An easy guide to PR and how you can use it in your business

PR stands for two things. Public Relations and Press releases and these are just two forms of marketing which you should consider in your 2012 marketing plan.

However before I talk about PR, when you are allocating this year’s marketing budget do set aside your advertising budget because advertising in select media forms relevant to your sector will work for you. Too often especially in tough economic times, companies cut out advertising altogether thinking that it doesn’t provide a healthy return when all too often the case is that they simply haven’t found the correct media form for their particular business. Advertising works; if it didn’t then large well-known companies with big budgets would not appear in the commercial breaks.

Back to PR, public relations is the relationship you form with your market, the way you communicate your unique selling point messages.  An effective way to achieve this is through writing press releases which hold topical or timely useful news; news that would appeal to readers or viewers. Content which is relevant and fits in with the media brand form who you wish to target.

Like all of us, Editors are busy and although they are looking for interesting editorial which fits their brand, in order to sustain their title they need a healthy mix of both quality advertising and editorial. This simple knowledge needs consideration and respect when contemplating submitting your press release.

If you have a worthy story then as with everything, it always works out cheaper in the long run to hire an expert as opposed to trying to manage the task yourself.

Editors are inundated with apparent news stories; alas so many of them are purely sales plugs and in Editor’s shoes, would you want to plough through a hefty in box of uninvited stories? Similarly to curriculum vitaes, where an alarming 99% of them do not comply to a one page format with the personal statement on the foot of the page, the ratios of inferior press releases applies.

Should you have an anniversary, event or something you deem newsworthy, then your press release ought to be on a single page and the inclusion of imagery helpful too; a single photograph is sufficient and always respect an Editor’s busy schedule by making the headline relevant to your story and the main message you wish to convey in the first paragraph. Finally ensure that you include your contact details for the Editor’s convenience.

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