As we discussed in a recent blog, a media interview can result in fantastic brand awareness for a business, no matter whether you’re an aspirational start-up or a more established brand. But before dealing with the media, it’s important to understand if you’re really ready to speak to the media so that your organisation reaps the benefits of establishing a public profile.
As a B2B PR agency, it’s important that our clients are ready to face the media and that they fully anticipate what that entails. Paving the way for a successful PR campaign means ticking off the following points:
- I know what I want from PR
You might have got to a point in your business journey where you feel that it’s time to build your brand in the media. All well and good, but have you considered the thinking required from your side to establish what stakeholders you want to target and what message you want to get across? A PR agency will need to work with you to understand your company’s key messages and ensure that key people in the business are able to communicate them into external communications.
- The organisation as a whole is willing
The marketing department might understand the benefits of PR, but the rest of the organisation might need to be convinced. An introduction to the media landscape from a PR agency may help educate employees from senior managers to product experts, and this understanding could result in a high volume of press coverage in the future. A lot of PR content, such as blogs and articles, need to be by-lined to specific individuals, so having willing spokespeople is the gateway to PR being a success.
- We understand the rules of engagement
A successful PR campaign means having your business’s name, and several of its employees’ names, in the media. Key spokespeople should be prepared to see themselves splashed across the magazine and newspaper pages of a variety of press; are they ready to be famous? It’s important they understand the rules of engagement. Most PR content can be reviewed and approved by the business itself, but don’t forget that the media holds the ultimate power and can publish anything it has been told or has been sent. It’s vitally important for businesses to know just how much or how little to divulge in press content.
- I have original stories to tell
Refurbishing your office or winning an award might be a big deal internally to your business, but chances are, the media won’t be so interested. You need to dig deep to discover the natural stories within your business and the markets you operate in. Your PR team can help you uncover the stories which are likely to be of interest to the media, and an agency will work with you to help turn other company news or market updates into creative content.
- I know how to integrate PR with marketing
Being truly PR-ready means integrating it with wider marketing activity so that you can realise its full potential. You’ll find that much of your press coverage is online, and that means that your media relations and digital marketing can be integrated to reinforce one another. All of your marketing and PR activities working in sync can play a big part in generating incoming business leads.
The media is constantly evolving, as is the way we consume news. Working effectively with a PR agency, the whole business can benefit from understanding the media landscape. It takes time to prepare for media relations but with the right advice, you’ll soon be PR ready and willing.
Alex Brown enjoys being one of the Skout blog’s most regular contributors.