I ran a PR consultancy for nine years. I helped many enterprises to emerge from the darkness of obscurity into the shining light of customer awareness, using the following techniques.
I’m still surprised at how few enterprises use PR effectively (or indeed, at all). A little effort in this area can go a long way to creating brand awareness and an understanding of what you do and deliver.
By the way, it is a myth that you have to spend money on advertising, in order to generate media coverage. Editors and journalists are continually looking for good stories. If you can present them with relevant, interesting and well presented ‘news value’, they will talk to you.
Step 1. Create your media list
You can’t do anything in media relations until you have started your media list. Begin by thinking about the media segments you wish to communicate with. For example:
* Local press
* National press
* Radio programmes
* TV programmes
* News websites
* Freelance journalists
* Sector specific media (relevant to your industry / type of business)
* Demographically targeted media (if this is relevant)
The key item of information you are looking for is the email address for receipt of editorial information. In addition, it is useful to have a contact name (i.e. the Editor), their telephone
number and their website address.
Enter this information into your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system (hands up if you have one!) Within your CRM, I suggest that you have a separate ‘Media’ field. Ideally, this should have a drop-down menu where you can create sub categories for the different media segments you are communicating with. This can be very useful, when you are sending out press releases (as you can choose the relevant media to send your release to).
In the UK, the following website provides media information (for free): www.mediauk.com
You can of course search for particular media, either by name or by criteria (i.e. ‘investment magazines’) within Google and other search engines. Visit a large newsagents and walk up and down their magazine racks. Visit the reference section in your local library (or, even better, a business library) and talk to a member of staff (they are always helpful).
Subscribe to some of the media in your list and read them regularly. Add useful information to your CRM (i.e. the names of relevant journalists). Ask non-competitors in your industry for media titles which you may have missed.
A relatively new media segment is the blogosphere. This comprises bloggers who write about the topics you are interested in. Established bloggers can have huge numbers of readers. Think of them as journalists and add them to your list.
Next time, I will discuss Step 2: creating newsworthy stories.