to witness the sheer power of the media. On public opinion, on social interactions and even our personal relationships. Sometimes, being in this business is a bit of a rollercoaster, but one thing for sure is that the power of PR has been well and truly laid bare for all to see.
Believe it or not, much of what you have read recently would have been planned in advance and executed perfectly by those whose agenda has now been well and truly served. Other front-page stories and multi-page spreads are the result of ‘first out of the blocks’ reporting on breaking news. What we’ve seen, yet again, is that sometimes, it’s not the most highly qualified or those closest to the stories who feature in the storyline either. It’s those who stepped forward quickly, with prepared content or interesting angles and a willingness to contribute to the narrative.
We always look for useful takeaways in any situation and there are certainly things that we believe are worth reiterating to business owners on the back of all of this. In no particular order, here’s a lovely SEO-friendly list:
- Be prepared – have a PR plan for what you want to say and when you want to say it
- Know that this plan must be flexible so that you can react quickly to stories as they arise
- Have a planned spokesperson and make sure they have media training
- If you see a story with a link to your industry, product or service – get involved!
- Put yourself forward confidently as an expert in your field – don’t undervalue your experience
- Sense-check your proposed stories – do they add value, entertain or educate
- Work with professionals who specialise in media relations for maximum impact
- Be nice. Unless speaking out against injustice. In which case, be nice but be firm.
As business owners, the question you should be asking yourself on the back of all the media hubbub is how do you get people talking about you and your brand? How do you use PR to positively impact your business? Shock tactics rarely work in business… Unless they are carefully planned. And unless they form a part of an integrated PR and marketing campaign with a well-rehearsed outcome. The soundest answer is to have a plan, know your audience, know your message, be authentic and be consistent.
How it works
Execution takes time, creativity and effort to look within and find the newsworthy stories and angles in your business. It also takes a lot of people-hours, usually on the phone to the media, reaching out to your little black book of contacts (which in our case is the size of the good old Yellow Pages at this stage – blimey did we just blow our age cover again?!) It also means writing engaging content for successful pitches and liaising with social media influencers and your own audience to keep the stories going. To make all of that happen, you might need to reach out for help. That doesn’t make you a sub-par business owner, MD or leader. Surrounding yourself with those with the skills that you lack is how all great businesses grow. It’s why we engage an accountant and an IT support company – because we’re dismal at both!
At the risk of stating the obvious, we’re not going to discuss other people’s lives or our political viewpoints in a blog about PR. Because, that’s not how we roll. What we want to do is highlight is this; whatever you have thought or felt about what’s been in the media lately, we can guarantee you’ve been talking about it – with friends, family and colleagues. And that’s the overarching point of this blog really.
PR is incredibly powerful and, gossip columns and fake news aside, an incredibly useful tool in your business growth plan. People will buy from you – whether that’s a burger, business coaching or a franchise – if they feel that they know, like and trust you. And your PR can be the vehicle to achieve that.
Very important side note!
We publicly and vehemently support mental health conversations and everyone’s right to, and the importance of seeking help, being believed and accepting that one person’s truth is exactly that when it comes to their mental health. There’s no room for silencing these conversations, that’s how and why people die every single day. Team Rev stands for mental health for everyone. Period.