Business Franchisor

BASIC PR RULES IF YOU WANT TO UNDERTAKE YOUR OWN

MANY PEOPLE HAVE HEARD OF PR OR PUBLIC RELATIONS. FEW ARE KEEN TO ADMIT THAT ALTHOUGH THEY HAVE HEARD THE BUZZ WORD PR THROWN AROUND, THEY DON’T WANT TO ADMIT THAT THEY DON’T REALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT PR IS OR HOW IT CAN HELP THEIR BUSINESS.

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What is PR or Public Relations?

PR is the way that an organisati­on communicat­es with its internal and external stakeholde­rs.

PR falls under the Promotion category in the Marketing Mix.

The Marketing Mix is made up of four facets known as the 4P’s plus the businesses target audience. The 4P’s are Product, Price, Place and Promotion. PRODUCT is the physical product sold including the way that the product is packaged. PRICE is your pricing strategy including warranties, guarantees, vouchers, special offers.

PLACE is the place that the product can be purchased in a physical bricks and mortar store or if it is an online e- commerce store. Place also includes the business’s distributi­on channels.

PROMOTION encompasse­s advertisin­g, in store promotions and Public Relations.

What is the difference between Advertisin­g and PR?

Advertisin­g is the paid placement of a controlled message. The business chooses the size of the advert, where it is placed and the graphic and message it wishes to pay to get across to it’s target audience.

PR is editorial placement that is placed by a third party. The message can be shaped and molded but not controlled. PR adds credibilit­y to a brand as it is not a paid advert. PR can help a brand, whether large or small, create brand recognitio­n, loyalty and awareness.

Richard Branson has said that a good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front-page ad.

Bill Gates has stated that if he were down to his last dollar, he would spend it on PR.

Now that you understand what PR is, how it falls under the colourful umbrella of Marketing and that it can give your brand, product or service credibilit­y, awareness, recognitio­n and loyalty, you need to know where and how to get your own business PR.

Many larger companies with bountiful budgets can hire the services of an in- house PR profession­al, dedicated to PR. Global businesses have entire PR department­s. Multi- nationals have both PR department­s and agencies. Businesses who do not want an internal PR employee, can hire an external, specialist PR agency. Most agencies will work on a retainer basis. If your business has budget and can afford an agency, then this is the first avenue that you can look into for your business.

SME’s on the other hand can either try to undertake PR themselves or they can try and source a PR consultant that will work for them on a freelance basis.

If you decide to undertake PR on your own, you will need to make sure that you have the correct PR tools to begin fleshing out your first PR campaign.

Before commencing your PR campaign, you will need to create a press kit. Your press kit includes a press release, your logo, high resolution images for print use, low resolution images for online use as well as your head shot and bio if relevant to your business.

The press release has evolved over the years. Once it was the ‘ be all and end all’ of your PR campaign, but times have changed and with the digital world innovating on a daily basis, press releases are not the knot that ties your campaign together anymore.

In saying that, press releases are still necessary. Many key media outlets still request the traditiona­l press release.

When writing your press release, make sure that it is newsworthy and interestin­g. Journalist­s receive thousands of press releases and pitches. Make yours stand out by creating a short, sharp and newsworthy headline.

Ensure that your press release is about one page in length. Your press release needs to have an introducti­on, body and conclusion. It needs to explain who, why, what and when plus include media contact details.

Your press release can include a headline, subheading, date, introducti­on, body and conclusion. Your body will also need to include a quote from a key spokespers­on in your business.

At the end of your press release state your media contact details. If the media wish to interview you, pursue your story or if they need PR assets such as photos of your product or your head shot, they need to be able to contact you.

Once you have bolted out your press kit which includes your images, bio and press release, you will need to decide which media to target with your pitch.

Your pitch is the way that you explain your story and brand story to the media. It is how you convey your newsworthy story or idea. Your pitch needs to be short, sharp and focused. You should not ramble when developing your pitch.

If you are delivering your pitch on the phone, it needs to grab the media’s attention in 30 seconds. If you are writing out your pitch in an email, keep it to one to two paragraphs in length.

If the journalist is interested in your pitch, they will ask for more informatio­n including your press release and images etc. They may also request an interview with the key spokespers­on quoted in your press release.

Now that you have your press kit, press release, images and pitch ready, you are ready to handle your own PR.

The best way to flesh out your media list, is to think about what type of media your target market or target audience consumes.”

How do you know who to target? Which media outlets should you contact?

The best way to flesh out your media list, is to think about what type of media your target market or target audience consumes. You can also ask yourself what type of media you would love to see your brand, product or service in.

If you sell baby, parenting, maternity or children’s products then you will need to target parenting media.

If you sell travel related products or services, then you will need to target travel media as well as lifestyle media.

If your product or service is more niche and targets a specific niche media, then focus all your PR efforts in this area.

Your media list may vary per PR campaign. For one particular PR campaign you may want to focus on mass media and for another campaign you may want to focus on business media. Your press releases and messages will need to be adapted and localised depending on who and when you are targeting specific media outlets.

Media Outlets include Print, Online, TV, Radio.

Print can be divided into long- lead media which are print publicatio­ns such as magazines which are nutted out 2-3 months prior to release.

Print media also includes weekly magazines or journals and both weekly and daily newspapers. These are short- lead print publicatio­ns.

Online media is short lead as informatio­n and news stories can be uploaded immediatel­y. Digital PR can help with your SEO and can be linked through your social media accounts and marketing newsletter­s.

TV outlets can be targeted depending on the time and type of show that you are targeting. Are you targeting morning shows or breakfast shows, the news or evening shows? Is your content lifestyle based or is it tailored to a business show or a health show? Pitch to the show that correctly meets your PR requiremen­ts and make sure that your pitch matches their viewer requiremen­ts. When it comes to radio, are you targeting consumer news radio, breakfast shows, afternoon or drive time shows, afternoon shows, sports shows, health shows or lifestyle shows? Just like TV, you need to think of who their listeners are and if your pitch matches their show and listener requiremen­ts.

Other ways that you can get PR and brand recognitio­n for your brand is through giveaways and competitio­ns. You can also offer samples or gifts to influencer­s, media and celebritie­s.

Start- ups, small businesses and medium sized businesses can use their personal stories, business stories, products, services and expertise to graciously grab a share of the PR pie.

Public Relations is not just for large, global and multi- national businesses. PR can help your startup or SME grow from start- up to stardom in an authentic, organic and credible manner.

If you want your business to grow in a costeffect­ive, organic manner, then sit down and brainstorm your next PR campaign.

Candice has recently written a book,

The Power of PR for start ups and small business and is available for pre- order:

Online media is short lead as informatio­n and news stories can be uploaded immediatel­y. Digital PR can help with your SEO and can be linked through your social media accounts and Marketing newsletter­s.”

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 ??  ?? Candice Meisels is a PR Consultant specialisi­ng in start- ups and small businesses. Her passion is to assist start- ups and entreprene­urs achieve brand awareness and media coverage with limited budget. Candice has worked in PR management, strategy and implementa­tion for the 15 years. She has worked for companies based in Europe, the UK and South Africa and Australia. Candice is also a PR Lecturer, speaker and assessment examiner.
Candice Meisels is a PR Consultant specialisi­ng in start- ups and small businesses. Her passion is to assist start- ups and entreprene­urs achieve brand awareness and media coverage with limited budget. Candice has worked in PR management, strategy and implementa­tion for the 15 years. She has worked for companies based in Europe, the UK and South Africa and Australia. Candice is also a PR Lecturer, speaker and assessment examiner.
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