As the summer draws to a close, you might be considering the ways you’re going to kickstart your business growth in September.
PR is a fantastic tool for building the visibility, credibility and influence of your business, but not every business is instantly ready for PR. There are many different factors to consider, such as the stage in your development as a company, before embarking on your first PR campaign.
In this article, we walk you through some key elements to have in place before kickstarting your campaign to ensure that you are able to make the most of the opportunities PR can bring.
You have something valuable to offer your audience
The bedrock of good PR is having something valuable to say to your audience. This is especially true in PR for service-based businesses where people are buying into your expertise. People can easily see through puff pieces and empty rhetoric, especially in the sustainability and DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) space where living your values is so important.
For some, this might be a new, innovative product you’re launching that will change your industry for the better, so you need to communicate why this is needed and what it brings that is different to past products.
For others in knowledge-based businesses, it could be that you have an opinion that you want to share about a topical story, or some useful advice or guidance from your experiences. One of the key areas in which we provide PR support is in the launch of new authors’ expert books, a combination of both elements mentioned above!
Whatever it is that you have to say to your target audience, it’s essential that it is grounded in your expertise and includes a call to action that promotes positive change. Whether that means purchasing your book, watching or listening to content on your social channels or downloading an asset from your website, the most successful PR campaigns are those that have a clear action which offers even more value to audiences. Audience can easily tell when it is “PR for PR’s sake”
If you feel like you have something to communicate but you’re not sure where to start, this is something the PR team can help you with in the early phases of campaign planning.
You have all the assets in place
During your PR campaign, it is very likely that your audience will be directed towards your online presence. This is why it’s so important to make sure you already have the assets in place to ensure they can access the further information they are looking for.
A common mistake that we’ve seen in the past is companies undertaking PR campaigns before their website is finalised, or before their social media profiles are fleshed out with key details. This can quickly lose future customers.
It is essential your media presence is consistent with your other assets, so make sure you have your own house in order before you embark on external marketing efforts, like PR.
Here are the essential things to sort before you start:
Update Your Website - your website is often the first reference point for journalists and prospective buyers, so it needs to be accurate and a ‘one stop shop’ for everything they need to know about you. This could include up-to-date bios, case studies, testimonials, services and client lists.
Including some example blog posts can also give editors a flavour of your writing style and topics so they are more likely to commission you to write for their publication.
Update Your LinkedIn Profile - When journalists are scoping out potential contributors for their upcoming features, LinkedIn accounts can be a really useful expert directory. Making sure you’ve got a great bio and up-to-date career history, ideally including recent testimonials, will tick the initial verification boxes for a journalist.
Get Some Up-to-date Headshots - Headshots are really important for press use. It’s common to be asked to supply one with press commentary so these should be recent and consistent with the ones used on your website and social media profiles. Ideally headshots should be high-resolution portrait, head and shoulders images in natural light with a neutral background.
There are lots of things that we can help with in the early days of your PR campaign, however things like headshots, logos, and websites should be ready to go before any press releases are issued.
You are ready to get stuck in
PR is not an activity that you can just leave your agency to get on with - you’re going to have to make the time to get involved and stuck in, so that the campaign is as successful as possible.
This might include writing topical commentary to supply to journalists, writing thought leadership articles, reviewing press materials, or even appearing on podcasts and panels. In order to maximise the opportunities that PR can bring, it’s important that you make the time for these media responses, or make it clear who has the authority to review and approve media materials.
Then, once the coverage has appeared it’s really important that you share this on your social media profiles, offering additional commentary and tagging relevant people to generate conversations around the content.
This is especially important for B2B campaigns, where your value comes from your connections and experiences. It's also a great way to warm up those contacts who you may not have spoken to for a while.
Also, if you have a newsletter, or send e-blasts, PR coverage can be shared across those spaces. You can also use PR content to apply for awards, and you can repurpose it for future use.
All of this to say that if you think you’re ready for PR and want to maximise the results of the campaign, don’t underestimate the value of getting involved and invested in the process.
Do you think you are ready for PR?
A successful PR campaign can provide a steady stream of media coverage and profile raising opportunities, but it’s so important to consider whether you have everything in place and your and your business are ready for the process before you get started.
Interested in PR, but not sure if you’re ready or how it could help your business? No problem! That’s what the Ambition PR team is here to help with.
Why not start by taking our free ‘Communicating Your Brand Story’ quiz?
Based on your responses, we then send you a personalised report highlighting areas of strength and improvement in the key areas of Public Perception, Storytelling, and Media Relations.
Once you've completed the quiz and received your results, you can also take advantage of a free discovery session where we will take a deep dive into your results, discuss whether you’re ready for PR and how it could take your business to the next level.
Making sure you have all these key tenets in place before you embark on your PR campaign means you're poised for success.