What is there to talk about?

 

#SillySeasonPR #5

What is there to talk about? #SillySeasonPR

What is there to talk about?

We’ve looked at what we want to achieve and who we want to target, but what do we have to talk about? What is news?

News is likely to be: new, different, changing, topical, useful, significant, interesting, exciting, entertaining plus a lot more.

If it just repeats old information and adds nothing new, why would anyone want to publish it?

What are you doing?

What news do you have? Think what’s happening in your business that is interesting to talk about, such as:

  • New product/service launch
  • Winning awards
  • Opening new premises
  • Employing more people
  • Starting apprenticeships
  • Hosting events
  • Exhibiting
  • Supporting community groups
  • Gaining accreditations
  • New appointments

These are common topics, but there are always more.

Are any of these linked to the summer, the weather, school holidays, anything that is happening now? Have you anything planned that will link in with future events/seasons that you can prepare your PR for now?

You could be doing something that you always do, such as manufacturing designer wellington boots and experience a surge in demand if torrential rains arrive in August (I hope they don’t). You could be producing a cricket-themed accessory that is ideal for cricket fans attending international tournaments over the summer. You would need to get press releases out about these fast before the summer flashes past.

If you’re gearing up for sales in the autumn or winter, now is the time to be preparing your PR, even if we don’t want to think about how many days are left before Christmas. The other days I saw an advert for electric heaters in a magazine when we haven’t turned our heating on for months, but the advertiser was taking the opportunity to plant the idea in the mind of anyone planning new heating or redecoration.

Do it now!

Don’t think too long or put off thinking about it at all, because opportunities flash past. If you have won a 2015 award, it is only five months until 2016 and it will start to sound out of date. Talk about in now to get maximum exposure.

Remember, opportunities pass at speed. Grab them while they’re there. I’m late publishing this tip because I got a call from a radio station one morning at 8.40am, while walking our dog, asking if I could give a live interview at 9.20am. I had to hurriedly re-arrange my schedule to take advantage of this, making notes of comments relevant to the topic so that I could reel them off on-air.

Take action

Identifying what you can talk about that is relevant and newsworthy is your tyour #SillySeason PR task #5. Good luck and do ask any questions you have.

Tomorrow: Don’t delay – check your PR deadlines today

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PR planning and improvisation

#SillySeasonPR #4

PR planning and improvisation

Planning your PR enables you to make the best of available opportunities.

You know what’s happening in your business, your schedule for launching new products or services and the dates of events you’ll be hosting or attending. Use all this to plan your PR activity.

When do you need to get news to publications about your product launch? What can you say about an event you’re organising? What photos or video can you create in advance to make the biggest impact?

Planning your PR early on gives you the time to come up with ideas and ensures you contact journalists before their deadlines. It also gives you the time to get all the information together, get quotes from key people, prepare images and other material, so your PR is packed with interest.

Many businesses leave it too late and send out press releases after the deadline and often after the event, when it’s old news. This material tends to be hurried, incomplete and ineffective. Often, it’s a waste of time and money.

Do it properly if you’re going to do it at all.

PR planning and improvisation

Expect the unexpected

Even when you’ve planned everything down to the smallest detail, the unexpected can turn your plans upside down.

That’s why it’s good to have a flexible attitude. If something is cancelled or changed, can you still use it for your PR?

If a sudden opportunity arises, can you bring your PR forward to take advantage?

Having planned and created your material in advance, this can often give you a structure with which to improvise.

In these situations you have to act fast. Waiting to get everything perfect could mean you miss the opportunity.

That’s how the combination of planning and improvisation enables you to make the most of all PR opportunities.

Plan for the future and adapt your plan on the day.

That’s your #SillySeason PR task #4.

Good luck and do ask any questions you have.

Tomorrow: What is there to talk about?

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What do you want your PR to achieve?

#SillySeasonPR #3

What do you want your PR to achieve?

Have you ever heard people say “We need to do some PR”?

My question is: why?

Everything we do in business costs money; even time has a cost, as we could be spending it on client work, making product or selling. We need a reason for doing anything, not just PR.

When people say they need to do some PR, it usually means sales have dried up and they know they need to something but don’t know what.

What is your objective?

Like anything else in business, PR activity should have an objective. This could be to:

  • raise awareness of your business, products or services
  • educate potential customers about products/services you provide
  • start customers thinking about your products, eg installing new heating in the summer in readiness for winter
  • buy a specific product/service relevant now, eg ice cream during a hot spell
  • promote an event
  • demonstrate your expertise as a leader in your industry
  • publicise your success, eg expansion, new staff, award wins, new premises
  • demonstrate to the community what a good business you are to work for to attract new employees

What do you want your PR to achieve? #SillySeasonPR

#3 #SillySeasonPR actions

Usually, your aim should tie in with your business plan.

PR can support this when you identify what call to action you want readers to take, such as:

  • visit your web site
  • phone or email you
  • visit your premises
  • book a place at an event
  • check to see whether they need to renew/replace a product they have, eg worn car tyres
  • make a purchase

Identify what you want to achieve so you know what action readers need to take to achieve it and what ‘call to action’ you need to include in your press release.

That’s your #SillySeason PR task #3.

Good luck and do ask any questions you have.

Tomorrow: PR planning and improvisation

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Who is your target audience?

#SillySeasonPR #2

Where do you start with PR? There are important questions to ask and one of them is:

Who is your target audience?

Who are the people you want your message to reach?

Often these are the people that your product or service is aimed at – who you want to buy from you or take some other action:

  • Consumers: young, old or specific interest groups
  • Businesses: large, small, general or specialist
  • A mixture of two or more specific groups

What do they read, watch or listen to?

When you know who they are, look for what they read or view: local or national newspapers, consumer or trade magazines, web sites, blogs or social media.

This will give you an idea of the publications or media to target with your press releases, news and content.

For example, you wouldn’t usually send a press release detailing specialist machinery parts to a local newspaper. The journalists there probably won’t understand what you’re talking about as they are focused mainly on news of interest to the community in the area. The press release would be more suited to a trade publication or web site aimed at specific industry.

Who is your target audience? #SillySeasonPR

#1 #SillySeasonPR actions

Make a list of the target publications, TV and radio programmes, web sites, blogs and social media accounts that cover your target audience(s).

If you have a budget, there are specialist PR services you can pay to distribute press releases direct to relevant journalists. These are especially useful if you have to reach tens, dozens or hundreds of journalists nationally and even internationally. If you don’t have a budget to pay for this and your focus is on a smaller audience, you can identify local newspapers, magazines and radio stations or research those covering a specific industry easily.

Visit a newsagent to see what local publications serve your area or search the internet for specialist publications covering your field. Scan their pages to see what type of content they publish or watch and listen to television or radio programmes to give you an idea of the content they use. If you plan local coverage, you could have a list of one to 10 newspapers, magazines or radio stations. Depending on your industry, you could have the same number or more of trade titles.

Research your target audience on social media by following #hashtags and seeing who posts about your specific topics. You can connect with them to build relationships.

What’s important is to have a list of the main press and media you need to reach.

Tomorrow: What do you want your #SillySeasonPR to achieve?

Use the content and tips in our videos and posts below to boost your business and sign up to our newsletter.

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Keep on marketing when school’s out with our #SillySeasonPR school holiday challenge

Schools are breaking up for the long summer holidays and so will our MPs – is that a coincidence? – and I know from my role as business editor that it’s a time when the flow of press releases dries up as more people go away on holiday and businesses stop their marketing.

That’s crazy when newspapers still have pages to fill and web sites need news stories to pull in readers. There’s lots of opportunity to get coverage for your business.

Traditionally, there can be a lack of news at this time of year – the silly season – so why not drop a good story into journalists’ hands when the field is clear?

We’ve created the #SillySeasonPR school holiday challenge to help you brush up on your PR and take advantage of the opportunities.

SillySeasonPR school holiday challenge | pressme

Over the next six weeks, we’ll be adding practical hints and tips on how to use PR to promote your business every weekday.

As soon as the schools start back in September, the phones start ringing and emails start arriving again. The the backlog of press releases rushes through and everyone competes to get space on newspaper pages.

The #SillySeasonPR school holiday challenge aims to get your news out there before this rush begins.

Visit daily for the latest tips and suggest any you would like to share.

Have a good summer, enjoy your holiday and make your PR sizzle.

Come back tomorrow for the first tip and sign up to our newsletter.

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Judging 2016 newspaper business awards

Robert Zarywacz is delighted to be one of the six judges in the 2016 North Devon Journal Business Awards.

A veteran of these awards, Robert is particularly pleased that one award category – Made in North Devon – was created as a result of his suggestion for a Made in North Devon campaign to raise awareness of all the manufacturing and innovation that take place in the area.

Robert Zarywacz, a judge in the North Devon Journal Business Awards 2016

Click image to read newspaper story