As public relations professionals we are tasked with creating awareness for our clients – but how do we actually go about that? There are several different approaches we can use to achieve results, depending on the clients’ business, product, service, or event. Read on to learn about a variety of different tools and tactics that can be utilized for a successful PR campaign.
When your client has something newsworthy to announce, that calls for a press release. A press release should contain all the pertinent information that the media might need, along with quotes from spokespeople, and relevant facts and figures. Having all the details all in one place is what makes a press release so useful.
Media advisories are similar to press releases, but they are used specifically to invite the media out to an event. The media advisory tells the who, what, when, where, and why of an event, so the media knows exactly what location to be at and what time to show up.
Customized pitching is always my number one go-to when it comes to securing media coverage. Do your research to find out the beats different reporters cover and the stories that will interest their readers/viewers/listeners. Then send a personal pitch with an angle that will appeal to that particular reporter and in turn, their audience.
A news brief is a condensed version of your news that an outlet can easily publish in print or on their website. This saves the writer or editor time – that’s the benefit of a news brief. Keep it short and sweet with all the important facts!
We all know that today’s newsrooms can be short staffed, making it harder to secure stories as reporters are stretched thin. However, if you or your client can write the article, newspapers and magazines may publish it as a bylined article. A bylined article typically expresses the opinion of the writer, so the topic of the article should be something your client is expert in so they can share their knowledge and position themselves as a true authority in their field or industry. One thing to note though – your byline article should not be overly promotional or salesy.
Nominating your client for an award is a great way to boost their reputation and credibility. There are all kinds of awards offered, everything from best pizza place in town, to most influential businesswomen, to best places to work. Keep a running list of awards that your local and industry publications have throughout the year that make sense for your clients. After they win, be sure to promote it across all channels – social media, company website, email newsletters, etc.
While media drops are not as common as they once were, they are still used on occasion to generate buzz in the newsroom about product launches, restaurant openings, and more. Branded swag, sample products or food (my favorite) is dropped off for the media to enjoy, along with information about the launch. Often, reporters will post about it on their social media channels or mention it on-air. It is also a great way to stay top of mind with the ever-busy media.
If your client has an event they want to promote, submitting it to local event calendars is an easy way to spread the word and ensure that those looking for things to do know about it. Make sure to submit the event as far in advance as possible, so the event can be featured both in print and online and may even get an on-air TV mention.
Planning and executing an event is something every PR professional should have in their tool kit. It could be a groundbreaking for a new hotel, the grand opening of a new restaurant, or an exclusive party to generate more buzz for your client – as long as the event is fun, unique, and fits into their schedule, the media will be interested in attending!
A press conference is an event held specifically for the media when your client has an important announcement and wants to communicate with all members of the media at once. Government officials, sports professionals, businesspeople, and others utilize press conferences at one time or another. Press conferences offer the opportunity for your client to make a statement, reporters will have the opportunity to ask questions, photographers can get relevant and important photos, and news videographers can capture soundbites of the announcement.
Another tactic that can increase your client’s credibility is setting up speaking engagements for them at relevant or industry-related events. Giving them a voice to share their story and knowledge in front of peers and potential customers can be very valuable. Additionally, as a speaker, they may be included in pre- or post-event media coverage which increases their visibility to potential customers.
Industry conferences and trade shows are great opportunities for B2B clients to create awareness. You can connect with the media in attendance, make major company announcements, and utilize social media to gain credibility throughout your time at the conference.
Social media and public relations go hand-in-hand, and social media is an absolute must for both PR and advertising campaigns alike. Customers, colleagues, and stakeholders are spending time on social media, so your client should be active as well, offering organic content, paid ads, and boosted posts. Use social media to amplify your other PR efforts!
Influencer campaigns can be very effective word-of-mouth marketing. Partnering with online influencers for reviews and testimonials can make a huge impact for a business. Their followers trust them, and when they post about your client in an authentic way, you can reach a whole new group of potential customers. For a full run down of influencer marketing, check out this Zion & Zion article.
If your client is a city, resort or a destination of any sort, familiarization trips (commonly referred to as FAM trips) should be part of your PR strategy. A FAM is when you invite a reporter or group of reporters to your client’s property and offer them the full experience (free of charge). It is an opportunity to wine, dine. and entertain the news media or influencers so they will share their positive experience with their audience.
Using grassroots tactics, especially on the local level, can be very effective. This could be anything from a publicity stunt, to creative signage around town or an interactive contest that gets people in the community involved. Think outside of the box to get people talking and interested.
Now that you have had a quick overview of PR tools and tactics, select the tactics on this list that make the most sense for your client or campaign. Whatever combination you choose, if you carefully consider which tactics to use and when, you’ll be on your way to achieving impressive results!