Get to Know Public Relations in 2022
It’s costless. It is straightforward, and it works.
Public relations is, for most organizations, an underutilized marketing tool that straddles the advantages of social media marketing and paid advertising. Of course, if you genuinely want to manage your message and reach your intended audience, you must pay for it. On the other hand, effective PR may significantly increase your reach while keeping your message intact, all for the exact cost and work as monitoring social media accounts.
If the following appears to be too simplistic, it isn’t. To be sure, writing a news release is an art form, but sending one isn’t difficult at all.
Begin at the local level.
Local news organizations have fewer sources than, say, major news organizations. Said, this implies there is less competition. As a result, it’s much simpler to be noticed locally, and the difficulty grows with each higher level (county, state, national, and international). However, as you cultivate media partnerships and establish a reputation in target areas, expanding your reach becomes easier. It’s generally a marathon, not a sprint unless you’re lucky enough to start with tremendous stories.
A recurring occurrence used to receive no media coverage at all. After only a year or two of promotion, a multi-community newspaper approached me for a photo and an article the following year. This is critical: I wasn’t attempting to garner attention; the media effectively reserved space for the event.
It takes 2–3 years to go from having no coverage to having global coverage for no cost. An Internet search should be sufficient to get you started.
Who gives a damn?
You’re requesting free real estate from the media, whether in print or online. Exciting content attracts a readership, and a readership attracts advertisers. As a result, make your tale relevant to the media’s viewers. So, even if your story is essential to you and your customer, consider why anybody else should be concerned because they don’t give a damn.
A dunk tank would be used to generate funds at a community event. Okay, if you’re going to the festival anyhow, it may be enjoyable. But, are you going to go out of your way to find us and attend the festival? No way.
Send a single action photo.
The term “activity” comes to mind. A photograph of people standing around doing nothing is unlikely to elicit much interest. On the other hand, it aids in the telling of your tale. Also, send one message. Don’t wish for several inclusions, and don’t allow others to choose what they believe is the best option. You decide which one is the finest and then mail it.
Also, crop your photographs if necessary. On the other hand, Cropping can help make your tale stand out. Someone was getting an award on a stage in one of the photos. I clipped the boundaries of the crowd such that the folks on the periphery were only a few people. Because the audience’s restrictions were not shown, the group looked more significant than it was.
VIPs should be invited.
A picture is preferable to a name drop. VIPs don’t have to be superstars; politicians or even fictional characters may be VIPs. They don’t even have to be well-known or famous to be effective, though it certainly helps. The reality is, their very presence may bring newsworthiness to situations where it might not otherwise exist.
I once had to make a contribution presentation to a school board. It was the month of December. So, I gave one of those enormous novelty checks to Santa Claus (along with the reality check, of course). What’s the result? The photograph was reproduced in full colour and placed on the top page, above the fold, of a newspaper. Let’s face it; it would not have happened if I had personally presented the cheque.
Include a blurb.
The final paragraph of any news release is pure advertising. Who are you, and who is your customer? If there are numerous parties involved, give each party their paragraph. Make sure to include contact information, such as website URLs, phone numbers, and social media handles. However, make them brief. You don’t want to take the chance of having your blurbs cut down. Also, keep them on their toes. Making ridiculous statements is a sure way to lose credibility. However, you may and should add a call to action.