February 4, 2019
PR and marketing is one of those business areas where there’s always more you could do.
The skill comes in choosing where to focus your attention to get the best results for the time and money invested.
As well as proactively developing your own PR timetable, drafting press releases, pitching features and contributing to wider articles, piggybacking the daily media agenda can be a fast and effective way to raise the profile of your organisation and showcase its expertise.
If you work in a fast-paced industry, where news is frequent and your customers need to know about such breaking issues, responding to stories (or predicting when they’re going to break) is a great way to raise your profile.
The legal sector is a good example where this approach can be useful but the approach is also relevant to other professional services, such as accountancy, where tax changes may have an impact on your clients, the retail industry and so on.
The key is to listen to the news, think about how it impacts on your business or your customers’ businesses, and consider how you can add value to journalists reporting on the story:
- Can you provide context for those outside the industry?
- Can you explain in layman’s terms how a piece of legislation will impact people?
- Has something been missed from the coverage that you can add?
- Do you have experience or a case study that could offer a local flavour?
- Is the story likely to run over several days? If so, which direction is it likely to go in? Are there issues likely to arise that haven’t been touched on yet in the media?
We advise all our clients to stay abreast of what is happening in the news and in the world of business. Spend a few moments each morning checking the news online, listening to the radio or reading trade and business publications so that you are ready to respond to stories as soon as you get into – or better still, en route to – the office.
When piggybacking external news, it’s vital to be quick. The news agenda evolves over the course of the day but, subject to something ‘big’ breaking, there are usually several stories that will run across the day’s bulletins and spokespeople often appear across different outlets.
Your competitors will likely be chasing the same media opportunities so it’s crucial to identify the right media contacts in advance and get in touch with them as early as possible if you want to secure interview slots. With rolling 24:7 news, it’s not unusual to pick up on a developing story in the evening and contact producers there and then, with a view to offering interviews either that evening or securing slots on the morning’s radio and TV broadcasts.
Crucially, you need to make sure you have a spokesperson within the business who is free to respond to interview requests as necessary and who is fully briefed on the issue at hand and trained to communicate effectively. If producers like your pitch but can’t get hold of you, or you can’t make your spokesperson available when they need to record an interview, they’ll just move onto the next contact on their list.
Ultimately, piggybacking PR can be a great way of boosting brand awareness and showcasing expertise. But like any marketing and PR, only if done well.
For more information about PR and how Encore Communications can help your make the most of opportunities to promote your organisation through earned media, why not get in touch either via our website https://www.encore-communications.co.uk/contact-us/ or call us on (0)7740 872852
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