Today is a great day. It’s a day where you’re going to get some excellent behind-closed-doors kind of advice. Not just reserved for those signed with a PR agency, but to you from us.
And lucky for you, you didn’t need to be a young girl with a bad perm on a wet day, catching a train from the suburbs into the big smoke to hoard PR life experience.
You also don’t need to walk a French Bulldog around the block, day after day, week after week to demonstrate your versatility and value as a PR intern. And you can be protected from what is sometimes a
ferocious fickle and cruel industry made from incredibly tough stuff. This blog is a short cut to golden PR nuggets right here.
Despite the misadventures and path-crossings with at times complex and confusing characters throughout my career; at the heart of it; nothing has shaken my love for the craft of PR.
So it brings me great pleasure in the knowing that all of my PR highs and lows; allow me to bring you incredibly valuable industry insights and resources which you can begin applying to growing your business today and tomorrow.
Here are ten highly effective PR strategies to help you grow your business:
01 Know and then communicate your ‘why’…repeat.
This is the perfect place to start. Defining your why is the foundational step to successful PR. It might seem as though this is a concept introduced by Simon Sinek in recent times, however it’s been around since PR became an industry, circa 1920. And it’s the very first process you need to go through to execute an effective PR function.
What Simon Sinek did beautifully is bring the concept to pop-culture by articulating its importance in an insanely memorable and powerful way that has echoed through the world ever since.
Knowing and then communicating your why and your value is PR 1-0-1. It’s the most important thing to do to shape your messaging, define your point of difference and to on-board fans to your business. People follow brands who share the same values as them and believe what they believe.
02 Unearth compelling stories.
Create content through stories not ads to help connect with your audience in a meaningful and memorable way. To do this you absolutely must put your journalistic hat on and deep dive into the layers beneath the surface of your business (or pay someone who can).
Whether you’re distributing information via your own platforms or via the media; if you want your audience to pay attention you’ll need to have a strong news or story angle. This could be via trend or expert insights, industry analysis, or simply through human-interest tales, that will connect with your audience on a relatable and emotional level.
No one cares about another new app, new website launch, new product range, new fashion label. What they do care about is an interesting story that makes the person, place or thing unique, different and special.
03 Build solid relationships with journalists
PR is more than just traditional media relations, however relationships with the media are still important. And still very much a crown in the jewel of successful PR. Building relationships with journalists is like any other relationship; it takes time and is a long term, trust-building, collaboration.
This is where professional PR counsel really comes into play; however it’s not an unavailable strategy for businesses willing to put in the time and effort with key media, working with publications relevant to their industry. As long as you’re always considering and bringing value to that media contact; it’s likely they’ll listen. Remember to always distribute information and story ideas to media wisely.Ascatter-gun approach just doesn’t work.
04 Collaborate with influencers.
Just for the record the value of Influencers and Influencer Marketing isn’t slowing down or going anywhere nor has the impact of skilled influencer marketing diminished. Brand marketers and PR agencies are spending more of their budgets with influencer programs than ever before.
Just some of the many benefits of collaborating with influencers include, quality content at scale, increased trust in your business, third party endorsement, well-positioned brand awareness, dynamic and diversified content centred around story-telling and connection, live market feedback as well as instant access to an existing captured target audience.
05 Give traditional press exclusivity
Nutcrack various elements and angles to your stories which could be pitched with exclusive rights. For example if you were a retailer launching a new store you could offer one media contact access to your store before it’s revealed to media at-large or to the public. Or coordinate exclusive access to interview talent i.e. your brand ambassador or founder before anyone else. Exclusive agreements allow you to negotiate larger and ideally more predictable media placement.
06 Commission your own shoot
Instead of relying on media or news outlets, other businesses or influencers to agree to photograph you or elements of your business, take matters into your own hands by commissioning your own shoot. This will allow you to creatively direct your own photography to accurately represent your business.
As well as that it’ll help you secure visual assets that you own the rights to (non-restricted) to help shape the story of your business. You can then place them on your own platforms and distribute them to key media for potential placement. Or simply use them as a strategy to reinforce the value and messaging of your brand. Commissioning your own photo shoot shouldn’t be a once and done thing; it’s an important investment in marketing your brand.
07 Choose the right platform and triple down
Share your story through your ‘owned’ platforms. Whether it’s via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, your own blog, YouTube videos, articles on LinkedIn, direct mail or an online newsletter. Find your content sweet spot and triple down. Or in other words, produce content at scale where you can execute comfortably to increase your online real estate.
08 Build relationships
Effective PR is not generated through media liaison alone. Quality PR can take place via business-to-business outreach or grassroots, local-event activations. All of this is centred round networking and building good relationships to improve word-of-mouth-PR, ignite a ground swell of awareness and unlock commercial partnership opportunities.
09 Put your senior in the social media seat
Imagine asking a junior staff member to be the front and centre spokesperson for your business on national TV. This happens far too often when the big cheese thinks the best person for social is the sales assistant with some free time or the new graduate.
It’s true some juniors are punching above their life experience in the capacity to communicate well; and look emojis can be great – but it’s important that the front-lady (or man so to speak), of your brand knows what she’s on about and is across the varying layers of your business and all of its greatness.
That usually comes with decades of industry experience and not just a degree and an internship. If you need to rely on digital natives to execute on the machinations of social media, fine, but make sure your seniors are contributing to what goes down by way of messaging (and get support from an expert on the appropriate of language per platform if you’re not sure). The best execution on social media is value-based content. And it’s hard to provide value if the person executing has limited knowledge of the business or real-life experience in the industry.
Equally so, there are many suits in high places that have a tonne of knowledge about an industry and no clue on the appropriate vernacular of various social media platforms. Don’t undermine the value of social media and impact it can have on your business both good and bad (if not done well).
10 Create exceptional content
If you haven’t already; take the time to get clear on why your business exists. Then brainstorm the problems your business solves to help you shape a top-line content strategy and unearth content ideas centred around sharing what you know. What have you learned along your journey… share your challenges, relive memories from your business journey, talk about trends relevant to your industry or secure quotes and insights from people of note in your niche to build a thought provoking story around their opinion or insights. Make sure your content is actionable, provides answers, is accurate, engaging and of course unique to you.
Words by Jade Roberts
raraPR Founder and Creative Director
raraPR is above all the sum of people who together help build brands and share stories. We are present in our determination to make a positive difference to the world by representing individuals and businesses that are doing good. We are an extension of the personal stories within us, those that we exist for and those within you that need to be heard.