Deciding how to effectively implement your PR and marketing actions can often be a headache and will take a while to fine-tune. It’s of vital importance to know and fully understand your key messaging, your target market and what your short and long-term goals are.
I’ve compiled the below list of PR activities that brands should consider for their overarching campaigns, or more targeted outreach:
Arguably the most classic element associated with the PR industry. Handy for both traditional and digital activities – press releases are vital for a range of marketing activities: company announcements, data research, updates – pretty much anything.
When researching and writing any press release, it’s important to determine your hook. What makes the story newsworthy and will give it the edge over the literal HUNDREDS of other emails being sent to journalists on a daily basis and how does the brand stand out of the crowd? If in doubt, try the ‘mates down the pub’ test: Is it a meaty topic that you could see yourself or those with a relevant interest wanting to discuss on a night out with friends and family? If not, go back to the drawing board and try to find that winning angle.
A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that aims to inform and educate readers concisely about a complex issue, shedding light on the subject. These are great for positioning your brand or spokesperson as an expert in the field.
They will take a fair amount of time to research, draft and execute properly, but are well worth the pay-off if picked up by the right outlets and shared amongst the relevant target demographics.
When a story is breaking in the media you will often find a whole host of companies attempting to throw their thoughts into the mix with the hope of getting some extra, and time relevant coverage, and helping positioning them as the go-to experts on a particular topic.
Reactive comments, if timed to perfection and sent out as soon as possibly after a piece of relevant new breaks, is also known as news jacking, and can lead to tonnes of coverage. Levels of coverage can also be determined by ensuring that your expert spokespeople have something different, or something that ‘goes against the grain’ in genuinely adding something to a story. It can’t be a comment just agreeing or disagreeing with whatever may be happening – it needs something juicy, informative, educational, or even controversial.
Stunts will incorporate most forms of public relations and is probably the method of PR that has the most riding on it in terms of financial and time risks.
Stunts can be low or high budget; for example, driving a tank through the centre of London (as we once did here at 10 Yetis for our client MyVoucherCodes!) is definitely a high budget stunt, whereas announcing a job position can be done on a low budget.
Videos are often one of the best ways to grab a journalist’s attention and can support the majority of PR activities by adding something extra to clients campaign. It’s important that it’s not too heavily promotional – so you don’t want a brand logo plastered throughout, at every given opportunity – and it’s important that it’s shot and edited well. These can be incredibly eye-catching and be the difference between a story getting coverage or not.
Videos will always grab more attention because we live in a generation where attention spans are shortening, so if you can get the message across in a short amount of time, that will always be more appealing.
Many believe that infographics are dying out, but I beg to differ. It really does depend on the content you have and how good your design team is, but these can be visually stunning and – as we know for a fact – they still get picked up by journalists on the regular. We’ve done many this year alone for clients in a variety of sectors, from gambling and travel, to beauty and lifestyle.
Microsites and widgets
While microsites and widgets are likely to be slightly more expensive than your typical PR campaign (simply because they require the web design and development team a number of days to build depending on how much work is required). Widgets and microsites can be an incredibly fun way to get your message across, and are likely to attract many pieces of coverage and links back to your site (assuming you’re hosting the microsite or widget on a separate page on your website).
This is just a snapshot of the most common types of PR activity that you can work with. There are a variety of formats that will work, and there’s nothing to say you can’t work on a cross-platform campaign, targeting journalists in different sectors (and therefore readers and possible customers) with content that is most appealing to them.
Ultimately the end goal is to boost SEO, get quality links from high domain websites, drive traffic and increase sales. Why wouldn’t you try a number of different avenues to see what works best?