Landing PR coverage can be tricky, even for some of the biggest brands. It’s easy to see how “cool” brands, like Apple, Nike or ASOS can find stories that would appeal to the general public, but what if your brand or industry is considered “boring”?
All PR professionals have the option to increase their PR coverage, they just need to know to find and tell a story that resonates.
In this blog we’ll be rounding up some of tips from Andy Barr (co-founder & co-managing director or 10 Yetis Digital) and us!
If your product is fundamentally crap, there’s no point in trying to pitch PR stories. Media attention will simply lead to an increase in negative PR coverage around your brand. So, make sure your product & company is built on a solid base. If there are lots of skeletons in the closet, they’ll be revealed as soon as your brand is in the public eye. Working on areas of your brand that can be criticized before moving on to think about how to make your company exciting is fundamental.
Before trying to get sexier media coverage, you’ll need the support of someone internally. Target a member of the c-suite who’s more open to ‘new ideas’. Influential internal stakeholders are key to generating wider buy-in from the rest of the organization, and the senior management team.
A good way of creating buy-in is to collaborate on the project, that way both parties feel they’ve been involved and a sense of ownership and pride. Don’t underestimate the power of enthusiasm, it’s contagious!
If you’re not used to doing ‘out there’ campaigns make sure you take baby steps. Ramp it up gradually, otherwise, stakeholders might freak out. Not only this, but your audience may be a little confused that you’ve gone from one extreme to another.
Test the waters and use a social listening tool like Meltwater or Meltwater Social to understand whether the tweaks to your campaign are resonating. It’s better to keep your finger on the pulse of your audience and media to spot spikes in negative conversations earlier on, prior to rolling out a complete campaign.
Consider how ‘interesting’ PR coverage will help your brand. What are your goals and how are you measuring them? Also, think about how PR will help you to achieve wider organizational objectives. For example, if the company is hoping to enter a new market, you may want to focus on getting ‘authority links’ from big news sites in that market to help improve SEO amongst that demographic.
Would your story be talked about by your mates at a bar? If yes, this could suggest you’ll get social shares, engagement and generate general public interest.
“We typically apply the pub (bar) factor to every idea we have, be that B2B or consumer…when we have our team brainstorming sessions, we involve our whole team, not just the PR team. All the ideas get written on a board, then we score each idea out of ten” says Andy.
In an ideal world we’d all be coming up with only original ideas, but in reality, chances are it’s already been done to some extent before.
There’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from other campaigns, just as long as you’re not pinching the ideas. Use a social media monitoring tool to understand which parts of campaigns are resonating by breaking the conversational data down into positive trending themes.
Don’t be afraid to look outside of your industry for ideas too. Take a look at how celebs like Kim Kardashian use social media. A list celebs employ the top publicists, as such, they’re full of creative ways to engage audiences.
If you come up with a fun idea, give yourself multiple story angles. Don’t limit yourself! Take John Lewis as an example. They sent a press release about the Christmas TV ad itself, then how the ad led to an increase in the toy sales, then how many people have viewed the ad since the initial reach.
If you create a fun piece of content, consider how you can stretch it out over a period of time by drip feeding the audience with new insights. Don’t lay all your cards on the table at once!
Depending on what your goals are, think outside the box when creating content. One of Andy’s clients, a pharmaceutical brand, created a ‘sex calculator’ to land PR coverage which drove traffic and authority links to their website.
A version of this article originally appeared on our UK blog.