Book Excerpt From “For Immediate Release”, PR Book by Ronn Torossian of 5WPR, a leading PR Agency
There’s always an emergency. In today’s media world, they need your response now—no one cares if your Aunt Mary is dying or if there’s a flood in your basement. The story is still being written and the only question is—will your
take be included or not?
Read the news. Know what’s going on in the media so you can tie your PR strategy and relevant comments to the trends and stories of the day.
The media chases each other’s tails. News assignment editors, although powerful, have limited power and a great deal of responsibility. If they make a mistake and fail to cover something that turns out to be important, their job is on the line. If one outlet does a story, the competitor will want it, too. Figure out how you can use the tail chasing to your advantage.
PR is a 24/7 career. The news never stops. When a bomb goes off at 8 p.m., newspapers, cable channels, and digital media are running updates continuously.
Don’t believe your mom’s PR (all the time). Be honest about what you’ve got to work with, and then work with what you’ve got. Deal with reality—PR only works if it’s based on something real.
Look for marketing co-ops, especially if budget is an issue. There are many ways to get great visibility for a fraction of the price by sharing the spotlight with complementary brands that attract the same audience.
Don’t reinvent the wheel. Given the surplus of marketing ploys out there, chances are there’s already an effort going on or a story line that ties in well with your brand that you can piggyback and ride the wave. For example, if you’re a beverage brand that caters to the college market, do product seeding through an event that’s already taking place on campus.
The media loves stunts. If you want to clear the clutter and make headlines within 24 hours, produce a marketing stunt in a media-centric area. Provided the stunt is well thought out, well-timed, uber-creative, and provides an outstanding visual, you can make headlines and the story and visual can get syndicated.
Utilize and understand SEO. Optimize your website. With today’s world, search engines matter more than any individual story.
Hire great PR people. The public’s sense of your brand comes from what the media says and how you turn up in search engine results. Good PR people can help ensure all of it reinforces your brand message. (And don’t be so cheap on PR—don’t expect the world with tiny budgets.)
Work hard. Work really hard—the harder I work the luckier I seem to become.
Ronn Torossian is Author of "For Immediate Release", and CEO of a top 25 PR firm, 5WPR.