PR (public relations) is an incredibly important part of your company’s structure. It not only helps build credibility for your brand; it also increases visibility of your company/ products, as well as being key in limiting any damage.

Here are our top 7 tips for creating a better PR campaign:

  1. Create a compelling press release:
    This is obviously a big topic, but our top tips would be to keep it factual, newsworthy and relevant. Put all the main information within the first paragraph of text (who/ what/ where/when/ why), then go into more detail in subsequent paragraphs. Sending in a high resolution photograph (300dpi) with your press release can also help it get more coverage – check out the media you are targeting with your release to see what type of images they tend to use.
  2. Create a targeted PR database:
    You can buy a list from a company such as Vuelio, PRNewswire or Gorkana. However, have you thought about researching your own list to ensure you get the right contacts on your database? Better still, to make sure they’re the right contact, research them via their social media profiles, such as LinkedIn or Twitter. It does take a lot longer to produce the list, but we’ve found that you can get much better results.
  3. Consider using a Newswire:
    By distributing your press release via a newswire as well as to your database can really increase your coverage. Depending on which package you use, distribution can cost less than £100 per release. It’s also beneficial for your website’s SEO and creating in-bound links. Plus, many of the sites offer reporting as standard, so you’ll see which websites have picked up your news.
  4. Distribute your press release using an email distribution system:
    We’ve found that by distributing the release using an email system (such as Mailchimp, for example), you can see which journalists have opened up your email. You can even see if they have forwarded the email or clicked any weblinks, which makes it easier when carrying out follow-up calls.
  5. Do selected follow-up calls:
    Once you’ve sent your press release out to your database, it’s worth cherry-picking the most relevant journalists, or perhaps ones you can see have opened up your emails (see point 4 above), and follow-up with a phone call up to a week after the email’s been sent. It’s also a good way of building good relations with journalists, although don’t over-do it as journalists often have tight deadlines, so be respectful, keep the call succinct yet friendly and try to call at the most convenient time for them.
  6. Maximise coverage using your own in-house tools:
    Add a website-friendly version of your press release to your own website news/ blog page; then promote it via your social media platforms; and include the news within an email/ newsletter to your database (or relevant contacts within your database). If it’s major news, add a weblink to the news on your email signature, too.
  7. Check out Forward Features Lists:
    Some publications create a ‘forward features’ list, which is a list of topics that the specific media is covering in the future. You can often find these on the media’s website within their media pack. Make a note of relevant ones for the future, or perhaps if your press release ties in with an upcoming topic, call the relevant person to discuss (usually the features editor).

Written by Emma Estridge, Director of Mushroom Marketing Ltd.  Emma founded Mushroom Marketing in 2004 and has accumulated her PR and marketing experience within a variety of sectors, including music, insurance, construction, medical, legal, packaging, technology, manufacturing, print, not-for-profit and more.