PR 101: tips and tricks

How do I get into Cosmopolitan magazine?

Our clients often come to us with a dream publication in mind; one that may resonate personally or is a household name, for example, “We’d like to be featured in Cosmopolitan.”

BUT it’s our job as your PR agency to ask questions like:

  • Is that really the best publication on which to focus our efforts?
  • Is your target audience 18-35 year-old women?
  • Are ‘white collar workers’ your high priority?

If you’re an adventure tour company specialising in female-friendly travel then the answer may indeed be “yes”, but if you’re trying to fill a premium cruise ship sailing around the British Isles, we’ll be looking at a very different set of media outlets to get your message across.

Which media outlet or social network surprised your organisation for PR/advertising/communications results?

How to maximise your PR agency’s value

So you’ve decided to invest in a PR agency and want to ensure a substantial return on investment? Some great tips for making the most of your PR agency include:

  • be open about your available budget, both for PR services and for additional spending (to execute promotions, host media etc.).
  • encourage your marketing department to work with your PR agency to ensure consistency of message, leverage any media/advertising spend, and identify any other opportunities.
  • be open to new ideas – resist the urge to say “no” as a reflex.
  • let your PR person know as soon as you’ve spoken with any media to avoid doubling up and to anticipate any emerging crises or issues.
  • similar to the above, let your PR person know immediately of any incidents that could harm your organisation’s reputation – think of your PR person as your confidante.
  • always be responsive to your PR person so any media enquiries or interview requests can be handled promptly – take too long to respond and you could miss out on a great opportunity.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on getting the most out of your PR agency.

Top 10 tips to make your media release a must-read

  1. Does your media release sound more like a brochure or a newspaper/magazine article? It should be the latter.
  2. Have you incorporated an emotional angle or alternatively, are you telling a new story? Have you thought about what’s in it for the reader and what makes it unique?
  3. Does the tone of the media release match that of your target media outlets?
  4. Have you ensured your media release has been customised for broadcast media as opposed to print or digital media e.g. visual opportunities for television and interviewees or sound bites for radio?
  5. Have you included a website or a call to action and appropriate contact details?
  6. Is everyone who could be a spokesperson for this story available for media interviews and able to respond quickly?
  7. Have you uploaded related images and videos online or in a file-sharing program such as Dropbox with a caption guide and credits for all images?
  8. Have you pasted the text in the body of the email so it can be read on a mobile device? You can also attach a Word document but do not attach a pdf (this drives journalists mad)!
  9. Will your subject line make the recipient want to open the email – is it short and sharp with something compelling like an interesting statistic from the release?
  10. Except in a crisis or other exceptional circumstances, the days of mass mail-outs are over. Make sure you email your release to the right media outlets and individualise your approach.