Public relations is an excellent way to communicate with various audiences in a very efficient manner. And while the PR business has been around for 100 years, it’s constantly changing.
Some companies still use outdated strategies and techniques, which don’t generate the kind of results companies expect. Unless you work in the PR industry, it’s hard to keep up with the trends. At Tucker/Hall, we not only keep up with the trends, we are frequently on the cutting edge — developing new ideas that help your company meet its business and communications objectives.
Below are five PR tactics that should freshened up – or tossed out.
1. Writing news releases for print only – The news release has been a PR “staple” for years. It can still be an effective way to share your news with the media. However, in addition to sending a news release to journalists and a media list, you should also optimize your news release for SEO and distribute on your own social media and digital channels. Doing this can help as many people as possible see the important news your sharing.
2. News conferences – News conferences can be an effective way to quickly share important information with the media. However, they are becoming more rare as media outlets are stretched more thin. Only hold a news conference if you believe your news will be of great interest to a wide audience. In addition, create your own videos and stories once the news conference is over for distribution on your various digital channels. When and where you hold a news conference are also important — you want to make it as convenient as possible for the media to cover.
3. Media kits – it used to be common practice for PR firms to create hard copy media kits for their clients. But printed materials typically aren’t as useful to a modern-day journalist. Consider instead an Electronic Press Kit (EPK). These can be created on a simple website, a Dropbox or some other file sharing site — and can include video, graphics and other materials.
4. New Product PR – Many media outlets see media relations efforts around a new product or service as not newsworthy. Why? Reporters generally believe new products should be advertised, not part of news coverage. There are a few exceptions however. For example, if your new product solves an important social issue or is truly innovative.
5. Tracking “hits” versus meeting objectives – PR firms used to measure their success by how many media hits they would get on behalf of a client. And while these hits are important, what you really want to know is “Did our efforts help us meet our business objectives?” Were you trying to raise the company profile? Generate new leads? Drive attendance to an event? Create foot traffic at a new office? Work with your PR firm to determine what success looks like before launching any communications program.