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

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

Have you missed the holiday PR boat?

We’ve seen the stream of incoming press releases stop during the holidays.
Next week everyone will start sending at the same time, but have they missed holiday PR opportunities?

pressme: Have you missed the holiday PR boat?

No one reads news during the holidays.

Don’t they?

It’s true that stories such as the Prime Minister on his surfing holiday have appeared, but there’s also been many big news stories.

The flow of press releases stops during school holidays, but next week when the new term starts I expect a flood of press releases to come through at the same time for my weekly newspaper business pages.  Instead of repeatedly trying to speak to people for details of news stories, there will probably be too much to fit in the space and some news won’t get covered.

I believe many businesses are missing useful PR opportunities by not sending out press releases over the holiday period. With many publications having reduced resources, interesting news is often welcome. An eye-catching photo will also help.

Will anyone read it? Many print publications also publish news online and many of us still check up on news and business when we’re supposed to be relaxing.

Create a PR schedule to take advantage of all opportunities at all times. That way you can achieve more coverage, especially when journalists are eager to receive good material. And by helping them out, they are more likely to contact you in the future.

• See our #SillySeasonPR school holiday challenge for ideas on how to take the PR opportunities available over holidays.

Approval from the cleaner can wash PR down the pan

A cumbersome approval process can waste a fleeting PR opportunity.
While press releases need checking, businesses need to act fast or miss coverage.

Getting things done in time is what meets PR deadlines

I like to get things just right / just how I like them / perfect done.

Sometimes there is not enough time to do things precisely how we want. If there’s a fixed deadline, we must make it or lose the opportunity.

That’s life.

How many good stories never get told?

Recently, I saw a company had won an award and phoned them for details. They told me to speak to one of two PR agencies that work with them. I phoned the agency and was asked to email. I emailed and heard nothing. I emailed again and was asked if there was a deadline. I replied and have heard nothing since. In the meantime, more interesting stories have come up. I wonder how much they pay their two PR agencies?

Another scenario is when I speak to a company and they say: “We’ll have to get this checked out by head office.” Now, I realise companies need to manage their PR, but they can’t control everything written about them.  And if their process is so cumbersome that they miss the deadline, it’s not worth the resources they spend on this.

Opportunities speed past

Many PR opportunities arise suddenly and need quick responses.

I know from my own PR writing that it’s good to aim for the ideal target market, timing and circumstances, but these rarely occur.

To make the most of opportunities, it’s best to:

  • Prepare as much as you can to take PR opportunities when they arise
  • Respond fast – even if it’s just to say you’re unable to say anything at this time – lack of interest could mean you never get asked again
  • Don’t wait for the perfect moment – it is unlikely to arrive and you will have missed all the other opportunities

It’s likely that if everyone from the chief executive to the cleaner has to have an ‘input’, the resulting PR will go down the pan.

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