Our quick guide to PR
In essence, public relations (PR) is about communicating with your audience through trusted sources. By using an effective PR strategy, you can tell a story about your brand and create a narrative that advances your organisation’s agenda, without paying for direct advertising. The distinction between public relations and paid-for advertising is often paraphrased as follows: “Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for.”
PR can be used to protect, enhance or build reputations whilst keeping your audience informed about your goods and services. A pretty handy tool to have in your marketing and communications mix, don’t you think? A good PR practitioner will analyse the organisation, find positive messages and translate those messages into positive media stories. On the flip side, when the news is bad, they will mitigate the damage and work with you to create the most suitable response.
But what is news story?
Before hiring a PR pro, PR agency or even starting your own campaign, it’s important to understand that there are only two ways to make news: either create a story or follow a story. Journalists won’t just print a story because you tell them to, they will always ask, “What’s in it for me and my audience?”. Your news must be interesting and relevant to their audience, or else they risk publishing a story that falls on deaf ears and potentially alienates their audience.
Following a story can be a great way to promote your brand by association, i.e. you notice a news story and you respond. It could be a local news story that affects your customers, the launch of a new product that you use/sell or a trend that you can align with. You can also offer your services to the media as an expert or commentator on a subject, creating the potential for an ongoing connection with journalists who may turn to you again in the future.
So, what can a PR pro bring to the table for your business?
PR experts have often worked in the media and understand how a busy newsroom works (just like our in-house PR Pro Sarah!) and the dynamics of what makes a story sink or swim. They will also have invested considerable time building up good relationships with the press (who are often former colleagues) and understand what they want to craft a story. Essentially, they give their clients the best chance of achieving placements in the media because they understand the media and will only ever advise publishing a story that is truly newsworthy, is likely to get a positive response from the media and will therefore land coverage for your brand.
Here at FLYTE Creative Media, we help our clients reach the right audience via promotion through editorial coverage, i.e. securing stories on websites, in newspapers, magazines, on the radio and even on TV. We do this using various tried and trusted methods from our PR toolkit. These tools include (but are not limited to!) the writing and selling-in of a traditional press release (covering who, what, when, why, where and how); speech writing; pitch writing and selling-in; events; market research; assistance with networking for key team members; crisis communication; social media strategy and the creation and management of imagery to be used alongside these tools.
We’re always happy to chat through how we can help, so please do drop us a line if you would like to discuss your PR requirements further!