30 Dec 2016 | 01.04 pm
7 Ways To Transform Your PR
Focus on a few small things. says MediaHQ's Jack Murray
30 Dec 2016 | 01.04 pm
The early days of January are a hopeful time to look at how you and your organisation can achieve great results in 2017, writes Jack Murray of MediaHQ.com
• Focus on a few small things and set objectives
You don’t have to do everything. Focus on a few PR tools and don’t spread your limited resources to thinly. Set measurable objectives that deliver the important things for your organisation. Be aware of the talent in your team and use it wisely. Be motivated by the maxim “What is the one PR thing we could do this week that would improve our results.” Have a weekly activity list and measure your success, assess what worked and what didn’t. Never forget that PR, marketing and communications should be solving the problems that are keeping the senior management awake at night.
• Up your PR productivity
One of the big problems with communications is that people don’t do enough of it. Despite the notion that there are too many press releases issued, most organisations only send a handful of press releases each year. To develop a professional public relations approach you need to be sharing a new message with a different audience at least once a week. Yes you heard me correctly, once a week. There are several hundred opportunities every week. MediaHQ has over 8,000 individual contacts – over saturation is almost impossible. The key is to share a new message with a different audience. It doesn’t always have to be a national press release, you could issue to your local media or to your trade press. Just get busy and start issuing.
• Find your magic slice of attention
When your potential customers want to hear what you have to say – then you’re in your magic slice of attention. But how do you get there, and how do you know you’re there? Great brands like Field Notes, Sugru, Paddy Power and Apple always communicate stories from the heart of their brand. Every piece of communication reflects their mission and is relevant to their audience. We’re so passionate about this we’ve set up a new agency – All Good Tales – just to help people to find their magic slice and to communicate with great stories. So spend some time this year answering the most important questions: Why does your organisation exist? What are your values? What do you want to achieve and how can you bring that to life every day with stories?
• Build a new audience
You shouldn’t be overly reliant on one audience. Use 2017 to build a new channel of communication for yourself. In the digital age it is essential that you have nurtured many audiences for your message. Resources are always an issue so it is important that you pick your new tools wisely. The rule here is to invest in tools where your audience is spending their time. If you are selling to businesses Twitter and LinkedIn are great. If you’re involved in a consumer business, then Facebook is essential. Instagram and Snapchat are good for younger audiences and Pinterest is very useful for creative businesses. At MediaHQ we use blogging, podcasting, Twitter, LinkedIn and email to engage with our audiences.
• Pitch a story to a journalist in your area
Work on a great story idea about your topic. Write on a raw idea and write as many headlines as you can for it. Keep tweaking and changing until you have at least 15. Run them by a colleague with good judgment and pick one. Then pick an influential journalist who covers your area to pitch it to. Start with an email pitch. Put the story headline in the subject line and write a short email about it, and why you’re the best person to talk about it. Put a time limit on it and offer exclusivity. Follow up with a call.
• Measure, measure and measure again
If you can’t measure it there’s no point in doing it. How are your communications efforts helping you to achieve your and how are you measuring it? There is a myriad of ways to track your success from website traffic, measuring sales to inbound sales referrals. The crucial thing is to have a measurement process and to continually adapt it to fit your needs. When you measure your results should be producing constant questions and new opportunities.
• Learn a new communications skill
What new skill would improve you and your communications team in 2017? I’m going to learn advanced audio editing skills to improve our podcast.Maybe you’d like to learn how to write a better press release, pitch to a journalist or perform better in media interviews? You can check out our full list of 2017 courses here.