How PR can drive your retail sales

The Dos and Don’ts of good PR

Katie Olver, from tech PR agency Momentous, shares some invaluable tips on the dos and don’ts of good PR.

Public Relations, or PR, is literally the relationship your business has with its public. The relationship you create with your public will have a profound effect on the future of your business, and this is where PR comes into play. PR is how you publicise and build enthusiasm for your business among your public, and in successfully doing so, you create widespread awareness and drive sales.

Positive editorial coverage is worth its weight in gold, yet so many companies don’t know how to work effectively with the media.

Here are some basic but invaluable tips on the dos and don’ts of good PR.

Know your market.
Successful PR is all about reaching the right audience with a message that is appropriate and meaningful to them. If you fail to know your target audience and the publications that they read, implementing the rest of your PR actions will be virtually useless.

Develop several newsworthy angles that showcase your message.
Emphasise timely information, such as industry trends, statistics, new technology or products, do-it-yourself tips, techniques or strategies.

Build a working relationship with the press.
Get to know the editors and writers and the types of topics they cover before you make contact. You need to get an idea of the type of story you need to present to optimise your chances of coverage.

Offer content.
Opinionated editorial pieces are one of the best ways to get into print — that’s because editors of newspapers and online magazines want quick commentary on the ever-changing news cycle from experts who can illuminate different angles of stories as they unfold.

Volunteer to provide a feature article or an opinion piece for their publication. Topical and timely pieces can see you positioned as a leading authority on a particular topic and journalists will start to come to you for sound bites when writing on this topic in the future.

Seeding in case studies.
Results speak volumes in securing PR opportunities. Being able to demonstrate qualifiable results enable you to secure coverage within trade publications, but also verticals titles too.

Enter awards.
Entering and being a finalist or winning in a business awards campaign is an excellent way of gaining PR as well as recognition and credibility for your business. You will benefit from increased sales, wide- spread credibility, extra valuable exposure within the business community and the media, boosts in employee motivation and increased levels of traffic to your website. Even if you don’t win, simply participating could open doors you didn’t even know existed.

Keep your promises.
If you schedule an interview, be available and on time. If you arrange to have materials sent to a journalist, make sure they’re actually sent. Journalists work to tight time frames so when you fail to deliver what they’re expecting, they don’t have time to come back looking. They’ll move onto another, more accommodating source.

Ignore small media.
Just because someone is interviewing you for a blog site, doesn’t mean they won’t be editing the most prestigious trade title tomorrow. Furthermore, small blogs, publications or media outlets all have loyal readers, viewers and listeners.

Assume the journalist knows about your industry.
Especially if they are from a general interest publication. Provide background data, give real- world examples and avoid industry- specific jargon. Spell out acronyms at least once and explain the relevance of any news you may be discussing.

Forget social media.
Both Twitter and Linked In are two social media networks that cannot be ignored by companies today. Twitter offers a great platform for sharing your news and discussing current industry news, helping to further establish you as thought leader in the industry. Furthermore, most journalists use Twitter so your presence on here helps to create important relationships.

Katie Olver is managing director of boutique tech PR agency Momentous –

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