The very nature of being a PR agency means we work with clients in a variety of different sectors. At Bloomin’ Creative, we offer a wide range of services, but the foundation of what we do is that we help businesses increase awareness of their brand, manage their reputation and spread their key messages.
As a result of developing technology, combined with media and consumer trends, new PR tactics are being introduced nearly every day. Therefore the list of ways to get publicity for your business can feel endless and perhaps a little overwhelming if you’re not familiar with the world of public relations. In part one of this guide, we’ll look at the following PR tools:
- Press Releases
- Charity and Community Sponsorship
If you want good press coverage, you must master the art of the press release.
A press release is by far the most common way to get media coverage. An advantage of a press release is that it’s free, but it’s also a time-consuming process which takes effort and care in order to get it right.
Make sure you have a plan in place to submit regular press releases whenever your business does something newsworthy. Bear in mind that journalists’ inboxes are flooded with releases on a daily basis, so make sure yours is the one that stands out and is read instead of deleted. You can also take advantage of additional PR value by uploading any press releases to your website as a blog post entry, and add extra images, video, or additional information.
A press release must be done properly, otherwise there’s little point in doing one at all. Firstly, make sure you actually have a solid, newsworthy angle – for example, expansion and growth, fundraising efforts, a new product launch or a special anniversary are all subjects likely to be covered by the press.
Secondly, make sure your press release is tailored to the media title you’re sending it to. For example, a local business anniversary story is unlikely to be picked up by the business editor at The Times (unless it is very impressive!) Similarly, if you’re targeting the trade press, be sure to send it to the appropriate titles. The editor of ‘Construction Today’ is probably not going to be interested in a story about a new arts and crafts product. This might sound obvious, but if you’re not familiar with PR, it’s easy to make the mistake of firing off press releases without considering the news angle, the media title or the target audience.
Charity and Community Sponsorship
Sponsorship is the support of a charity, an event or organisation by an unrelated partner. This could mean sponsoring your town’s football team and donating money towards their new winter or summer kits, or organising a fundraising evening to support a local charity. It’s a good way to increase brand awareness, which can help sway consumer preference and encourage brand loyalty.
As well as utilising the partnership to gain press coverage, you could also promote it on your company’s marketing materials. For example, you could include the charity’s logo on your website and email signature (with their permission, of course), and plan regular blog posts that document the development of the fundraising.
Publicity is a big bonus of winning awards. This is especially true if the awards have a media partner, such as a newspaper or magazine, as this almost certainly guarantees substantial coverage for the winners. If they are regional or small-scale awards, it isn’t likely that the national media will be interested, but local papers are the prime media sources that are likely to cover award winners in the local area. If you win an award, always make sure you shout about it on your website, blog and social media.
The only downside to awards is that the ceremonies often cost £100+ just for a ticket. Add the cost of travel expenses and overnight accommodation and you’re looking at a few hundred pounds. When considering awards, find out as much as you can about them – who the judges are, which companies have won in the past and how likely it is that you might win. If you can justify enough networking and PR opportunities just from being there, then even if you don’t win it could be a worthwhile deduction from the marketing budget.
In part two of Our Guide to Bloomin’ Creative PR for Beginners, we’ll be looking at:
- Expert Commentaries
- Social Media
- Market Monitoring
If you want to keep up-to-date with the latest PR news and views, follow us on Twitter (@BloominCreative) and Facebook (@BloominCreativePR). Or alternatively, either get in touch with us here or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a free consultation.