It’s official – the UK has now moved out of recession, partly due to the dynamic nature of its economy. Last year alone well over half a million new companies emerged, the equivalent to a new business every minute.
Getting your start-up off the ground and running is a challenge in itself. Once established, the biggest challenge to growth is getting your voice heard in an ever increasingly busy marketplace.
Whether you’re seeking new investors, on the look out for new employees or want to catch the eye of new customers, a professionally constructed and executed PR campaign can play a key role.
As in all walks of life, preparing in advance will help. Doing your homework will help you find the right agency to work with – as well as amplifying the impact of your campaign.
So here’s our PR starter pack – the ‘must do’ eight steps needed for success.
(1) What do you want?
All campaigns must start off with the most basic of questions – ‘what do I want to achieve from PR?’ For example – are you a B2C business wanting to boost sales? Or are you looking to attract some additional investment to help grow your business?
The answers will fundamentally affect the composition and direction of a campaign.
As basic as it sounds, you must have a coherent marketing strategy. Determine your key messages. Conduct research so you know exactly who your customers are – and hence what media outlets they’re following. These are the title you must target.
Strategically, your PR campaign must work hand in glove with your marketing strategy.
(3) Stand out from the crowd
You need to be able to clearly explain what your USPs are – and the existing problem(s) you’re trying to solve. In a busy and competitive market, you have to be able to demonstrate what sets you apart from your competitors. That way it’s easier for a journalist to understand and identify why they should be talking to you.
(4) Be humble
Accept the fact that it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be on the front page of the Financial Times (although we’ll try!). It’s important to understand that a journalist may not be as interested in you or your product / service – their focus is more likely to be on how it’s being used by your clients to solve a particular problem. Unless you have a truly unique offering – the proverbial ‘first of its kind’ – the reality is coverage is likely to be limited to you contributing to a ‘bigger picture’ story.
(5) Facts & figures
Compile facts, figures, reports and surveys from independent and respected bodies that support and highlight your key messages. Being able to point journalists towards existing pieces of work will help to substantiate your story – and hence build credibility.
Potentially there’s a never-ending stream of sources. They can be in the form of pre-existing stories (eg. a Forbes or Wall Street Journal article) – or reports from the likes of the World Bank, McKinsey, London School of Economics, KPMG, or The British Retail Consortium.
(6) Digital assets
Prepare a range of relevant digital assets. Increasingly journalists want access to a range of high-res images, (rights free) photos, logos and videos to use in their stories.
And once they’re compiled, it’s good practice to make them downloadable from your website.
(7) Polish your (digital) pen
Writing blogs and opinion pieces is a great way of generating coverage in both national newspapers and trade magazine. But they must be focused on a relevant topic – and can’t be self-promotional or ‘advertorials’.
(8) Develop case studies
Journalists love case studies as they help bring life and colour to a story. From a media / PR point of view, the experiences of your clients are one of your greatest assets – something that can be leveraged to drive media coverage.
In a complex field such as PR / Media no “must do” list is finite as the human factor can’t be discounted.
Any PR agency needs to listen and deliver.
We think we fit that bill.