PR is a powerful marketing tool that can introduce your brand to new audiences. However, to achieve the best results, it’s important to understand how it fits into your overall marketing strategy. PR – or Public Relations – is the art of spreading awareness about your brand, product or service through positive media coverage. This is usually achieved through distributing media releases and pitching your story to journalists and producers.
Media releases communicate your brand message and offer your expert commentary to media professionals who may choose to use your industry perspective in relevant interviews, articles and radio and television segments.
PR is not advertising…
However, it’s important to understand that PR is not the same as advertising. “Media outlets charge brands to advertise their products or services in their publications or on their radio and television networks,” says Jules Brooke, founder and director of Handle Your Own PR. “Media outlets generally don’t charge for PR opportunities. Good PR is considered to have mutual benefit for the media outlet and the brand being featured, and is delivered in an independent editorial environment.” That means rather than paying for a TV advertisement to be broadcast during a designated ad break, for example, PR would occur during a program – such as via an interview with the show’s hosts or as an invited guest to talk about or demonstrate your product or service on the show.
…But it is an important marketing tool
While PR shouldn’t replace your other marketing efforts, it should be an important part of your marketing strategy, says Brooke. “PR is also a little different to other marketing channels you might use such as blog articles, social media posts and the newsletters you use to communicate with your customers or leads. “Media coverage you achieve through PR should complement your other marketing efforts as another lead generation tool that will get your message out to a larger audience outside of your immediate database or social media following.”PR helps build brands… While PR is a great way to introduce your brand to new audiences, its benefits are much more far reaching. Audiences understand when they are seeing an ad. They know it has been paid for and that the ad content has been carefully created by the brand in question in very controlled conditions. The same is true of marketing content – most customers understand that it has been created by the brand in order to present its products or services in the best possible light. “PR, however, comes with the implicit endorsement of the media outlet that is featuring your brand,” says Brooke. “That means there is much more trust and credibility around your brand because the content is being driven by an independent media outlet, not by the brand itself.”
…But PR doesn’t have to blow your budget
Many large companies employ their own in-house PR teams, and PR agencies charge thousands of dollars to provide their services to brands with money to spend. However, a new generation of companies like Handle Your Own PR are taking a do-it-yourself approach to making PR affordable for smaller companies, entrepreneurs and startups. “We offer an easy six-step process that helps you build your media contact list, write your media release with an easy-to-follow template, distribute it via our online platform, and manage the all-important follow up,” says Brooke. “Our aim is to give smaller businesses access to affordable PR that was once only available to big companies with large budgets. Smaller brands often have a much more interesting story to tell, and the media wants to hear it.”
Handle Your Own PR is just one of a few great tools you can use to get your story out to the media. Other options include:
Sourcebottle - you can respond to media requests for interviews or stories
Story Match - a great new app that is a bit like 'Tinder for journalists and stories' - you explain your story idea and if a journalist swipes right, then you chat directly
Headline Analyser - helps you write compelling headlines
Otter - changes your voice to text - a great way to get started if you aren't confident about writingthere is no time like the present to kick start your PR campaign.
To learn how - and get started straight away, or get PR coaching, visit www.handleyourownpr.com.au