Another question we’re often asked is “can you get good PR results for absolutely everything?” Or, in other words, can you PR anything under the sun, even something that might appear pretty dull? The short answer is, probably, and the long answer will explain what we mean by that. Certainly, nothing phases us here at Carnsight – we’ve helped raise awareness of niche construction firms, divorce lawyers, children’s nurseries, technical media agencies, care homes (just ask us if you want to see how). But it’s never a one-size-fits-all approach. Here’s how to lay the groundwork for good PR results for any brand, business or product.
Start with your objectives
First and foremost, ask yourself what are you trying to achieve through PR? There are a lot of potential benefits of PR, whether it’s about driving sales, recruitment or staff morale, so establish what’s most important to you and your business. This is key to help you track results and adjust your strategy for success. PR support can be given at this stage from a good PR consultancy, to help you define this.
Define your key message
Next, what overall take out do you want your audience to be left with? There might be an overarching message about your brand, and/or one about a particular offering or service. This may evolve – even over a short period of time. For example, with our flexible working platform client, That Works For Me, their message and audience evolved following launch, and they were nimble enough to keep pace with this. Have a look at our Three Lens Messaging Session details for more about what we try and establish upfront.
So, you’re all set with what you want to achieve with PR, and how you want to come across. Now – what’s most important for you to talk about? Do you have a new launch to promote or is your business changing in some way? Or is it that you have some great, original ideas that could work for commentary, thought leadership, podcasts or events? There are a range of ways to make yourself heard depending on what it is you have to say, so spend some time working out what your content should be. Again, this is where a good PR agency can help. And remember, getting good PR results is all about relevant content. A new digital tool for the construction industry can either be the least or the most newsworthy thing, depending on who you’re talking to.
Focus on your audience
Running in tandem with what you want to say, who do you want to say it to? Who’s your core audience – this could be your current audience and/or the audience you’re trying to target in future. Then, work on where you’d reach them – is it through newspapers, magazines, online sites, podcasts, broadcast? What kinds of media platforms, and what content do these platforms cover? Have a look. Remember, the journalists writing for those publications want to provide the most interesting content for their audience. With a bit of research, you can always ensure what you’re trying to say and the way you’re saying it is spot on for your audience. If it is, your PR efforts will be rewarded.
Remember PR isn’t sales
This is a common trap – on the one hand there are key things you really want to say (“we’re the best at this”) and on the other, there’s what journalists want to write about. The two don’t always meet in the middle. Have a look at our advertising versus PR piece for more on why PR is about being useful rather than being salesy. That’s where the careful balance and knowing what’s realistic comes in. Yes, there’s often a way to talk about your new service but it’s not usually about listing its benefits in an article – it could be about displaying your expertise in the sector or contributing to a round up article with a few details about your product, for example. Strike the balance.
Give it time
The above are basics to get right as the foundation to achieve good PR results, and it’s worth spending some time on those areas up-front. If you’ve tried a PR push and you haven’t achieved coverage, it might not be because your service is too dull – it might just be because you haven’t paid attention to the basics. Take an honest look at what you’ve tried and check if it ticks the boxes. Or, get help from a trained PR consultant who will do the legwork for you.
Have more questions about PR support? See our PR FAQs for some of the questions we’re most often asked.