Globalization, a health crisis and new technologies have made 2020 one of the most unpredictable years on record. Adaptability is the new competitive advantage across all industries because changes in the business world are happening rapidly. But you can build an enduring competitive edge by creating a global PR strategy. Here are my top tips for making the headlines.
1. Know your “why”
Before you begin brainstorming on PR outcomes, it is important to understand what you are hoping to achieve for your brand. In other words, you should ask yourself, “What is the purpose of the overall campaign?” Whether it is to drive sales, increase awareness, generate leads or help you get verified on Instagram, you must first create the goals in order to achieve them. A campaign that doesn’t have a clear purpose is difficult to execute and confusing for your audience.
2. Write a memorable press release
Stop traffic with a killer headline destined to attract attention to your product or services. A catchy angle will draw readers in and leave them wanting to know more. Be sure to include the 5 Ws — who, what, where, when and why — points in the first paragraph. Never forget to include your contact information, and remember that less is more, so keep it to a one-page maximum.
3. Target your media
Spark interest with your local media to gain local customers. Write a personalized email to your media contact outlining your cause. Be thorough and creative in your approach. For example, you can create and send out a media pack or press kit so the channel has all the information they need to get your story out there.
4. Try giveaways
First of all, who doesn’t love free stuff? Everyone loves freebies! By offering a promotion, you have the ability to reach new audiences. Your business must be willing to provide something of value, for free, to the public. Contact your targeted media and let them know about your giveaway to try to drum up coverage. If you’re a service, offering a complimentary consultation is also a way to spark interest with potential customers.
5. Follow up
It is important to call or email your targeted media to follow up. However, ask only once and follow up only once. Ask journalists, reports, influencers or other important people relevant to your campaign if they have received their products or if they have updates for you. This will show that you are checking in but not being overbearing. Follow up is necessary, but you should never harass anyone for coverage.
6. Become an expert
Research, network and master your trade and field. Make sure you are well prepared for any media interview. If you come off as uninformed, your credibility may suffer. You want your customers to believe that you are the very best in your field. Furthermore, it is necessary to spend time to reflect on those who inspire you. In doing this, you will be able to realize what characteristics and capabilities are important to you.
7. Write and submit articles
Articles can provide insight into the company you’re working for and highlight the work you are doing. Include exclusive content and catchy headlines or taglines to the media outlets you target. An intriguing headline draws the audience in and makes them want to read the rest. But be careful not to overpromise and under deliver. A “click bait” headline is often worse than a straightforward but informational one.
8. Be yourself
When speaking to the media, let your personality shine through. Your natural charisma will attract customers. Real recognizes real. Your customers will be able to tell if you are not authentic. Embrace your individuality. Do not try and be someone that you are not.
Related: 4 Tips for Building Your PR Toolbox
9. Be available and memorable
Ensure you are contactable once you send out your release to the media. It is incredibly important to be responsive. You should be checking your email, text messages and voicemails multiple times throughout the day to show that you are on top of everything. Be sure to email a thank you to the journalist who covered your story after it is published. This is a simple gesture that means a lot on the receiving end.
10. Believe in yourself
Believe in yourself and do not give up. Contacting media takes time, and you may need to try several different angles before you can gain some traction. Practice patience and persistence, and soon the leads and sales will start to roll in.