You’ve been quietly going about your business, building a brand and providing products and services you are really proud of. You’ve also managed to build a fantastic team and culture but feel you are the world’s best kept secret.
You regularly see your competitors popping up on social media and in newspapers and magazines and decide to ‘have a go’ and invest in some PR support so you can be seen by more than your Mum, your Dad’s best mate and auntie Sue who isn’t actually your auntie but has supported you since day dot.
Good so far.
But, there are some mistakes we see time and again, so thought we would share…
You haven’t set any goals
You need to have an initial meeting to discuss your goals and objectives from this PR journey. Do you want as much coverage as possible, for instance? Or are there specific publications/media you want to be seen in? Are you looking to see more sign ups/registrations/sales? Do you want more traffic to your website? Do you simply want someone to create a PR plan or strategy with you and hold you accountable each month? How will you know if this investment has been a success?
You expect big results quickly
Whilst it is possible to get some ‘quick wins’ when it comes to press coverage, quite often there is a lot of work that needs to be done to get you ‘PR ready’ first. For example, do you have any professional, print quality photos on file that we can use? If not, we will need to arrange a photo shoot. Do you have a website we can publish your press releases and/or blogs on? Are your social media profiles up to date if a journalist were to look you up for an expert comment?
Aside from all this ‘prep’ work, you also need to consider the copy deadlines of your target media. Whilst online coverage is pretty much instant, some trade journals and magazines work on a 6 – 8 week cycle so you need to allow time for any submitted content to be published. Deciding after two months that PR hasn’t worked for you simply isn’t long enough. You need to be prepared to play the long game.
You don’t tell your agency what you are up to
PR is a two-way relationship (or three if you count the press!). Sometimes companies get so caught up in the day-to-day running of their business that they can forget to let their agency know of key events and newsworthy stories. Sometimes, businesses simply don’t recognise that what they are doing is worthy of a news story. Schedule in regular catch ups so your agency is always ‘in the loop’ and can identify potential story or campaign ideas that will help you to raise your profile. If we spot something on your social media after it has happened, it makes us sad that we could have potentially been able to invite the radio or local TV crews to cover it if we had known.
Doing nothing with the coverage
If you are lucky enough to be featured on radio, TV, a podcast, magazine or website, tell people! Sharing your coverage (in line with copyright laws) or including an ‘as seen in’ banner on your website or email signature helps raise your profile further and establishes you as an expert in your field. It can also help as supporting evidence in award entries or new business presentations and proposals. We have helped businesses to place stories specifically with the end goal of a particular award in mind months ahead of the deadline. For example, planning new office openings and highlighting new team appointments as they happen so we can submit these articles as supporting evidence for a High Growth Award. Other companies have a talent attraction goal in mind so we work on stories that demonstrate what a great employer they are and how they look after their people which sees more people apply for vacancies with them.
If you are thinking about working with a PR agency but are not sure if it will work for you, get in touch with the team on email@example.com or 01536 682800.