Mix the right raw ingredients to cook up the perfect PR meal


Mix the right raw ingredients to cook up the perfect PR meal
I really enjoy cooking as a way to wind down.

I don’t know if it’s because it takes me away from my keyboard or because it results in a physical product, but anyway I find it very relaxing.

How do you make a meal from individual ingredients?

One of the things that fascinates me is how you take raw ingredients – today it was raw beef mince, onion, celery, carrot, tomato, butter, flour, milk, herbs and pasta – and combine them to make something new and totally different, but hopefully tasty. I was lucky in that today everything came together as a lasagne.

Combine your PR ingredients

It got me thinking that it’s the same with PR. You take your raw ingredients – your story, facts, quotes and photographs – to produce a tasty PR dish. The higher the quality of your ingredients, the tastier the story is for journalists. So if you have a mouth-watering photo, journalists are more likely to bite.

A press release on its own will not necessarily achieve success. It needs to be served in an appetising way, so a spokesperson with an energetic and enthusiastic manner is more likely to be asked for an interview on radio or TV and an eye-catching photo is more likely to be picked for the cover of a magazine.

As in cooking, we have to select the finest PR ingredients and combine them in a way that produces a ‘complete dish’.

You don’t have time to sleep

It was 5.46am. 5.46am. That’s right.

You don't have time to sleep | pressme

I got up at 6.45am, which is late for me, and noticed a voicemail and text message on my phone. Now I set my phone to ‘Do Not Disturb’ at night so only family and friends can call me. I answer my phone at most other times, but I believe in a good night’s sleep.

One door closes . . .

The text came through at 5.46am asking if someone from the charity I was involved in could speak on a breakfast radio programme at 7.20am. For once, this was a problem. I made a phone call to see if someone else could speak, but got no reply.

I made contact with the radio station and we tried to work something out, but it didn’t happen.

We lost the opportunity.

. . . and another door opens

The researcher was very grateful for our efforts and asked if she could pass our details on to other programmes. I said ‘yes’.

Sure enough, later in the morning we got another contact and our chairman was able to do the interview.

Then we got another request for the afternoon, which our chairman was also able to cover.

Meanwhile on TV . . .

While all this was happening, I got a call from a regional TV reporter to ask if I would comment on what Christmas means to retailers in the town. I changed into smart attire, ran out of the house and did a quick poll of shops as I went to meet the reporter. I had contacted someone about to open a new shop next week to ask if they would like to be filmed. The reporter filmed the interview with me and then the inside of their shop and I returned to the office.

Now I could get back to the work I had planned to do today.

More radio . . .

After a couple of hours another radio station called asking for an interview from the charity at 5.15pm. I took this one and answered the call to speak live on radio over the telephone.

Take a break

It’s been quite a day with three radio interviews and one TV interview, but it was all good exposure.

I got the calls because I try to make myself available at reasonable times and will fit in with interviews at short notice. It works because the TV reporter commented that he had heard me on national radio two weeks ago. I have become known as someone who can speak confidently on TV and radio and provide relevant comments.

It’s not possible to make every interview and I’m not worrying about the one we missed. We have to sleep, to switch off, to rest.

And I’m looking forward to a good night’s sleep tonight.