Interesting article over at The Press Gazette earlier today which reported that the number of people calling themselves journalists has dropped by 6,000 in the last two years. There are now 64,000 journalists. Meanwhile the number of people calling themselves a PR executive has risen by 18,000 to a whopping 55,000 in the same time frame.
Put simply there are a lot of PR’s out there. And PR sounds like a fun job too. It looks cool on a business card. It trips off the tongue, ‘I’m in PR.’ But what many people forget is that behind the perceived glamour there is a lot of hard work.
Here are 4 tips to consider when choosing your PR.
ONE – DO THEY HAVE THE RIGHT CONTACTS?
Do they have the contacts? As with many industry sectors it pays to get a PR agent who is connected to the right people. Agencies that don’t have these connections have to put a lot of effort into finding out who the journalistic movers and shakers are in a specific sector. We recently placed a cosmetic surgery client in the Sun Womens section. This came as a result of a freelance health and beauty journalist that regularly contributes to the newspaper coming to us to see if we could assist.
Journalists often call us when they need case studies or interviews with leading health and medical practitioners.
TWO – ARE THEY GRAFTERS?
Many people think that PR is like some sort of Ab Fab world full of Bolly and Soho parties. The actual truth of effective PR is that you need to create a story and then go and sell it. This usually means lots of writing followed by a lot of phone calls, followed by a lot of follow ups and then lots more follow ups. Sometimes we can pitch 30 journalists with a story until we get a bite. This can’t take place in a bar in Soho. Actually it takes place in our office in Leamington!
(Also, remember if they have a Soho address you’re paying for part of the rent.)
THREE – DO THEY THINK ABOUT WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU?
Of course everyone wants to get in the Daily Mail. Who wouldn’t want to be seen by 2 million people. But sometimes we can get fixated on the big hitting media and overlook the smaller more niche avenues. Although local press has been weakened by the internet, many still survive and are read by a loyal and, more importantly, relevant readership. We recently ran a campaign for Nuffield Health hospital in Leamington and secured readership in 4 local papers and one speciality trade magazine. PR isn’t about ego, it’s about getting the right story in front of your audience wherever they may be.
FOUR – HAVE THEY BEEN JOURNALISTS?
The simple fact is that you are far more likely to get a story in the press if you can give a journalist a polished article that’s ready to run. Our background in publishing and journalism means we’ve spent years on the other side of the fence so we automatically know what a journalist or media outlet needs. We’re poachers turned gamekeepers. Many people will claim to be a PR but their experience is based on relieving people of cash, rather than experience in creating an engaging story.
Talking to us about a PR campaign costs nothing. We can thrown around some ideas and if you like what you hear then you can run a small campaign. We don’t tie people into massive contracts with big expenses. Read more about our PR services here – alternatively call Gavin on 0774 009 8092 or visit the contact page.