Ways to Anchor The Story to Media
Public relations is a very broad subject and every PR professional has certain focus areas they enjoy. Before starting my own business, my focus area was internal communications and crisis communications supporting the Department of Defense. The experience taught me a lot but it was very dry and not fun. I wanted something I could enjoy day in and day out. So I went outside my wheelhouse into fashion and accessories supporting their product placement PR and pitching a brand’s story. And I LOVE it. It has almost been a year starting my business and I have learned a lot about ways of pitching a brands story to get it anchored with the media.
Craft A Story They Can’t Resist
I’m lucky to have clients that have a unique story of how they got started, how they’ve grown and the cornerstones they abide by but sometimes I have dealt with past employers and clients who don’t know their story. So first step is to lock down the story. Ask questions like:
Why did they start their business?
How did the product or service unfold?
What were your goals at the time you started and how have they changed?
What values do you hold in your business and do they play in your operations, culture or product/service?
Treat this Q&A like an interview as this will be helpful when crafting talking points when your employer/client interviews with media. The answers that unfold will assist you with different ways of pitching elements of the story. For example, I’m going to hype on a brand’s story that I truly love and I’m obsessed with their fleece! Dudley Stephens abides by three cornerstones: Do Good, Feel Good, Look Good.
Do Good, emphasizes the use of recycled yarn and how they’re giving back to the community in saving this material from the landfill and keeping our community clean. Sustainability has been a growing subject in media lately and it will continue to grow as this audience will never go away.
Feel Good, is where the product placement PR comes in. Us PR professionals will need to rave about the light weight, comfy feels and low maintenance. These benefits will draw editors and journalists attention when putting together gift guides, one-off product features or your product may be included in an arranged media photo shoot.
Look Good, influencer marketing can be a great tool when showcasing the look of the product in an authentic way. Dudley Stephens has successfully executed influencer marketing as you can see from their Instagram. The founders of the brand, which are two sisters that reside in CT, have become friends with some well-known influencers and they even went to their recent holiday party!
All I can say is, keep doing what you’re doing Dudley!
Get Creative With Your Pitches
Traditional press releases are still being written by PR professionals and reviewed by media but the game has changed as creative tactics have taken a play in keeping media even more engaged with pitches. Short, simple, attention grabbing videos can be embedded into press releases when using particular PR tools. This allows for media to see a short interview with the founder of the business, how the product/service works, or a unique customer testimonial that emphasizes the brands story.
Another creative asset to utilize is an infographic. An infographic can share how a product is made, sales and revenue of the business or employee demographics of the business. Depending on the subject of the pitch, there are many ways to craft this but it needs to be fully comprehensive as the media tends to breeze over releases and you want to make them stop dead in their tracks.
Once You Anchor Keep Reeling Them In
If you know of a reporter or journalist that highly enjoys your employers/clients story, keep them in your network. You never know what other stories they make work on in the future. Send them “check-in” notes, invite them for coffee, ask them what they’re working on…you get the picture. But I try not to be so “salesy” with it if you know what I mean. Journalists, editors, producers, etc. are all people and if you treat them as a colleague, friend, co-worker they will respect you.
I highly recommend balancing all of these tips out and not just focus on one. Each of these is important and I have found them to be successful with my clients thus far. I’m sure I’ll stumble upon more along my consulting journey.