There is no doubt that media relations play an important role in a communications program but there are many ways to create a cohesive strategy that includes everything from email marketing to social media and media relationships. The purpose of this blog is to outline 6 points (out of the dozens) in a book called Spin Sucks by Gini Dietrich that we thought were really relevant to highlight because it related to what we do as a business so well.
In the PR and marketing world, although it is a fast moving industry, should work at a slower pace for more effective results rather than quickly with burst results that aren’t consistent. Hopefully the six points I talk about will give some pointers on some ways you can join the marathon and slow down from the sprint.
1. Become a storyteller
It’s difficult in a cramped market of competitors to really stand out from the crowd when you send a press release to a journalist; factual, a bit stuffy and unimaginative are all words or phrases everyone has heard at some point so it’s time to change! Dietrich (2014) says ‘‘becoming a natural storyteller takes lots of practice and doesn’t come easy to everyone’’ so that’s why I now read everything from fiction to business to online blogs and news programs to tackle each release with an appropriate angle and come up with something different and creative every time.
There are examples of company websites where the word ‘we’ (as opposed to oui) is used a lot to tell people what they do, why they’re doing it etcetera, etcetera…yawn! A lot of people (potential clients, journalists or customers) can get turned off when press releases or content is full of self promotional material so make it clear that you promote what the recipient will get in return rather than just yourself as a service.
3. Check where your content is being used
Since the Google Panda and Penguin updates, content and duplicate content is now heavily monitored and you can be penalised ranking wise if you’re stealing things and using them word for word on your website. So now more than ever we are checking using search engines (signed in and out of google) to see where our content is being used and making sure we’re not getting punished for duplicate content that was ours in the first place.’‘The more content you create, the more often it is stolen’’ Dietrich, G (2014).
4. Choose a social media platform that’s right for you and tweak along the way
It’s also really important to choose a social media platform/s that will work for your company. For example Linkedin is more of a professional communication platform and Facebook and Twitter can have the same serious side or be tweaked into something a bit more fun and engaging. ‘Find out what works, watch your analytics and tweak along the way’
5. Use good SEO tools to optimise content!
It’s essential to create content for your website in an age where there’s competition to be at the top of Google’s rankings. But it can sometimes feel like a waste when content ends up in the basement of your website without any kind of order or recognition. There are great SEO tools out there for beginners and experts that can help show you how well your content is optimised by colour coded boxes so you can organise content in a structured way which gives tips to help improve along the way. The program is called Yoast and most may have used it before it but it’s something we’ve used before and has proven to be really useful. If you’ve got a lot of competitors out there, this should be a number 1 priority on your list.
6. Keep creating new content
Keep your website and social media pages up to date with new content such as blogs, whitepapers, infographics or case studies. Investing time into creating content in the long run really pays dividends not only for your website but for your reputation as a reliable source for evergreen information that focuses on the industry you specialise in. Although it may seem like an obvious thing to do, but to help keep us in check, we have a blog/content calendar where we take in turns to create content on different topics each week. Dietrich (2014) says “if you keep your content fresh and regular, your SEO will increase over time”.