- What is Public Relation?
- What are some common mistakes and misconceptions about public relations?
- Establishing Public Relations Goals and How to Measure them
- How To Define your Target Audience?
- How To Create a Robust Messaging Strategy
- Editing and Writing for Public Relations
- Pitching Traditional Media (Reporters and Producers)
- Media Tours and Digital Media Strategy
What is Public Relation?
No doubt, public relations is an art of establishing relationships between an organization and its audience. Public Relations is one of many fields that distinctly overlap with the world of digital analytics as well as content marketing.
What are some common mistakes and misconceptions about public relations?
Public Relations is often considered as paid advertising, and that’s the most significant misconception. This is not about creating ads or working with media outlets, newspapers, Tv stations, etc.
Public relations is about earned media. The primary role of PR is working with different producers or reporters to pitch stories and collect ideas to write a story for the company or the client. This is totally different from paid advertising
The results of PR you see today are the articles in the newspaper, not the advertisements. A good PR effort is one that your agency or your PR person comes in, and they figure out, what is your messaging, they figure out who your target audiences are.PR figure out what is the right message for the right audiences and putting those two together.
They make sure that they’re prepared to deal with the media, so that when they go on an interview, that they’re not blindsided by a question, or don’t stumble over their presentation. Good PR is going to prepare you for any kind of question, any kind of media that you might get.
There are two sides to Public Relations. You have defensive PR, which is when something wrong happens, say like, the BP oil spill, and you had to deal with all the negative press, so that’s crisis communications.
The other side is positive PR. It’s about raising the visibility of your company. It’s about placing stories, and it’s about elevating and getting information out to your target audiences. Positive Pr make sure that, when you do get that information out, you get those stories. A failed PR campaign would be one that doesn’t deliver results or doesn’t deliver the right results for you.
Establishing Public Relations Goals and How to Measure them
What are the goals that you set? How do you measure them, and so on? This is always a big issue with PR firms and historically has been a big issue. Suppose you are on TV multiple times, and if people start seeing your image and will say, “Oh, I know that guy, I’m going to buy from him/her. That is an example of good PR. It’s building your image to the audience.
Attribution and Goals In Public Relations
- Trending towards digital analytics, including traditional PR media like TV, Radio, Print media, etc.
- Metrics to be considered as Quality of Mention, Quality of Articles and Number o Articles
To measure your goals, you can track sales. You can take the initiative for increasing your sales rate online, especially, and this is where you get into Digital Marketing. This is really where PR is trending now, is analytics. Even if it’s traditional media still TV, radio, print, they’re still using the Internet, and they’re putting pictures, and they are doing a writeup. You can measure all things that are clicked through to the website.
You can track social mentions, you can track sentiment, you can monitor where people are coming in from, whether it is from Twitter, or it’s Facebook, or Pinterest, or whatever, or it’s a news article from the New York Times, you know all these things are trackable.
How To Define your Target Audience?
For a lot of the larger firms or larger organizations like CXL, PR firms often look to work with research companies to do research. For example, it could be phone calls or online surveys. From a PR perspective, you let them do the research, you know, and figure out, okay, who’s the right clientele, depending on what the client is, or who the client is.
But research can help flesh that out, say, “Okay, our demographic is located in, you know, three Midwestern cities, and so you should target these media outlets,” and so forth. For a lot of smaller companies, they don’t have the budget to do PR, and to do research, and to do other marketing.
And PR, often, is the most cost-effective, and most significant bang for your buck. If you have a local business that’s in, let’s say, Austin, you know that the audience is going to be in Austin. And if you know, they sell sporting goods, and you know that it’s going to be people that are concerned with sports.
Then you work through there and figure out, “Okay, who’s the right audience,” right? And we also get feedback from the client. Who comes in? Who do you talk to? Who are the people that are already using your product or your service? You know, those kinds of things. So it’s a lot of
commonsense-type things, but it works for a smaller company that really can’t do a lot of the market research, you could still have a very effective campaign.
How To Create a Robust Messaging Strategy
So when it comes to messaging, it is about you first, and you have to find out who is your target audience. And then, the messaging needs to be targeted and focused. A robust massage is going to be tightly focused on that specific segment. Experimentation process plays a vital role here.
Unless you have a product like Coca-Cola, where everybody is going to be your potential audience, if you’re speaking in broad terms, that’s not proper messaging. You need to be very tight, very focused.
You need to make sure that you have our clients saying the things that are going to appeal to that particular audience.Sit down with the client, work through things, you know, what resonates, what doesn’t resonate, and we work out a messaging plan.
Again, regarding the messages too, sometimes things are going to resonate well. And other times, things that maybe, even though research and that happens a lot in marketing.
If a pitch isn’t working, or, you know, so the media, or if your messaging isn’t resonating, then you go back and you tweak it until you get it right.
Editing and Writing for Public Relations
You can make the argument that’s the single most crucial thing in PR. Whether it’s writing down your message points or it’s writing, talking points that you’re going to give to the media or your spokesperson is very important that you don’t screw up.
When you’re writing and editing Press Releases and Op-eds and other content, there are several differences. A Press Release is written much like a news story where you have your top headline, the vital information, and it kind of goes like it’s a funnel, reverse pyramid.
The least important information is at the bottom, other than your boilerplate. Which tells people how to get a hold of you, and what your company website is and that kind of thing. Now, that’s going to differ a lot from an Op-ed, which is an opinion piece.
But it’s a great way to get your name in the news, to talk about something you know, showing that you’re a source expert on a particular subject. If you write for them just for selling, they are not going to use that. Because that’s why people have ad space. Go buy ad space, right, if you wanna do an advertisement.” Similar to the opinion piece would be a bylined-article, where you’re talking about a particular subject.
It could be a product or a service, and it could be the top five things you need to know about traveling overseas, any different number of items. It’s just about educating your audience, you know, the top five things you need to know about, avoiding business lawsuits, for example,
A blog post can be just your opinion; you’re writing it from the first person. It can be a various number of different things. Usually, with the bylined-articles and the opinion pieces, it’s written, the third person.
SEO Writing Strategies in PR
You have to consider SEO in your list. So work closely with your SEO associate, and more and more of the search engines are gravitating toward well-written content that’s PR content, whether it’s opinion pieces or it’s bylined-article, it’s blog posts all these different types of things.
If you don’t want to do SEO and writing the same word over and over and over again. Google will shut you down because they know that you’re just phishing and that it’s not real content. You need to be more natural, and that’s why PR’s such a great fit with SEO.
If You are writing about any topic, make sure you are not using the same words again and again.Try to include images and videos as well in the writings. This will help your SEO naturally.
So, some of the guidelines for writing, especially if you about know, press releases, when you will pitch reporters the subject line is essential. You need to keep it short, probably just 65 characters or less.
Because if anyone is looking at their phones, laptops, or any other mobile devices, the subject line must be short.A lot of headlines don’t describe what it is that you’re reading, it could be a question, it could be, you know, just a quick quote of something fascinating in the article. Try to write in para by para or in smaller sentences.
You want to get to your point and tighten up your writing. You know, that’s the one key thing I would say is, don’t use other words. If you can cut it out, cut it out. Keep it simple.
Pitching Traditional Media (Reporters and Producers)
Pitching traditional media is an art form. What you should do is do your research. Who am I throwing? What have they been writing on? What have they been, you know, what have they been covering? You know, do some homework and maybe even follow them on Twitter, comment on some of their stories, start to build a relationship with them.
And then when you pitch them, make sure that it’s relevant, that it’s timely, and that you’re brief. No joke, they’ll get 1,500 to 2,000 pitches in a day, depending on the outlet. You have to stand out. If you’re not standing out, you’re not going to be seen.
They’re not going to do the story. So, again, standing out would, you know, if they know who you are, if you’ve met them in person, if you set up a meeting, or if you just followed them and created a social, you know the relationship with them, that helps.
Keep it brief, keep it relevant, and pitch at the right time. So, most people, most reporters are looking at their email and planning out their day in the morning. That’s the time you want to pitch.
It depends on, you know, you don’t want to be following up and calling people, like, in the afternoon. Especially, let’s say, the evening news. You know, you pitch somebody in the evening news, and you’re calling them at 3:00, lousy idea.
They’re super busy, and they’re not going to appreciate your call. You need to call them in the morning. Like 10:00 am, right. Most newscasts have a planning meeting. Most, of all, do. They all have a planned meeting, usually in the morning.
If it’s some of the national programs, sometimes they’ll have meetings after their shows. But mostly, it’s before their show. And that’ when you should pitch them either before their meeting or right after their session.
Emails, that’s why most journalists appreciate emails because they can read it when it’s convenient for them, versus you call them. Because then you’re interrupting them. So, Twitter is useful too, to see what they’re talking about. Sometimes you could pitch them on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. But by and large, it’s email, and they appreciate email the best
Pitching bloggers is a bit different than traditional media because they want you more than a journalist, they want you to have a relationship with them and understand them, and have a sense of what they’re writing for you.
Bloggers are a little bit higher level than a traditional journalist. They want it to be focused on something that they would consider. So they hate those kinds of pitches. If you’ve got a cooking product and you’re a pitching a blogger, that is all about automotive, and that happens a lot because these lists get messed up.
PR people generally work off of a media list. Sometimes, bloggers have more than one blog, and so, they’ll be talking about cooking, they’ll be talking about lifestyle. You need to make sure you do your homework—a great way, especially the digital side.
Most bloggers are social media influencers, and those are the ones you want to go after. They’re going to be at conferences. So go to meetings and meeting them, build those relationships is a great way to help your pitching.
So when you do pitch them, they go, “Oh, yeah, I remember that guy. I met him at the conference in Los Angeles.” And you may want to mention that in your pitch. “Hey, we met in Los Angeles at Mom.” BlogHer or whatever. And that helps the personalization to sum up.
The other big thing with bloggers is they view it as their job. So they’re going to want to be paid. So with reporters, and other journalists, producers, they have a regular salary coming from their news organization, so they’re not going to want you to give them a free product and stuff like that—bloggers, different story. If you want them to write about something, you need to send it to them so they can experience it.
Media Tours and Digital Media Strategy
Media tours can probably be defined in several different ways.Suppose you are going to meet with reporters at New work City, and you are going to do interviews over there. It will take two or three days, and there you should hit as many media outlets as possible and also with print reporters.
All kinds of different things that you want to do but basically, it’s packing a lot of media into one or two days sort of thing people who would also consider a media tour.
Again let’s take a movie star, for example, and they’re promoting their movie. What they’ll do is they’ll bring them into the studio, they’ll sit them down, and they’ll sit there for six hours, and they will do media hits one after the other with local TV or national TV. It’s called a satellite media tour, and it’s just like, boom.
So you literally, you book the studio and the satellite time and do as many as you can. So the idea is the same. So essentially, the overarching theme is a media tour is a great way to hit as many media as possible in a short amount of time.