The 5 steps to hack your own PR

Written by Sheree De Bono on 20 August 2020

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Every brand has a story and every story holds power. The only difference between brands that can effectively communicate with audiences in a way that makes them take notice – and take action – is a considered strategy. Here we’ve listed five steps to get your news published to an interested and relevant audience.

Know your audience

To create content and stories that connect, you must truly understand your audience. The best way to do this is by using the CALM approach – Consumers, Audiences, Language and Mindset.

Firstly, you need to think about who your Consumers are; who are you targeting? Knowing more about their preferences and behaviours will help you better tailor both the content and delivery.

Once you know who your consumers are, consider the wider impact this will have on your Audience – are there multiple demographics within your audience? You may need to figure out a way to appeal to each of them.

Content should be tailor-made to your audience, including the Language. Make sure it’s appropriate to the generation you’re targeting.

And one of the most important ways to connect with your audience is to adopt their Mindset. What questions might they have and what would interest and appeal to them most?

Find your angle

You may have a central idea to your story, but the first thing journalists and online audiences want to know is ‘what’s the angle?’. Imagine what the headline looks like and what would make someone want to know more.

There are usually three things to consider when creating an angle for your story:
– Is it newsworthy or topical?
– Is it existing news, but presented in a new way or with new ideas?
– Is it new voices or facts that can be added to an existing story?

Consider your messages

This is your big shot to get your story heard, so it’s best to make sure your message is clear, concise and considered. If someone has to work hard to understand what you’re trying to convey, they won’t engage with it as well as an easy-to-digest information share.

To do this, order the information of your story to put all the most important information front and centre. In journalism, they call this the ‘inverted pyramid’ – all the best stuff is at the top (think who, what, where, when, why and how), with more detail and colour to follow.

Don’t try and cram too many messages or voices into your story. If you have lots of news to share – wonderful! – but perhaps it’s best to spread out over several stories to maximise its effectiveness to persuade and engage audiences. Having talent to add their voice, personality and opinion to a piece is best to connect with audiences, however no more than 2 or 3 are needed to get the point across.

Once you’re finished double-check you haven’t left any gaps in information. Would someone who didn’t know your story have any questions after reading your content? Feel free to add in a call-to-action for audiences who might want to know more.

Be pitch perfect

If you’re pitching your story to media, think about what they’d like to land in their inbox. How can you make running with your story a piece of pie? Include rich media like quality images, sound or video with your story to make it suitable for all kinds of mediums – print, online, TV and radio.

When you send it over, remember how essential an engaging and creative subject line can be to get someone to open an email. Make it personal if you can and back it up with a short and sharp body that makes the reader want to open your attachment to know more.

If you’re pitching via phone, practice a 30-second ‘elevator pitch’ that sums up your angle and story in a way that will get the attention and interest of the person you’re pitching it to.

Always, always, always tailor your pitch to suit the publisher you’re hoping will pick it up. Show you know their audience, show you suit their tone and show them your story is one worth sharing.

Target the right media

So how do you pitch to suit? Make sure you’ve done your research on where is the best place for your story to land. What is the audience of that publisher – and does it match the audience you identified as your consumer?

Different media types work to different deadlines, these may be weeks or days in advance, or as short as 15 minutes. Be prepared to work in with whatever the media needs and deliver within any timeframes requested.

Be prepared for you or your talent to be interviewed by the media in regards to your story. The human element can be critical to getting your story run, so be sure the right spokesperson for your story is presentable, well-spoken, and is across all the messaging you want to get across. Consider media training for talent that may be used consistently.

And when targeting the media, think about whether you want to offer your story as an exclusive or not. There are pros and cons to both and it depends on the strength of your story and your relationship with the media outlet you are pitching it to.

Don’t forget to use your owned channels to keep your established and upcoming audiences informed of all your news and updates. New media means it’s never been easier to contact and connect directly with your audience, whether that’s through your website, social media or email updates.

As the Gold Coast’s most established public relations team, the professionals here at Promedia can help communicate your message clearly and effectively across traditional and new media.

Contact hello@promedia.com.au or visit www.promedia.com.au for more info.