“It’s Women’s Month and we’ll be giving branded journals to all the ladies in our office, we need to make a big hype about them, please PR it.”
We’ve all been at the giving or receiving end of this brief or some variation of it.
Now in principle, there is nothing wrong with celebrating the moments that make us proud, get our hearts racing and break the 9 – 5 mould. But a PR campaign, press release or media motivation isn’t always the best approach; sometimes an internal newsletter, simple phone call or Instagram post could do the job.
To make sense and navigate when PRing it is the best route, I’ve listed six qualifying P’s to consider.
Is the story new, insightful, different or highly exciting – objectively? It’s important that the story you’re pitching will add value to the media you’re targeting and its readers. It’s not about whether you find it thrilling, but whether you would have read that article or paged past it if you weren’t involved.
PR is not a quick fix to the side-line project. In order to maximise your PR return, you need buy-in to get the information you require from the various parties and to secure spokesperson availability
Are these branded journals a once-off? Or does it speak to the very core of your brand, and form a fundamental part of your strategy? It needs to be a sustainable initiative, rather than a ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ campaign, or the media will see right through it. And they’ll rather talk to brands that are invested, even in March – be that brand.
Know what you’re talking about! The journal with a bow release is not the time to also mention your latest innovative product and the upcoming conference where your CEO will be the keynote speaker. If your audience could take away just one point from your PR message, what would it be? That focused message should be strong enough to stand on its own.
When you communicate is everything! You need to keep in mind major news, announcements, and competing stories that could create media saturation on a specific topic, reporters’ deadlines, and relevance – unfortunately your Women’s Month initiative ranks low on the news agenda when Pravin Gordhan is being summoned by the Hawks and sends our Rand into turmoil.
Is this something that’s owned by you and are you therefore the best person to talk on the matter? Or is the real story the rise of the handcrafting journal creator that built her empire from a small backyard operation to the powerhouse responsible for employing a 100 single moms and three dads? Even if you have personal relationships with journalists who published your story before, your angle might not fit their agenda or be the best read.
So before embarking on the pursuit of ink (or radio or online or a viral social post) – check your P’s.
Written By: Annette du Plessis, Account Director
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