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How To Increase Your Brand Visibility With PR Campaigns

May 26th, 2021
two women near tables

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:

Create Positive Stories About Our Clients

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).

Pitch To Media Outlets

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.

Our Client Gets Featured In The Media

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.

Context Creates Brand Strength

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.

Is It Really For Me?

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.

How To Write A Press Release That Gets Picked Up

March 12th, 2021

A press release is the document format for communicating with media outlets. Media outlets want stories. All day, every day. Or let me put it another way: Media outlets need stories. They deal in stories. And they’ll make you, your brand or your organisation as famous as you want to be, is you can give them good stories.

But the stories have to be good. If you keep sending crap to media outlets, they may blacklist you, so it’s important to do it right. At Smart And Slick PR, we help people in many industries to build their brands and bump their profiles using PR, among other techniques and strategies. In this article, we’re going to discuss how to write a press release, but specifically how to write a press release that results in media coverage.

The Format Of A Press Release

Before I talk about stories, I feel quite a few people will have found this page because they want to know the format for writing a press release. So I’ll cover that first.

The Headline

The most important part of the press release. When you send your press release, in today’s world more than likely as an e-mail, the headline is the first thing journalists will see. And if it isn’t incredibly good, it’s the only thing they’ll ever see. The purpose of the headline is to grab the journalist’s attention and make them curious – so curious that they have to read the body of the press release.

The Body

At the top of the body, you need to specify a time qualifier. If your story is for right now, that would be “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE”. If it’s for some time after now, “FOR RELEASE ON OR AFTER [INSERT DATE]”. This tells journalists when they can publish or feature your story.

The body of a press release should be just three paragraphs. In the first paragraph, explain the story in one or two lines at the most. What has happened? What is going to happen? Paragraph 2 starts with a quote and an elaboration. Paragraph 3 can include another quote and more elaboration. Do not exceed three paragraphs.

The Footer

At the bottom of the press release you need to list your contact details, as follows:

FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR TO BOOK AN INTERVIEW CALL [NAME HERE] on [MOBILE NUMBER].

Stories That Get Picked Up

Now that you know how to format a press release, let’s talk about the real crux of this business – crafting stories that get picked up. This is where the skills and experience of a PR agency like Smart And Slick PR can really help. But if you’re not ready for that yet, I’ll give you a couple of pointers to get you started.

There are two parts to getting a story picked up. The first is writing a good story. The second is pitching it to a media outlet to whom it is highly relevant. They are as important as each other. A bad story will not be picked up by anyone. But you could write a really good story and it still won’t get picked up if you send it to a media outlet to whom it is not relevant. For example, the Yorkshire Post is hardly likely to pick up a story about something that happened in Wales unless the story somehow has links to Yorkshire. I’m sure you get the idea.

Now let’s talk about stories.

It’s important to note here that while we’re writing stories, we are also writing a press release, so they story MUST be based in truth. We cannot lie. So the trick is to wrap reality in a story type that works. Let me show you what I mean. I’ll share a couple of common story types with you.

Everybody Loves An Underdog

The “underdog triumphs” story has been massively commercially successful in Hollywood for decades. People love to see and hear about an underdog winning. It’s very inspirational. You’ve probably seen the movie “Rocky“. Rocky is an underdog triumphs story.

“David Beats Golliath”

“Third Division Team Beats Premiere League Champions”

New Kid On The Block

Any startup in any industry could use this. It’s an announcement that your startup exists and is going to somehow change the industry you’re in.

“The Revolutionary New Gadget That Will Change Life Forever”

I’m sure you get the idea.

Campaigns Are Better Than One-Offs

Press releases are best used as units in a campaign. One press release may well get you featured in the media – it could even get you featured in a number of different publications within days of each other. But publicity as a strategy takes time. Consistent regular exposure is what, over a period of months or years, creates fame. And publicity campaigns require a lot more planning and consideration than a single press release does.

Need Professionals?

If you like the sound of being regularly featured in the media but writing isn’t your strong point or you just don’t have the time for all this, Smart And Slick PR would be happy to help. Get in touch today to see how we can help your business get known.