GETTING TO GRIPS WITH PR
By Natalie Trice
If you are constantly seeing your competitors on the pages of the magazines you read and on the blogs you follow, I bet you wonder how they are doing it and secretly think your products would look so much better?
The answer isn’t luck or friends in high places. It’s probably because they are carrying out PR activities on some level and if you want to own those column inches, then you need to get involved too.
PR is a term that many people just don’t understand. At best, PR is considered to be fluffy nonsense; at worst it’s a dark art that is fuelled by fake news and peddled by dodgy spin doctors.
Now, when you put it like that, it doesn’t look great. However, this is not the PR world I have worked in for over two decades, and also isn’t the reality the majority of the thousands of people how are involved in the industry around the world.
WHAT PR IS NOT
Right about now, you are probably expecting me to tell you just what PR is all about, but that’s not exactly what I am going to do.
I cannot tell you how many times I have had to explain what I do because someone has got the wrong end of the stick or challenged me about how PR is ‘free advertising’.
So, let’s get this party started by setting the record straight and establish what PR is not.
PR isn’t ER or brain surgery and it isn’t a matter of life or death, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important.
PR is most definitely NOT free; it is an investment of time, resources, energy and creativity all of which are precious resources that need to be used wisely.
PR isn’t just about the column inches and air time. Exposure needs to tie into your ‘why’ and help you to grow your business and shine so people know you are there.
PR isn’t just for big businesses and celebrities. It is also for hardworking, inspirational people just like you.
PR isn’t about boozy lunches, endless champagne and swanky London offices...but I do encourage you to celebrate your wins with bubbles!
PR isn’t lies and covering up your mistakes. It’s about being honest and transparent so that you earn trust and respect.
PR isn’t just about scheduling your social media content and letting it lie dormant. It’s about using that information to educate, inspire and engage with the people who matter to you.
PR isn’t a fad, it is here to stay.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to PR because everyone has their own agenda but I hope I can help you find the right direction for your business. PR isn’t always easy to get right but if you are dedicated to the cause, I think you’ll see it can be very worthwhile.
WHAT PR REALLY IS
With all of those things ticked off the list, let’s get to the truth of the matter.
PR is what other people say about you.
Think about it. If you walk into a party and keep telling everyone how amazing you are, they will probably switch off and talk to someone else.
If you walk into that same room and the rumour is you are a brilliant photographer, it won’t be long before everyone is asking for you to take their picture so they can post it on Facebook for all the likes.
Now, it’s when the media start talking about you in this way that things get interesting and it’s where PR comes into play.
Whilst PR encompasses a range of areas, including corporate, internal and crisis communications, social media management and community relations, media relations remains a key activity.
Media relations is what I have spent a great deal of my two-decade career doing and I am not alone. The CIPR's 2018 State of the Profession report said this was one of the most common activities carried out by PR professionals.
Media relations is about building strong relationships with the press so they answer your emails, take your calls, come to your events, go on your press trips, review your products and tell your story to their readers.
It moulds what they say about you and your business in their magazines and newspapers, on their blogs and podcasts and across their social media feeds. This will, in turn, be read or listened to by their audiences who will see you in that same glowing light and that, in a nutshell, is PR.
PR isn’t for the faint hearted – it takes courage, determination and hard work – but believe me, the more you do it the easier it will become and over the coming months I hope to show you just how to do that.
Hi! I’n Natalie and i’m a PR director based in Devon.
As a Guest Editor I cannot wait to bring to you my skills and knowledge for all things PR related, I have a passion for female led business and I’m here to keep you on track media wise - your secret PR ninja! I have worked with international TV channels, leading IT companies, famous fashion houses, eccentric entrepreneurs, ambitious start-ups, and many more around the world, ensuring they secure column inches, are heard on sound waves and use PR to take them to the next level - I love my job!
When i’m not PRing, you will find me on the beach, with my family and our dog, or in the water braving the South Devon waves on a board. If all else fails, I will be out shopping or tucked up with a good book! You can read all about me here.