By Joshua Murphy, Junior Account Executive
The PR industry can be a challenging environment. With new types of media blossoming each year and the ever-growing number of PR professionals vying for journalists’ attention, it’s become harder and harder to make an impact and secure top-tier coverage for your brand.
Sure, sending out press releases en masse to hundreds of journalists may save you the headache of having to tailor your pitch to individual journalists. In the long run however, this approach will not deliver top-quality PR results for your brand. To avoid making similar mistakes please see below as I outline three top tips for worthwhile PR activity.
Build A Strong Media List: Building and maintaining a strong media list is crucial to successful PR activity. The first step in creating a worthwhile media list is to recognise who you’re going to try and reach with a story and identify which publications are going to have the greatest impact. Study a journalist’s recent content and understand if this story is relevant to them. With this information garnered, the media list will be highly targeted for your story. This greatly increases the chance of receptive feedback from journalists: cybersecurity journalists don’t want to hear the latest developments in agriculture! A strong media list is never static either. To keep its relevancy, it must be updated regularly with new journalists or editorial changes in media outlets.
Pitch Effectively to Journalists: Before you draft a pitch it’s vital that you understand what you’re trying to pitch and why it’s worthy of a journalist’s time. If you don’t understand the story yourself it will be challenging to sell the story convincingly to someone else. If in doubt, ask yourself the classic five questions: who, what, where, why and when? Once you understand your story thoroughly it’s then vital to tailor your pitch to be as attention-grabbing as possible. This isn’t about flashy fonts or images but rather making the task of reading your pitch, not a chore. Most journalists receive several pitches per hour throughout the day so it’s important your pitch stands out. Perhaps get creative or use a stat to leverage your story. If in doubt, keep it short and sweet and get to the point quickly.
Distinguish Yourself: The challenge of securing a top-tier placement for your brand is that it’s an extremely competitive environment with potentially hundreds of PR professionals vying for the same opportunity. It’s important that whilst you represent your business and story responsibly, you make an effort to stand out from the crowd. Even if you aren’t successful in securing a placement, catching their eye with something atypical can establish a connection with a journalist which may prove to be valuable in the future.
Adopting the three top tips above is sure to improve your PR skillset and help produce outstanding PR results for your brand.