We have all come across the ‘he said’, ‘she said’, chinese whisper culture that seemed to be as big a part of growing up as playtime at primary school was. And this is where most of us thankfully left it behind. But as we begin our careers, set up our own businesses and deal with important and influential transactions on an almost daily basis, we come to understand that it is still very much prevalent in our working lives. It is the act of managing and dealing with these instances that has earned itself the title of Public Relations, or PR as the cool cats say.
As we, and I am sure all of you too, are cool cats, I shall be referring to it as PR from now on…
To be more specific, PR personified would be like taking the skillset of an entire entourage and giving all that knowledge to one little dude (note the non-descript gender of dude, how very PC and PR friendly). Dress said dude in a pristine, virginal white three piece and sit on your or your organisation’s shoulders to smooth the path by creating a reputation for you with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour and there you have it – ‘The PR Fairy’. And the work tools of this dude? Why none other than what you do and say and what others do and say about you in response of course.
Now, one of the most well known examples of PR is the Press Release. This is also one of the more difficult aspects of PR to get correct. The key is not to think that all your news is newsworthy and that everyone wants to read about it. If you are doing it then chances are someone else is too so you need to be unique when finding or deciding upon your hook.
For example, employing five new staff is good but employing five new local staff to keep the city’s economy generating by boosting the local job market is better. So now it is on to the actual wording of the article. Although it is about you and no doubt you are just oozing pride, you must refrain from speaking about yourself or your company in the first person and instead reside yourself to the fact that for the purposes of the press release you will become ‘he’, ‘she’ or ‘they’.
The next thing to put on the back burner will be emotions and opinions. A press release must be objective…end of! And it is for this reason that it is often advisable to have someone experienced do it for you. Not only will a professional be able to tailor the content to a specific audience and know what to leave out and what to keep in, they will know how to go about distributing your press release which will give you a much better chance of getting it noticed.
Now, a press release may only have a short shelf life depending on the publication it is printed in, so it is always advisable to reference your release on your website and follow up with some clever marketing. As always, Début Marketing is here to help and only too happy to advise, write, relay or smooth for you – just drop us a line.