What is PR?Public Relations, or PR, is all about the way organisations or individuals communicate with the public, promote themselves, and build a positive reputation and public image. The way an organisation is represented in the media has a huge impact on how people perceive it. PR professionals try to influence the media to represent their clients’ organisations positively and communicate key messages. For businesses, appearing in the media enhances their reputation, raises their profile and ultimately increases their sales.
What is the difference between editorial and advertorial?Advertorial (like advertising) is paid for. You agree a price with the relevant media outlet, and they will publish your copy exactly as you have submitted it. They will probably also help design the page it is on and you will have an opportunity to sign off a proof prior to publication. Sounds good? It is but the downside is it will be labelled ‘advertising feature’, readers will know you have paid for it and you will have incurred a cost. Depending on where you are advertising, this could be several hundreds of pounds. By contrast, editorial is free. You submit a press release with a good news angle and, if the media outlets have the space and they are interested, it will be published as a story which, in effect, has the endorsement of these media outlet. Readers know it is worthy because you haven’t paid for it to be published. The media outlet reserves the right to edit and revise the piece. However, if it is well written and interesting, and in the style of the publication running it, any editing is likely to be minimal. One press release may appear in many different online and printed publications, depending on how widely it is circulated.
What makes a good PR story?Press releases are seen as editorial and editorial is free, but for a press release to gain coverage it needs to be interesting, relevant and newsworthy. There needs to be a hook on which to hang the story. Here are a few suggestions:
- Something new
- An anniversary or milestone
- Interests and achievements out of the workplace
- Qualifications gained
- Supporting a charity
- Piggybacking on national stories or awareness days
Who needs PR?The answer, surprisingly, isn’t ‘everyone’ – or, at least, isn’t everyone, all the time. If your company is snowed under with work and has a strong pipeline, then you might want to defer raising your profile. But don’t fall into the common trap of dialling down the PR and marketing for too long, only to find your busy period comes to an end and your work and pipeline have slowed. At some stage, for any organisation, PR will be of huge value. It’s essential if you are:
- Building your brand
- Looking for new customers
- Looking for new staff, especially in a market where competition for talent is fierce
- Thinking of selling your business. Positive media coverage will enhance its desirability among potential buyers
- In a sector where your competitors invest in PR; if you don’t do the same, you will be left behind.
Want to talk about raising brand awareness? We’d love to chat