Work with the media to help your marketing

The media can and do play a major part in marketing, but media Relations should go beyond submitting the standard press release to your local paper. The media exist to inform the public of news, events, business opportunities etc so it is their duty to be kept informed of what is happening out there in the business world!

If you want to get onto the media’s wave length, one option could be to provide some sort of media pack detailing (in brief) the company, its services, the key personnel, levels and sectors of expertise, a current client list and even some up to date case histories. Whatever you decide to use, you need to make sure that the information you supply acts as a carrot!

Options to consider would be to profile your company or someone within it. Has this person achieved something or been recognised in a particular category? You could also look to a diary piece if quirky as this tends to attract attention.

Whatever you decide, don’t be despondent if you’re not given coverage straight away. There are a number of factors that will influence whether or not you’ll appear such as – lack of space, lack of familiarity of your company, bad timing, relevance or even the actual content itself. But, don’t give up. Column inches achieved by you and your company will place you as an expert in your sector.

Always be alive to possibilities. These possibilities may arise as the result of an event (economic or social!), by editorial comment; by industry issues or by developments in your company. Be aware of opportunities beyond the media such as speaker platforms, seminars and/or sponsorship openings.

Public Relations for Purpose

Over the last few months a number of clients have asked me about PR and whether it is an area to explore as part of the marketing mix. Yes, I replied, but are we both clear on exactly what PR is?!

Although not a core service offered by Bath Marketing Consultancy, PR can prove very fruitful. Let’s start by clarifying what it actually stands for. In my opinion, PR stands for press relations as well as public relations and, when implemented correctly and strategically it can effectively contribute to winning new business both directly and indirectly.

PR is not just about column inches in the local press. PR should address attitudes and consumer perception. It should be used

to tantalize your public into following up on your stories and so revealing themselves as prospects and press relations are a good way of achieving the above.

PR can be used for a number of purposes (managing a reputation, dealing with a disaster, promoting a new product etc etc), but one clear objective could very well be the opening of new doors. This is done by actively targeting your public to contact you rather than simply raising awareness of your organisation and/or products. PR can generate leads and can provide great support to a new business drive, but the message you use must be in harmony with the other marketing activity you do.

While you cannot force the media to feature you or your press releases, always supplying a contact name and phone number as an integral part of your actions is a must. Keep your organisation’s name consistent across your releases and ensure your colleagues do so e.g decide whether to use the full name, initials etc.

You will find that PR will generate its own “atmosphere” within which new business activities can flourish as PR often softens the actual selling process.

But what stories do we submit to the media??

Always aim for stories of interest.
Research – maybe research based either on behalf of an external client or bespoke research.
Reports – maybe on an industry or a market on which the company has a view
Trends – maybe predictions or influences trends have had to your organisation
Compelling stories – maybe a marketing success and/or a human interest story
Client generated stories – maybe a new business win, a case study on how the results were achieved
News – maybe a new appointment, some industry gossip or extracts from a diary

Whatever you decide to submit, try not to give the whole story away in one article. Ideally, you should look to tease and tempt so that the media come back to you for updates + the prospects will enquire direct to you to find out more!