by Felix Lehane
Public relations is all about storytelling, finding the perfect narrative to frame your business’ journey. Here are a few tips to make your story hit the right spot.
Know your audience
The most important thing to consider when running a PR campaign is the audience you want to see it. This may sound obvious, but not all companies get it right.
Of course, anyone running a campaign will have a clear idea of who they are targeting. But it is easy to lose sight of how to target them once a campaign is under way.
What are your target audiences interested in, and where are they reading, watching or listening to it?
Communications need to be placed somewhere your audience will actually read them. When it comes to getting information, we have innumerable options. The internet has revolutionised content, distributing media in new forms so that anyone can access it.
So where do your target audiences go for their updates? Do they read consumer leisure magazines, or specialised business trades, or only national newspapers? Do they even read about content regularly or do they turn to TV programmes for updates, or listen to radio and podcasts?
Whatever story you are telling, make some time to work out where it needs to be placed, and how to get it there.
Make your story fit the bigger picture
Of course, to get a story in the right place, it needs to be interesting enough for journalists to put it there – and for your audience to keep reading once they find it.
Many companies want the tale of their latest product, acquisition, takeover or high-profile hire to be broadcast around the world. But with so many companies with so many stories, this is not always enough to garner interest.
To create an attention-grabbing campaign, any story about your product or service should outline the problem it solves, and how it solves it.
If your campaign is about your company news, how does it fit into the other, wider narratives in the media at the moment? If your news matches part of a wider trend, put yourself in the context of that trend so journalists will see how you fit into the bigger picture. If you’re going against the tide, show how different your story is and what others can learn from you.
Know what makes you special
Remember that, however unique you may see yourself, you are not the only company in your space, doing what you do. But there will be something that makes you different. Focus on your USP, but remember that PR is not the same as advertising.
Advertising and marketing are all about talking about your brand and your service or product. But PR is about the wider story, and where an organisation fits into it. PR should focus on what a product, service or company is doing for customers and the wider industry.