10 of the best – what a decade in the PR trenches has taught me

10 of the best – what a decade in the PR trenches has taught me - Greg Simpson, Press for Attention

I celebrated my 10th anniversary of business on April 1st. Yes, the date was intentional, after all, who else would try and start a new agency during the crash of 2008?

I have learned a lot in the last decade that can make a real difference to your PR campaign. You don’t care that my hair is a little greyer but you might care to take a look at the 10 tips I’ve outlined below.

They are in no particular order but hopefully you will find them useful to help drive your PR campaign this year.

1.Think win/win/win. That’s right. There’s 3 sides in every story. Your side, your audience’s side AND the media’s side. Make sure everybody gets something out of it.

2. Think in pictures. Editorial photography is an investment, not a cost. If the photo you provide looks dull, why would the media use it versus a similar story with a better photo?

3. So what? What changes? Make sure that whatever it is you are communicating makes a difference to the reader, not just your ego.

4. Beware coffee table coverage. It might look great on the wall or in reception but does the coverage you get actually drive attention from your target market? The Times isn’t the goal for everyone.

5. Who needs to know this? Make sure you know your target audience and you know that what you are telling them is interesting, entertaining or informative. Why not all three?

6. What do they NEED to know. Be clear in the message you are trying to convey. Your audience should be able to tell someone next to them what just happened.

7. Why are you doing this? Do you have a strategic goal for your PR campaign or did you just think it was ‘about time we did something’? Make sure you are clear on your objectives.

8. Timing is everything. Don’t plan an elaborate PR campaign launch as you are about to go on holiday or if you cannot cope with demand if it suddenly peaks following coverage.

9. Think like a journalist as well as a marketer. Get in the heads of your target media and see how you can help them to sell more copies or clicks thanks to your useful content.

10. Don’t give up. It may take you a while to gain some traction with the media but if you follow the rules above, if you play the game so that everyone wins, it will be worth the effort. So here’s to the next 10 years and whatever new challenges they will bring. Maybe I can help you with some of yours.

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