The Internet consists of billions upon billions of websites and yet there are only several hundred that people visit directly. Most of the others are accessed either via a search engine or via a social media platform. Many of the websites that people visit directly are topical content websites which post new content about news and topical events on a virtually continuous basis.
These websites include local and national news outlets as well as niche specific magazines and blogs. All of them are slaves to the 24 hour news cycle. At Smart & Slick, we help both the topical content websites and our clients by creating stories that benefit both sides. As a result, we help the topical news websites with their unrelenting content problem, and we help our clients to increase their brand visibility.
Here’s how we do it:
Every PR campaign begins with a goal. What are we trying to achieve? What does our client want to achieve? Product and event launch campaigns have a different shape to general continuous campaigns.
We begin by brainstorming stories about our client. The stories have to be positive (e.g. they put our client in a good light) and they have to be true (we cannot write things that are not true or did not really happen).
Next, we pitch each story to a newspaper or magazine that we think will find it relevant. Sometimes the same story goes to multiple publications and other times we’ve gone for a very niche angle in order to get extended coverage in a niche publication.
In order to maintain good relationships with media outlets, we are careful to only pitch stories to them that we think they will be interested in. ‘Spray and pray’ is not the right approach.
If we’ve done our job right, very shortly (within about a week), we’ll start to see stories surfacing on the Internet featuring our client and exposing their business and/or brand to thousands upon thousands of people. Some of those people will benefit from the products and services that our client is selling and may well look the client up directly via a Google search. If our client’s website has done some basic SEO (which we often help with), people will find them.
We do not stop there. PR, as a marketing technique, works because of repetition. Given the extremely noisy world we live in, a single exposure to a new idea (in this case a brand) is unlikely to result in many sales unless it is immediately relevant to somebody who happens to read about it.
For example, if a foodie reads about a new restaurant or cafe in their area that’s just opened, a short sharp burst of media exposure might result in selling a few sandwiches because people need food several times a day (making it immediately relevant) and our particular reader in this instance is very passionate about food and therefore likely to break whatever current pattern they have for grabbing lunch in order to try out the new place.
But for most campaigns, repeated exposure over a longer period of months or years is required. The aim here is to increase the general awareness of a brand and make people aware of the context in which the brand can help them. It is this context, communicated through stories, out of which a brand is really born.
This type of context takes time to create because everybody doesn’t read every news article or topical story. It takes 3-5 instances of repeated exposure to something before the average person really notices it.
You have probably had an experience where you think, “What is this thing I keep hearing about?” because you’ve heard a new word – probably a brand name or person – mentioned several times over a few weeks or months.
This is PR at work.
PR can help you regardless of the size of your organisation. In fact, in many cases, small businesses will reap the benefits more quickly than larger companies. If you’d like to discuss with us what we can do for you, get in touch and we’ll take it from there.