Killer elements for effective PR

February 8, 2009

There are a few basic ingredients to ensuring that you find the Killer Elements for effective PR in your business – and quickly.

Great PR is based around a few simple, effective and repeatable Principles. Think of it as a Winning Formula – and stick to it. There is no need to re-invent the wheel. These Killer Elements include:

1. PEOPLE: Which people in your business – and this includes client case studies and suppliers – are of potential interest to the Media? Think of the following when deciding which people are relevant: ensure you can position them as different, unusual or unique to the Press. Good people PR often focuses on positive alliances.

2. PLACES: Are there any interesting or unusual places or locations which you can utilise to your advantage for positive PR? For example, we had a Client using a health product in 2005 which was, at the time, only harvested on ONE mountain-side in South America: it was not available anywhere else on the Planet. This proved irresistible to the Press we mediated with on behalf of the Client.

3. PLACEMENT: The positioning of your PR is of crucial importance – you must remember placement at all times. What do we mean by this? For example, if you are talking to a News Editor on a daily newspaper, they are looking for the most powerful, punchy, relevant and ‘now’ angles. A Features Editor on a Womens’ Glossy will be more interested in people stories (still with timeliness and news-relevance) but focused on ‘softer’ subjects, such as Friendship, overcoming illness, incredible People stories, and the like. Ensure you place your PR pitch to the Press appropriately.

4. PRODUCTS: There is always a place for products and services for relevant Media, and these can often give you easier Media Wins. Do you have, for example, an unusual or interesting service or product on offer? Something which nobody else in your market is selling? Or do your products & services produce incredible results? Leverage this, and use it to buzz the appropriate Press at every opportunity.

5. PICTURES: images are vitally important to the potential success of any PR Campaign: think of different, interesting and unusual picture stories you have seen recently in the Press – and this could include daily newspapers, magazines etc. Many picture stories are included and given column inches by the Press not necessarily on the inherent News value in the content, but on the strikingly-strong image which is attached with the content. Do you have any picture-story opportunities in your business waiting to be exploited? Think long, hard and creatively here!

6. PURPOSE: although this may seem slightly abstract at first, consider this – what is the actual purpose of your business? What is the driving force behind your commercial concern? The answers to this question often uncover useful, interesting and news-worthy elements to package for the Press. Many people set up businesses because they feel passionate about the services and products they deliver – tap into this passion, put it into words and deliver it to the Media! The Press gravitate towards passionate, powerful news.

But – and this is important – there are many, many businesses looking for high-value coverage and editorial space, so your inputs need to be well-researched, timely, relevant and delivered in a package which will suit the Media.

You will also need to remain objective and step outside of your business: it is crucially important to stay focused on what is of interest to the Media and their readerships NOT what interests you and how your business can benefit from column inches.


2 Responses to “Killer elements for effective PR”

  1. I would add “politeness”, “preparedness” and “promptness” to this list. Politeness – as in, treat journalists as you want to be treated. It sounds corny, but I’ve had the most success being nice and respecting the other person’s time.

    For preparedness, do your legwork. Be prepared like you would for a big sales pitch or a job interview. Know everything you can about the outlet or source you’re pitching. A lot of the time, you may decide NOT to pitch the outlet at all – because you’ll realize it’s not a great fit.

    Promptness – okay, I mean responsive, but I wanted another “P” – if a journalist asks you for something, be quick about getting it for them (part of being prepared). Don’t make them wait. If it’s going to take a while, give them the update so they can make the call on whether they want to wait or not (politeness). JP

    • bristoleditor said

      Hi Jeremy

      Hope you’re well.

      Many thanks for the comment, and great inputs there: I particularly identify with the ‘preparedness’ part – to not read a target publication, have an awareness of the editorial layout, features and news teams, editorial structure online and offline…the only result can be to wind up an editor during media relations contact.

      This also highlights that some Agencies simply cream off contacts from amorphous media databases such as Mediadisk then send blanket PR emails out to editors. Whether or not it is relevant editorial.

      And then good PRs, who target media contacts, research them, send highly-relevant copy and images…these guys are forgotten in their sterling media relations, due to the laziness and unprofessionalism of the Agencies over-charging Clients to utilise costly, ineffective databases in the first place! And so it goes on…

      Liked your inputs Jeremy, hope to see you again – and will be looking more closely at your excellent journo blog.


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