Generating PR for your firm is all about telling a story, raising awareness and ensuring that when a potential customer needs your product or service, your brand is the name that springs to mind first.
If you really want to raise the profile of your business, you will need to develop a PR campaign, which simply involves generating a consistent message in the press which communicates the value offered to your customers. Such a campaign could focus on demonstrating your firm’s expertise in a given sector or communicating brand values such as quality or value for money – perhaps through commissioning a satisfaction survey and publishing the results quarterly.
Once you have decided what your campaign should look like, you need to consider targeting. At this stage you need to ask yourself questions such as who are you going to reach out to? It is necessary to identify where your customers come from in order to establish how best to reach out to that market segment in order to win new clients. Some businesses send the same media release to every newspaper, online news site and radio station – local, regional and national. This is not particularly targeted and instead you should identify the channels which are relevant to the people you wish to reach.
In order to effectively target the right people, you should invest some time in research. You could start by making a list of publications, websites, blogs, radio stations and news channels which are relevant to your target market. Make a list of contacts at each of these media companies and contact the relevant journalists in order to meet them for a coffee and a chat. Prepare a press release or two and discuss your firm and your story with the journalist. Establishing a good relationship with the journalists will allow you to feed future stories to them without your emails being ignored.
Don’t forget pictures. A good, strong image can really increase your chances of coverage. Make sure photographs are in focus and include at least one person, with a caption giving their name and other relevant details like their job title or relevance to the story. Jpeg format is pretty widely acceptable but resolution needs vary – a magazine will want high-res (1-2MB), newspapers less so (250-750KB) and websites even less (100KB or below).
Don’t forget your contact details. It might sound obvious, but it happens all too often. Make it easy for a journalist to contact you if they have any questions.