Artisan Marketing Communications offers clients PR and marketing communications advice, practical support and implementation.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Tips to improving your PR

PR is among the most cost effective ways to increase your awareness and sales leads. However, all to often enterprises do not make full use of the opportunities available.
Rob Baker of Artisan gives a few pointers to start improving your PR drive and it’s return.

PR is a long-term activity. All too often companies get some coverage, it doesn’t yield immediate results and they lose interest. You must adopt a sustained, long-term approach for it to be really effective. You are building-up interest and trust in your company and it’s services, it cannot be relied upon to do that in just one go.

Developing relationships with journalists is a long-term activity. A journalist who knows that you deliver interesting, well-written stories is always going to be more open to your latest release than one that seldom hears from you. It is important to cultivate relationships, find out what a particular journalist wants and how they operate. Once you have their confidence, you will be more effective.

PR should not be a stand-alone activity. PR is more effective in combination with other lead generating activity. If you have an exciting new service and want to tell potential customers, you are more likely to achieve the results you want if you employ a number of ways to attract their interest.

Make sure your news is of interest to the journalist and their readership. Just because your company is excited about your new website revamp or office move, it doesn’t mean that anyone else is. Think carefully about what is really newsworthy from the journalists’ point of view before sending your press release.

Make the journalists’ job easier. A journalist does not want to re-write your poorly crafted copy, or phone you to clarify points that should be made clear in the original press release. The harder you make their job the less chance they will publish your release.

Make the subject of the release clear straight away. A journalist will receive literally hundreds of press releases a day. They might have space for one main release and a couple of smaller stories and possibly a column of News in Brief. They only have a few seconds to go through their e-mails and decide what they want to consider for publication. So, if the subject of your press release is less than clear, it is less likely to go any further than the delete button.
Do not neglect the local press. The regional press can be your best outlet for publicity. Local papers often have excellent business pages that capture the attention of the reader as they make their commute home or as they relax in their spare time. They also have a substantial readership. The Manchester Evening News sells 150,000 daily copies, while the Manchester Metro News has 390,000 regular readers.


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