We recently had the pleasure of hosting the Norfolk Women’s Marketing Network at our headquarters in Norwich. The event was a great opportunity to bring together the lovely marketing folks of Norwich to have a good chat, meet new people and share our knowledge.
The theme for this month’s event: Traditional vs Digital PR, featuring our very own Digital PR expert, Matt Hartley, on the panel alongside Amanda Bunn of Luminous PR (https://luminouspr.com/), Hannah Freeman of Plain Speaking PR (https://www.plainspeakingpr.co.uk/), Mark Sowersby of Shorthose Russell (https://www.shorthose-russell.co.uk/), and expertly hosted by Grace Appleby of Yawn Marketing (https://yawnmarketing.co.uk/).
We kicked off with probably the biggest question of the night: Traditional vs Digital, what’s the difference? The panellists all unanimously agreed that there isn’t a competition between the two – Digital PR is the natural evolution of Traditional PR. The world of PR has changed a lot over the last 20 years due to the changes in how we consume news media. No longer confined to newspapers and glossy magazines that get published daily, weekly, monthly – we can now consume the news 24 hours a day online. We’ve all heard the analysis that attention spans have been shortened due to our new digital world, and this means PRs need to focus more than ever on making sure they create a great story.
Here’s some of the other key takeaways about what makes good PR:
- To create a campaign, it’s important to work with the brand to create some objectives – the classic marketing question of ‘What does success look like?’. Once you’ve got the aims, make sure they are realistic.
- The main component of any good PR campaign hinges on having a strong hook, a reason for journalists to write about your story and for the general public to want to read about your news.
- Understanding your audience is key to making sure you’re targeting the most relevant publications, be that trade press or B2C publications.
- You need a good spokesperson from the brand, someone with enthusiasm for the product or service and excellent insight, who is readily available for comment.
- Journalist relationships have moved on from cold calling – now it’s all about the email approach. With this in mind, make sure to spend time on your subject line, include statistics, shock factor style subject lines, or you could always go for ‘Free Beer’ and see the email opens flood in.
- Think about your PESO – Paid (e.g. Advertorial), Earnt (e.g. traditional PR approach), Shared (e.g. Social channels), and Owned (e.g. Website content). Brands should aim to have a strategy to work and maintain all four strands. Don’t neglect the SEO value that PR can bring to your brand and website. There’s always an opportunity to include relevant links back to your website, which will play a vital role in boosting your brand authority, as well as your website authority.
One final observation from the night… ‘Getting a start up on the front page of the Times probably means you’ve done something to say the brand is in a crisis’. This all comes back to being comfortable in pushing back on what a client thinks that they need when it comes to PR. Don’t shy away from offering valuable insights from your experience to help steer clients in the right direction.