The Start Ups Guide to PR

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So, Just what Is PR?

PR, public relations or sometimes called media relations is a way of communicating to your market via print, web or broadcast. It’s a way of raising awareness of your business, your product or service and the people behind it. Then there is non media PR. This is using opportunities like speaking at events, sponsoring a local club or team or winning an industry award.

Why is PR Important?

When you start your business one of the first things you need to do is tell your customers that you’re there. Tell them about your product or service and what it can do for them. Also tell them why you’re an expert in this industry. That’s what PR does. It’s a form of marketing and should sit alongside other marketing activities like SEO and advertising.

What Makes PR different To Advertising

People are much more likely to take notice and believe something they’ve read by a journalist in a magazine or online than if they see it in an ad. Research shows that a person is 50% more likely to buy something they read an article on than if they saw it in an ad. PR is targeted, highly targeted and gets to your market much more effectively than a scattergun advertising approach.

I’m a Small Business, Would PR Work For Me?

It doesn’t matter how small you are. If you’ve got a great product or service or if you’ve got something to say about your business or the industry in which you operate then PR will work for you.

Do I need To Target The Right Media

Yes you do. This is crucial. Read the publications, find out what they write about and who the best contact is within the publication. Its no good contacting the sports writer if you’re business sells coffee. The scattergun approach does not work with PR.

Do I need To Build Media Contacts

It’s like everything else. It’s not what you know but who you know. That’s what gives you a head start. Treat journalists like you would your valued clients. Connect with them on social media and build a connection with them. This takes a lot of time and dedication. Most PR agencies have taken years to build good relations with their media contacts.

What If My Story Gets Rejected?

Press Releases need to be well written. Avoid clichés and buzz words. Don’t claim to be the most innovative or unique. Just explain why your product or service is interesting and newsworthy. If your press release gets rejected try again with a different approach. Its all about the angle and what works for the publication you’re targeting.

 

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JICWEBS is making the view a little nicer

 

Finally we got the long awaited news that JICWEBS (The UK’s Joint Industry Committee For Web Standards) has announced the next move to address online viewability.

They’ve produced guidelines for products that proport to measure the viewability of online video – part of the updated principals for viewability products which was produced by a combination of groups – including the MRC and IAB.

Spend on video advertising is rocketing with brands jumping on board because they read about the benefits and they don’t want to get left behind. Video is a powerful tool, but without proper standard measures in place the bubble will burst at some point. It’s like measuring something in yards, metres, pints, hands, Pounds and Euros. There’s no consistency, it doesn’t make sense. The current state of play can’t carry on and brands wont continue spending if they don’t think the numbers mean anything. The digital advertising industry has and will always be data driven. What data do you think is important to viewability? How will viewability standards affect your future campaigns?   With  this new standard, it’s important to keep an open mind but I welcome these guidelines, it means that video has come of age and grown up and is a serious member of the advertising team.

Read more at http://www.iabuk.net/news/jicwebs-announces-industry-move-to-tackle-video-viewability#pQhcQepzGCOKdKRD.99

 

Influencer Marketing – Catchy name but I’m not yet convinced about the effect

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Do you know what influencer marketing is? You should know because it’s the next big thing. Well, as far as marketers are concerned it is.

Influencer marketing is essentially word of mouth marketing, but on a grand scale. We’re talking bloggers, facebook live, YouNow, Social Media stars and the like all with massive amounts of followers and the power to influence them. Brands seek out these people, and they’ve got to be the right people for your brand, then get them on board and evangelizing for them. Now these people can be ordinary Joes like you and me or they can be trusted TV experts on fashion or DIY or they can be coaches or trainers or pop stars. It doesn’t matter just so long as you have the followers and more importantly their ear. This is no different to the times when we’d all throw out our old food blenders because we watched Jamie Oliver on TV blending fruit using a special machine from Italy with clever rotating, slicing blades and shiny buttons. He was our influencer then and we trusted him. But then he became a big celeb with opinions about how our kids should eat and we switched to the next “must see” cookery programme. My point is I think these influencers have a limited shelf life and brands could spend a lot of time and effort tracking them down only to find that they’ve missed the boat. We have a lot of choice online and are much less loyal to places and people we follow. So I’m yet to be convinced about influencer marketing, and as we become more savvy about how advertising and product placement works, just wonder if we’ll move on a lot quicker than advertisers would like us to.

How will PR operate in 2030?

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On 21 October last year we celebrated Back To The Future Day. We laughed as we compared Marti McFly’s world in 2015 to our own. There were some wild predictions – the hover board – and some pretty accurate visions of the future – wearable eye glass screens and video calling. Now that 2015 is firmly in the past who’d like to guess what the future holds for PR? What will our jobs be like in say 2030? That’s just 14 years away.

I think we’ll see huge changes in the way we PR agencies operate. For one we’ll be much more technical. We’ll work closely with the likes of Google to control messages and make more use of technology like video to push them out. As the response to news and stories becomes practically instant we’ll use those stories to promote our own content – a future news jacking.

We are already seeing a shift in the way publications operate, with bloggers now having a platform that’s almost as important as journalists and their features. I think this will continue with journalists and bloggers merging together as one and switching to platforms like social and video channels for their work.

PRs are already becoming experts in the industries they operate within. I think this will continue, with agencies no longer able to spread themselves thinly across multiple types of business. They’ll need to adapt and specialize or at least have sector specific teams.

Measurement will be crucial and we’ll see more data science in PR work with insight specialisms becoming part of the service.

Marty McFly’s 2015 world seemed light years away to those of us old enough to remember seeing the film back in 1985, but we’ve blinked and already it’s in the past. 2030 seems a long way ahead from now but in reality it isn’t. Let’s just hope they’ve perfected the hover board by then because it’ll save me walking.

Are PR and SEO now one and the same?

Not so long ago the roles of the PR professional and SEO expert were clearly defined. The PR was out to get news into the media, create stories that the press would report on, show how clients had just completed a great job for their client, enter awards and, if memory serves me well mingle with the good and the great at parties. The SEO on the other hand was there to get your website high on search rankings, build links, ensure that your site was optimized, research keywords and keep your site fresh and up to date. These guys were rarely at parties because they were too busy looking at algorithms.

Today things are very different. Today’s PR person is still about all the things mentioned above , perhaps with the exception of the parties bit (although if there’s one going I’m always up for it). However PR has a new dimension and a new role to play. PR now includes content. Blogs, bylines, top tips and so on, all of which are designed not only to show that their client is an expert on their subject but also to build quality links from reputable sites. The byline may be retweeted or the blog referred out in another article with links back to the originators site. Then there are connections on social media, linkedIn and so on. All of which are designed to extend a client’s reach and link back to them.

All of this keeps their content fresh and increases their rankings on search engines and it shows Google what you do. This is as much a role of the PR professional as anything else. But hang on a minute. Aren’t search rankings the job of the SEO?

Asking an SEO person to optimize your website and build links is how it used to be done. B ut not today. If you are looking for more search-engine traffic, then you need a PR strategy to work alongside your SEO plan because what you do and what Google knows about you now requires the building of a strong online brand.
After optimising your website, when you develop a SEO strategy there are now two things to consider.

1, link exchanges, e-mail requests and buying links, forums and anchor text.

2, Company partnerships, social-media, content marketing, blogging and community engagement,

The first doesn’t work anymore. The second will grow Google rankings now and into the future. Make sure you’re choosing the right one. Just a though but if you combine PR and SEO and you get PROSE.mixing

Is the press release something from a bygone age?

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I have worked with many clients over the years and I’ve written my fair share of press releases during this time. Before the days of social media it was really the only way you could get your news out there. Whether you sent the news under embargo to give a journalist an exclusive or sent it wide to increase your chances of better coverage, the press release was the key driver of your news story. These days things have changed and with journalists communicating via social media and getting their scoop via platforms like linked In does the press release still have a place in today’s changing world of PR. Well, yes it does. In fact, with artificial intelligence systems looking set to replace many marketing functions, never before has there been a need for good creative press releases. Really clever headlines that grab the attention and concise content are key to a successful press release. The human touch and clever creativity are two things that an automated system can’t replace. So, as a business, don’t let people tell you that the press release doesn’t work anymore. It does. You just have to be clever with it. Think of the angle, think of the title, look who you’re sending it to. Would it work for them? If not, change it. There’s nothing wrong with tweaking things around to fit the publication. The press release is very much alive and it’s brought out the creative side of a PR person more than ever.

We’ll be discussing this with tips on how to write a killer press release in our free webinar on 26th May “Using The Power Of PR To Elevate Your Business”. Register now to secure your place at www.gopr.co/webinar/

Create a buzz around your business through PR

Our free webinar on 26th May will give you actionable advice and top tips to promote your business and generate great media coverage. Find out how simple changes to a data mining business resulted in national coverage on the radio and in the press. Click  here to register today.

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PR tip of the day

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Press releases are a great way to get your news published in the media. The key to a great press release is a killer headline followed by a summary of the story. You want to grab the journalists’ attention among a sea of other releases they receive every day. You want them to know exactly what the story is in a sentence or two and why they should run it in. Make sure it’s well written with no typos.

Don’t give up with your press release, if it doesn’t get picked up first time round keep trying. Think how your story could fit with a feature a publication may be planning. Hashtag journorequest or response source are great tools to help you find out what journos are working on and what they’re after, whether it’s about CRO, SEO, cake making or the next great app for your phone.

Go PR is live!!!!!

We are Live!

Go PR officially launched this week. We listened to businesses owners across the UK, from new start-ups to SMEs too many told us “We’d love to do PR but we just don’t have the budget to commit to retainers.”

So we created Go PR

Go PR is the new generation PR agency. It’s fuss free, effective PR with no contracts and no retainers – just great results. Let us do your PR for you or do it yourself with our expert guidance. Our experts have been in the business for 20 years. They will share their PR knowledge and show you how to develop the materials, the strategy and the right contacts to promote your business.

Don’t get us wrong, we are not saying that there isn’t a need for traditional PR agencies, because clearly there is and most do a good job. The problem is that many businesses, especially smaller companies and start-ups, don’t have a need for long term PR. They have a product to sell or business to launch and want something that works quickly. A blast of PR activity that gets them out there, then pick up PR as and when they want it. They don’t want to be tied into contracts or commit to paying for months and months afterwards, and that’s why we created Go PR.

We’re live and ready to talk to you, so get in touch today.

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We are waiting to help grow your business.