Whether you’re a consummate relationship builder or a bonafide PR powerhouse, you understand the pains of crafting the perfect pitch, cherry-picking your topical media targets, dayparting your press release to the minute #likeaboss and then only to hear….nothing.
No polite exchanges of “thanks for sending we’ll keep on hand.”
Not even a dreaded, “not a good fit” email.
As seasoned pros, we’ve all experienced a PR pitch gone astray. So how do we address the elephant in the room and troubleshoot issues for a big PR play? Here are three challenges to consider and possible solutions for each:
CHALLENGE: “Why haven’t we been covered?” Due to the time sensitivity of the financial market, business and real estate industries often see super short lead times. “Pushing play” on these announcements can often lead to quick pick up, with the right reporter in place. Mind you, this tactic is not a one-size-fits-all approach…
On the flip side, “lifestyle” announcements are often centered around seasonality or deemed “evergreen,” which means the content is not time sensitive and can be covered at any given time, based on the season.
SOLUTION: Play the long game. – Plan ahead for announcements, as lifestyle editors and reporters work within set editorial schedules that have extensive lead times of up to (4) months in advance. Use this time to build authentic relationships within your network and combat a lapse in coverage by shifting into influencer marketing with consumer products, services and lifestyle content plays.
CHALLENGE: “Why can’t we guarantee coverage?”
SOLUTION: Don’t mistake PR for hype. — PR is part of the marketing ecosystem and a continuous exercise in building brand awareness. Any PR expert worth their salt will not readily guarantee media coverage. However, with a calculated understanding of both the industry and the editorial landscape, we can guide the conversation towards the likelihood of coverage and the timeliness of procurement.
CHALLENGE: “What sales will we see with this announcement?” The traditional press is very rarely the right audience for a company — we tend to look at journalists as the target rather than a vehicle for reaching a target. PR isn’t just for publicity or driving awareness and sales. It can also assist in securing sponsorships, pitching new business or selling a business due to its positive effect on a credibility and image.
SOLUTION: Widen the lens. — Media coverage is just one tool used to enhance a brand. Outside of securing media stories, there is a vast spectrum of public relations services that can assist in storytelling. Media coverage gained through public relations is validation of spending resources, but it’s not as clear-cut as coverage earned.