7 Things To Consider Before Pursuing Public Relations
One of the first things I do when speaking to a potential new client is to uncover
what makes them unique; different
what is the story that audiences will be interested in
what is the reason?
define the "Why"? As in why now? Why a product was developed? Why a company launched?
how will it impact/change the industry
Because this is exactly what journalists are looking for when they consider including a company, product or expert in a story. Just because you want to generate media exposure doesn't mean you will automatically get it.
We're former journalists and we think like journalists. That's our job.
Here are some things, from a journalist's point of view, that you should consider about your company or product that will help you achieve positive public relations:
1. Is there a current trend that your company or product can contribute to? What is trending in the news right now? What lifestyle "season" are you in (i.e. summer, travel, back-to-school, holiday, economic or business industry happenings)? Define how your business fits in this trend - an expert, advice, product or service that is novel...Journalists are looking for new experts and story sources related to this trend right now.
2. Is your product or business new to the market? Is it a new trend in and of itself? Media prefer to cover new things. They're always looking for new stories that they haven't written in the past.
3. Do you have an interesting back story to starting your business? Did you develop the idea while struggling with something personally? Were you looking for an easier way to do something? Was your background and professional history a catalyst for starting your business?
4. How does your business effect the everyday lifestyle of consumers? Does it make something simpler, revolutionize a daily routine or enhance one's life in a way that never existed before?
5. If your business has competition in the market, how do you differ? Why are you so special?
6. Is your business doing something exciting in the community? Local media cover local stories about people and businesses. It's always a good idea to hone in locally for hometown support and awareness of your business and community initiatives (i.e. hiring, giving back, donation drives, etc.)
7. Is it timely? Is there a current trend that your business fits into right now? Media are always looking for new sources, no one else has, when there is a hot trend.
These are all things that journalists are looking for. I've used the analogy of the dry cleaner on the corner before, but I will remind you. Almost every dry cleaner is the same, offering the same services. The only difference that each may have is their pricing, and then they use other marketing tools like advertising and direct mail. There's just not enough here to develop a story or interest to appear in a newspaper or magazine.
Don't be a "me too" business, meaning you run the same business everyone else does. There are always ways to differentiate.
So consider this before you pursue public relations for your business. It will determine the success of your campaign. And when all else fails, consult a professional who can take a fresh look at your business and help you develop the story that will generate press, awareness, sales and make your business the success you've always dreamed.