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Contrary to what some publicists may tell you, not everyone is a good PR candidate. There are some industries that shouldn't waste their money on PR. They are likely to get more exposure by devoting their budgets to advertising or content marketing.
At the same time, there are industries and companies that are made for the media. Their expertise is needed in this complicated world and their inside knowledge gives us deeper insight into issues that affect our lives. If positioned correctly, these types of customers can always find themselves in the news. These are the best PR candidates.
I often hear friends and prospects say that getting a story on the news is a bummer. I do not believe that. There is a strategy and approach that you can use to improve your chances of being notorious, but only if you have the elements to send a message. And what are these elements? They are rooted in the social sciences of journalism.
Related: Pandemic Public Relations
Here are some of the traits I like to see when brainstorming about new PR campaigns.
You have compelling data or research
Let me be clear Data for the purpose of the data is not valuable. Any data or research must provide the context for a message and be credible.
Years ago, I was consulting a global PR firm when their PR manager said to their client in front of me, “Reporters love data. Tell him, Mark, how much the media loves data for stories. "
This is not entirely true, especially in today's world where almost any industry can collect data. In order for data to result in reporting, it must provide new insights that reinforce or introduce an emerging trend. It should make the public aware of something they don't know about yet. A great data story will also be exclusive to the customer.
Here is an example of why this works.
We can all relate to gaining weight during this pandemic. Wouldn't you be interested to know what the healthiest people did during this pandemic to not only lose weight but also get healthier? What if it was a data analysis that involved the behavioral patterns of 10 million consumers? My PR agency actually got this story on NBC this summer. It wasn't just random data, however. Data was defined that had a purpose and gave consumers insights into a topic to relate to.
You don't have to be a health tech or fintech company to use this approach. It is very likely that your company has research to support your business decisions. If you are a broker or investor, you likely have in-house research to guide your decision-making. If you do this research, you may find a story that positions you for the media.
They have legitimate news updates or expertise
For the past year, I've worked with a member of Congress who was probably the easiest person to access local and national news. Their access to knowledge provided the media with continuous updates on current topics. She was tuned to the news cycle and issues that affected the public.
However, you don't have to be a member of Congress to have this type of knowledge. Accountants, lawyers, doctors – and similar professions with in-depth expertise – can also be used with the media. These are the types of experts that the media attracts and includes in their programs.
Here is an example. At the start of the new year, many entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs will start thinking about taxes. The Cares Act introduced many new tax breaks to help businesses through this pandemic. As an entrepreneur or business owner, don't you want to know how to take advantage of some of these tax incentives? It is a broad topic, but few experts can put it into context. And that's what makes these accountants so valuable to the media. You're a great PR client.
On the other hand, the worst type of PR client is one that doesn't have any new updates. If you don't have any new updates, you may want to switch to content marketing to showcase yourself. If you dig deep enough, however, you can safely see how your industry has performed during the pandemic. You might not get into the national shows, but you could get yourself into the trade.
Related Topics: 10 Principles for Creating an Effective Public Relations Plan
You have an interesting story
This approach is a little more subjective, but has some universal rules. In PR we have to sell stories to the media. If you don't have an interesting story, the sales pitch becomes much more difficult. In some cases the obstacles are insurmountable. These are the industries that are better suited for content marketing or even advertising.
What makes a good story? Ideally, it will have a positive impact on the community and inspire others. In other cases, controversy can lead reporters home. Is your story long and complicated? This is not a good sign for a PR campaign as reporters don't have 15 minutes. However, the best publicists will know how to pin the subject and quickly identify the most interesting angle from history. This is a good test for your potential publicist. Can they tell your story quickly and make it interesting? If you fall asleep and hear your own story, you are probably down a dark path.
Unfortunately, many agencies are powered by financial stocks. You have sales goals to achieve, and if you call at an inconvenient time, you may be sold into a PR campaign that doesn't have much potential to begin with. However, when you think about these traits and your own business, you may be able to determine if PR is right for you before a publicist even says a word.
Related Topics: Creating the Best PR Strategy for Your Business