• Marc Luther Thomas

PR Basics #1

Updated: Jan 6, 2020

There is only so much you can academically learn about what it takes to perform in the Public Relations industry. As such, in my short time in my PR Executive role here at Nifty, I have done a great deal of learning on the job.

PR is all about increasing exposure for your brand and building its reputation by targeting industry press in your field as well as the wider media, enabling you to get in front of potential new consumers. Here are a few tips for those of you getting into the PR industry.

PR - Public Relations

Following up

Perhaps the key thing I’ve learned so far has been the importance of following up. There is no point in sending out a press release to a long list of journalists and letting that be the end of it – you will most likely end up with zero coverage. The best way of doing this is to pick up the phone, as you are much less likely to be ignored and you can gauge what else your piece may need in order to gain coverage. This proactive approach will allow you to engage in positive dialogue with the journalist, helping to build a relationship with them which increases the likelihood of them running content you provide them with in the future.

Version Control

Press releases often have to cross numerous people’s desks and be edited multiple times before a final version is sent out to the media. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that you can easily identify and access the correct version. Changes made to a press release may appear minor, but could result in a significant change in the message that is being put across. Therefore, an earlier version can mean an entirely different story being told and result in a very unhappy client.

Tone of Voice

Each business has its own personality and character. As such, it is important to get this across in any communications written on behalf of the business, in particular on social media. It can be very easy to lose track of this when working across a variety of different clients, and can be easy to fall into the trap of writing in a generic tone.

Integration – the Niftyverse!

Through working for an integrated marketing agency, I’ve learned a lot about how PR can tie in with other forms of marketing to benefit a client. One example where this has been true for a client has been through blogs.

Blogs enable you to create engaging content for potential consumers while also benefitting search engine optimisation. To capitalise on this, I have interviewed clients about issues which their potential customers are interested in or would like to read about. From a PR perspective, this positions the client as an expert in their field and enhances their reputation. By incorporating key words from searches related to the client’s industry, search engines will increasingly view the website as trusted within that field. By regularly uploading optimised blogs, the website will be found higher on search pages, increasing the numbers of people clicking through to the website and in turn generating more sales.

It is also essential to capitalise on the power of social media for this. When any blogs are uploaded, they should also be shared on social channels. Most forms of social media require engagement on posts to increase your reach, therefore examining the numbers of shares and comments on a post, as well as things such as shares to private messages and reactions to posts. The greater your engagement, the more people your post will be exposed to.

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