Creating a Public Relations Campaign

Wednesday, August 21 at 09:20 AM
Category: Business Banking

There are two general ways to get favorable exposure in the media:

  • Advertising, which is buying space or airtime to deliver your message to the media.
  • Public relations, which is taking advantage of the media’s need for content by becoming the story.

Advertising allows you to control what is printed about you, your product or your company, but it can be expensive, and readers can perceive advertisements as bias. Using a public relations approach may reduce your control over what is printed, but it is usually free and may enable your message to be viewed by the reader as news or unbias information.

Keep in mind the press (newspapers, magazines and trade publications) are continually looking for newsworthy information. The reporters and writers of these publications must create content to fill their "space" in a timely manner. Providing this content for them improves your chance of being published. The key is crafting your message in a manner they can and will use. A press release is a great way to do this.

Use a press release. A press release is simply a document that contains summary information about a topic or event you want to promote. Keep in mind journalists are regularly bombarded with press releases, so yours will need to stand out. Create and target your press release to appeal to both the journalist and the journalist’s reader.

Establish reason for the release. There must be something of value or "newsworthy" in your release. It may be the introduction of a new product, the launch of a new website, the announcement of a new major customer or the hiring or promotion of an employee. You can also create a news item that will be attractive for a story, such as the results of a survey on a significant topic related to your customers and your business.

Write an effective release. A press release usually conforms to a standard format. It should include enough information to enable the journalist to write a short story. When possible, include a quote from an authoritative person in your company. Include a brief background about your company and the products or services it provides. Be sure to include your contact information so the journalist can reach you for more information or to write a longer article.

Distribute the release effectively. After creating the release, create a plan to distribute it. If the ultimate audience is consumers, then send it to local newspapers and magazines. If the audience is a certain type of business, then send the release to all of the trade publications your customers read.

When possible, direct the release to the specific person who is most likely to write about your topic. Look at past copies of trade publications for reporters’ names. If the release is about a new product or employee promotion, then find the editor of the section of the publication that deals with those items. If you can’t find a specific writer’s name, then send the release to the publication’s editor. The more personal the address, the more likely it is to be noticed. If you email the release, then incorporate the release into the body of the email instead of sending an attachment.

Nurture a relationship with the writer. Journalists are always looking for sources of good article ideas. Position yourself as an insightful and informed expert in your market. You never know when you might have the opportunity to be in the spotlight again.

The views of this article are for general information use only. Please contact and speak with a subject expert or your banker when specific advice is needed. Find articles like this and much more in the online Arvest Biz Center.

Tags: Arvest Biz, Business Banking
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