11. Public Relations / Media Relations

1. overview 2. planning 3. swot 4. marketing plan 5. marketing mix 6. product
7. price 8. promotion 9. place 10. literature 11. public relations 12. promos
13. advertising 14. sponsorship 15. sales

Public Relations / Media Relations

Public Relations is, in my opinion, a vastly underrated and under used weapon in the marketing armoury - particularly so because of its potentially low-cost.

With advertising, for every £10,000 spent you will be able to acquire £10,000 worth of advertising space -- whether it be on TV, on radio, or in a magazine. The beauty of a Public Relations campaign is that £10,000 of spend can generate £100,000 or more of communication space if you know what you're doing.

There is a range of activities which can be included under the "public relations" banner and might involve liaison with a whole raft of organisations such as opinion formers, trade associations, influencers and of course journalists. As mentioned earlier however (literature) the argument needs to be pitched quite differently at all these various groups. By composing copy aimed at these different groups and incorporating it into press releases etc. a very efficient and productive communication programme can be implemented for relatively little budget. Once again the key is the ability to understand what information these different readers would find interesting and want to read.

Let's assume you have a locally based or regionally based business, and your customers are therefore local consumers. Your local newspaper is constantly looking for stories to publish and most businesses (even yours) will have events every now and again that are worthy of coverage in the local press. A simple press release can be put together and, provided it is pitched appropriately, stands every chance of being picked up by the local journalist. The same situation exists if you are operating in the business to business environment. These local newspapers still carry business sections of some description and hence would be interested in local business stories.

trade press

If this strategy is successfully followed, over a period of time opportunities invariably present themselves which really can provide your company with openings to communicate what would not be available to any of your competitors.

The Trade Press

Do you liaise regularly with your various trade publications, either in person or in writing? It has never ceased to amaze me how often I acquire novel and inexpensive marketing ideas over a cup of coffee with an editor or journalists from one of these publications. Why not let us visit some of your trade journalists and open up these communication channels? Another by-product of this approach is that very often they will then come to your company and ask your advice and views when they next come to write an article on your industry/market sector. There is no reason why members of your own management team cannot takeover from these activities once I have been able to set up the core system. Hence my comments at the beginning of this page about the cost effectiveness of the PR weapon.

10 tips for an effective Press Release

The first simple step towards starting a public relations campaign. Here are10 tips to help your press release makes the news.

1. Make sure the information is as newsworthy as possible.

2. Tell the audience that the information is intended for them and why they should continue to read it.

3. Start with a brief description of the news, then distinguish who announced it, and not the other way around.

4. Ask yourself, "How are people going to relate to this and will they be able to connect?"

5. Make sure the first 10 words of your release are effective, as they are the most important.

6. Avoid excessive use of adjectives and fancy language.

7. Deal with the facts

8. Provide as much contact information as possible: Individual to contact, address, phone, fax, email, Web site address.

9. Make sure you wait until you have something with enough substance to issue a release.

10. Make it as easy as possible for the journalists to do their jobs.

11. Do not give up! How many customers buy from you the first time they hear from you? The same situation exists here - but establishing contact with them is the first hurdle.

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Thanks for the website Ian.
As you stated, I have had a steady stream of enquiries since setting me up on the internet.
Morning Ian, just a short note to say 'thankyou' for the work on my website. Not only am I pleased with the way it looks, but I could not believe it when I got my first enquiry from it only a few days after its completion. All you said would happen has indeed happened.
Thank you very much for your kind help. It is really a good advice for my marketing plan.

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Hi Ian Just a short note to tell you we have had a very good season, an excellent sales increase so we should be ok now the autumn is here and going very soon into Winter.. . . . . . . . .
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Sports Outlets
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....... I have also noticed the success of extra clicks! Business is also up by at least 15 percent from last year. Regards
Owner (Dry Cleaners)

I would just like to bring a ray of sunshine to your day (well it did for me).
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