PR 101


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Public relations is an essential part of marketing, but if you've never approached or worked with a journalist before, it could be a little intimidating. Where do you start? Who do you reach out to? What should you say?

Thankfully, PR isn't rocket science. But it does take planning and commitment. Because PR coverage is earned, not paid, you have to be extra careful and strategic about who to pitch and how to work with the press.

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  • Quick overview of how PR is different from other forms of marketing and why you need it for your business.Then get down and dirty with the specifics on how to kick-start your PR efforts. It’s not rocket science, but does take research and preparation.After this webinar, you should have some very specific takeaways that you can start working on right away. Take notes as you go!
  • PRSA defines PR as:“A strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”In real-life speak, the goal of PR is to get your company favorable visibility and credibility.
  • Usually done by working with the press (so journalists, writers, bloggers, producers, etc.) and social media, where you connect with the public directly.Going to focus on the press part of the equation since social media is a beast of its own and we have lots of webinars focused specifically on social.
  • So why PR and not advertising or other types of marketing?When you get a PR placement, you didn’t pay for it. Instead, you’ve been vetted by journalists and experts which means it’s a lot more credible in the eyes of the reader. Because it’s objective, you don’t always have control over what’s being said – they can say good things AND bad things about your product or service. That’s why building long-term relationships with press is so important.The media’s job is the report the news to their readers and audience. In PR, you want to make sure they have the information they need to position your product or service in the best possible light.
  • Step by step process. Take notes here!
  • Dust off Excel.Research online.
  • There are no cheat sheets or shortcuts to doing your research.Most important part of PR – identifying the right people to pitch and develop relationships with. Better to have a smaller list of the right people than a huge list of people who may or may not cover your industry.“Spray and pray” method doesn’t work – you’re wasting your time and wasting their time.Note relevant articles or topics – important because you can reference that in your pitch or emails. Shows you’re doing your homework and know your stuff.
  • Here’s a press release example.Formal, corporate. Usually contains a quote from the lead exec . Always has a boilerplate at the end, which is a small paragraph about the company. (“About XYZ”)Press releases work best if you plan to send something over a newswire (which we’ll get to in a second), if you have an official announcement (new hire, new product, event, etc.) and/or if you need content to post to company website
  • Here’s a pitch example, from the holidays.Basically an email. Short, four paragraphs with key highlights. Sent directly to each contact, so it’s more personalized and informal.Pitches work best if your news is time-sensitive or if you already have a relationship with the journalist (and can be more informal). Hearing more and more journalists want short pitches over the press release.
  • Think like a journalist.Why Should I Care??? > Reporters get hundreds of pitches and emails every day. Need to tell them upfront why they should pay attention to you. This is when your research – knowing what topics they cover, what they’ve written in the past – works in your favor bigtime.
  • Similar to an email campaign:Tailor your pitchBreak up the content so it’s skimmableInclude links to more information – don’t try to cram everything in
  • PR Newswire, Business Wire, MarketWire – Big 3, can get really expensive because they have direct feeds to newsroomsPR Newswire has a “small business package” that’s a couple hundred bucks per releaseOnline only is recommended if you’re looking for max SEO value, online pick-upsReach varies with each wire service
  • What’s great about using a wire service is you know where your release goes and who’s read or clicked through on them.How many times your release has showed up in a search resultHow many times a journalist has read itWhich websites got the most viewsHow many interactions (click-throughs, etc.) you got
  • They’re people, too! Don’t treat as a sales pitch – you want to be helpful!
  • Be prepared for tough questions, like how you compare to your competitorsBe prepared for easy questions, like what is it that you do … They could be unfamiliar with your product or categoryRespect deadlines! Major pet peeve.
  • Rejection or radio silence is likely. Don’t get depressed and keep working on it.Comment MEANINGFULLY on their contentBe a resource. Reach out if you uncover something interesting (new trend, research, etc. in your industry) – don’t only contact them when you have something to “sell”
  • Great way to track coverage is to have an “In the News” section on your site
  • GA/site traffic:Are you getting a spike in traffic from a particular blog or news site? Or around the same time a story was published?
  • How Did You Hear About Us – send an email campaign, add it to check-out process if you sell online, arm your sales/support/field staff
  • PR 101

    1. 1. Public Relations 101: Covering the Basics Connie Sung Moyle @sungmoyle
    2. 2. Today’s Agenda• What is PR? How does it help your business?• How to: 1. Create a media contact list 2. Write a pitch or press release 3. Distribute your pitch or release 4. Work with the media 5. Measure success
    3. 3. What is Public Relations?
    4. 4. What is Public Relations?The goal of PR is to get favorable visibility and gain credibility for your company.
    5. 5. What is Public Relations?The goal of PR is to get favorable visibility and gain credibility for your company.Press (offline, online) Social media
    6. 6. What is Public Relations?Public relations:• Is earned; you don’t pay for coverage.• Is not 100 percent controlled by you.• Is vetted by journalists and experts.• Can result in heaps of exposure, awareness and word of mouth
    7. 7. HOW TO: Create aMedia List
    8. 8. How to: Create a Media List List all the media outlets – #1 newspapers, magazines, websites, bloggers, broadcast shows – that are: • In your industry (trade) • In your local community (regional) • Cover businesses nationally (national)
    9. 9. How to: Create a Media List • Read, read, read! #2 • Identify the journalists who cover your industry, competitors, area of expertise, etc. • Record their email addresses • Note relevant articles or topics they’ve recently covered
    10. 10. How to: Create a Media List Example: #3
    11. 11. HOW TO:Write aPitch or PressRelease
    12. 12. Press Release Versus Pitch
    13. 13. Press Release Versus Pitch
    14. 14. How to: Write a Pitch or Release Cover the five Ws: #1 • Who are you? • What do you do? • When is it? (if it’s time sensitive) • Where is it? (if a place is involved) • Why should I care?
    15. 15. How to: Write a Pitch or Release Include: #2 • Personalization • Lists, bullets, subheads • Links to more deets • Press releases: - Boilerplate (“About XYZ”), including social media links - SEO keywords
    16. 16. How to: Write a Pitch or Release A note on length: #3 • Pitch: 2-4 short paragraphs • Press release: - Headline: 60 characters, not including spaces - Body: 400-800 words
    17. 17. HOW TO:Distributea Pitch or Press Release
    18. 18. How to: Distribute Pitch: #1 • Email individually Press Release: • Email individually • Wire service • Snail mail (only if sending with product)
    19. 19. How to: Distribute #2 Wire servicesOnline and direct to newsrooms Online only } $50+ } $200 - $1k+ } $160+
    20. 20. How to: Distribute #3 Wire service reporting
    21. 21. HOW TO:Work with theMedia
    22. 22. How to: Work with the Media Approach: #1 • Be friendly but professional • Get to the point • Offer a unique angle/viewpoint • Don’t be sales-y • Provide contact info
    23. 23. How to: Work with the Media Follow Up: #2 • Check in once or twice • Don’t expect a response • Get ready for rejection • Be prepared for tough questions • Respect their deadlines
    24. 24. How to: Work with the Media Ongoing Relationship Building: #3 • Read their work • Comment on their content • Share their content • Follow them/their company on social media • Send interesting news; provide value
    25. 25. HOW TO:Measure Success
    26. 26. How to: Measure Success Coverage: #1 • Number of stories • Circulation, page views, audience • Number of wire pick-ups
    27. 27. How to: Measure Success Reporting/metrics: #2 • Wire service reports • Google Analytics/site traffic • Social media engagement/growth
    28. 28. How to: Measure Success Sales/awareness: #3 • Increased business • Ask HDYHAU (“How Did You Hear About Us?”)
    29. 29. Public Relations 101: Covering the Basics Good luck!