Here at Mosaic we have found time and again that the key to successful PR is to employ creative people who have excellent track records either in PR or journalism and who never give up!
Journalists today are under increasing pressure, especially those who work in the printed medium. On a daily basis they will receive anything between 100 and 400 emails and will attempt to go through all of them sorting the wheat from the chaff. Or will they?
Those organisations that decide to opt for DIY PR can quite easily reach a dead end with their stories being dismissed before the email has even been read.
As an experienced PR company in Essex, which has been in business for over 15 years, and one that has embraced the rapidly changing media world, we write stories for all forms of media.
Here is a brief outline of what the media wants: radio is not interested in pictures, it’s all about what sounds accompany the story, so it could be a good case study interview bringing a story to life. When we pitch stories to TV, we have to be thinking about the moving pictures to accompany a story.
Print media need good still photography – a good “press” picture for the story and digital media loves bullet points and “How to…” stories and we pepper these with key words and links to drive traffic to client websites.
Above all, these stories need to inform the public about something, or someone, not an advertising puff. Go down that route and you’ll be sent to the advertising department and asked to pay for space/airtime.
Our top tips for successful PR:
- It’s all about the story. Knowing what is news is vital and not all businessmen and woman will automatically know where to find the news in their organisation and what news organisations would be best to pitch them to.
- By writing engaging press releases we can grab the attention of your intended reader within the first 20 seconds because with over 100 emails to read, the journalist’s finger will be hovering over the delete button.
- Of course it helps to build up a rapport with the journalists you want to pitch your stories to on a regular basis, but our experience is newsroom personnel can change rapidly, so it’s best to use all the tools at our disposal.
- Writing an active title for the story in the “subject” heading is vital. Imagine if everyone simply put “press release” or “Essex story” in the subject heading. The minute they hit the send button that story is destined for the “recycle” bin.
- If you are going down the route of DIY PR, are you sure you have the skills to chase the story by phone – ‘Selling in’? It takes some experience to engage a busy journalist in conversation to remind them of the story and bring it to life
We recently achieved national publicity for a client, Essex law firm Birkett Long, by selling in a story to Farmers Weekly in relation to the legal minefield navigated by farmers and landowners repairing sea walls, often at their own expense.
Mosaic supplied a briefing note about a story we felt we could provide to the publication. It took a full three weeks of emails and telephone conversations with Farmers Weekly before we finally heard back that they wanted 800 words!
Based on our experience, we knew we had a good story and, given the time to consider our briefing note, there was a good chance the publication would come back and say yes. We were right.
Sarah Watson, Marketing Executive at Birkett Long, said:
“If it wasn’t for Mosaic knowing that we had a good story and a story that the publication would want, we would have just given up.”
“Having regular contact with the publication and making sure they knew Mosaic had a good story ready for them and all they had to do was say yes, meant that we were able to feature in a great publication perfect for one of our sector teams.”
Writing copy for the web? Take a look at our top ten tips for writing captivating website copy.