How to get your name in the papers
To the purist PR is much more than publicity, but for the purposes of this brief article, we’ll stick to this topic. You may want to get your firm’s name into your relevant trade press, local paper or occasionally the nationals (this will take a lot of effort).
Remember the old journalist’s creed that you stand more chance of being written up if you can tie the story to Royalty, babies, animals, crime, celebrities . . . and sex.
Five years ago we all wrote press releases, in double spacing with wide margins. Today we all send emails and digital photos. Simple, quick – but very easy for the editor to “delete”.
What you write remains the same:
- write news, not a “puff” for the firm
- give the beef in the first sentence, most stories can be told in three paragraphs: if the editor wants more he will ask (maybe)
- include a good sharp relevant photo (for more on photography please click here)
- use quotes from the happy customer to lighten the story
- make it topical
Finish with a word count and contact details.
Most businesses should be able to dream up a story every quarter, some more often. Sub editors are always looking for space fillers, nice compact three paras with a photo where possible. For more on how to write an effective press release, please click here.
Look ahead for press deadlines: colour magazines often work 2-3 months ahead.
What makes news
What is commonplace to you, because it happens every week, may be of interest to the reader. I regret to say that for much of the press, the more trivial the item the more chance you may have of making print. For example I have a client who supplied The Palace with a dog basket. So what? HM buys a dog basket. But The Sun got to hear of it, found a local Corgi breeder, and rushed a photographer down, invented a price which was way over the top – and my client made the national press.
The trade press
Every activity known to man has a special magazine. Many have quite small circulations, 4000 or so, but if they go to all the right people then there’s no wastage. Find what’s published by looking in BRAD (British Rate & Data) that lists over 13000 media. Find a copy in your local library. There is nothing to approach it on-line. And remember that 40% of buying decisions are made via the trade press.
PR projects your corporate image
Make sure that your branding and image is carried through everything you do, from your stationery and even wrapping tape to service vans. This family firm designs, makes and services industrial balers nationwide and numbers most of the supermarkets and logistics depots amongst its impressive customer base.