When we first sit down with clients, one of the things we consistently hear is “We want to become better known. We need recognition for our product (or service).”
Public relations, of course, goes considerably beyond getting recognition in print, broadcast and online media. But coverage over and above paid advertising is the primary reason why companies and organizations call on us to augment their marketing program.
News coverage demands…news
The first rule of publicity is that one’s story has to possess newsworthy qualities.
That means the information you serve up to news media has to have some news value that will benefit or interest their audience.
So how do you sift through the mountain of information about your organization and isolate what will be interesting to media…and what won’t?
Examples of news pegs
Basic information about your product or service, by itself, is not particularly newsworthy.
But, when you link your information to another story, the combined effect can be magic. It all comes down to finding a peg on which to hang your story—a news peg (or news hook).
Examples include tying your story to something like:
- A new wrinkle (and consumer benefit) to your product or service
- A holiday or significant anniversary
- An award recognizing achievement via your product or service
- A high-visibility topic already in the news
- A special event showcasing something new or different about you
- An opinion on a topic of interest from an expert on your staff
- A local twist on a story generating national attention
- Information from a survey or poll on a topic of interest
- Identification of a trend you are witnessing, or a trend that you foresee
Connecting to other news pegs
Identifying news pegs is an ongoing process that demands remaining aware of what’s going on in the world – or your industry. One needs to be constantly in tune with new and different trends (or what might signal a trend), what’s popular with consumers or within a trade category (or what might be popular), and of how and where your story can fit into news coverage.
A financial service provider, for example, might want to remind media that one of their authorities is available as a resource and is willing to provide commentary (i.e. a quote) or observe ongoing trends just after the start of the year, when tax preparation goes into high gear.
A restaurant might want to explain
why their menu conforms to their target market’s tastes and preferences, or
feature a menu item they can totally
“own” in the mind of their audience.
A company serving a narrow segment within a particular trade category (e.g. suppliers and vendors in warehousing) can offer an observation of how their particular industry is changing and provide examples of how they are adjusting to those changes. Or, if they recognize a change in another industry, project how that change may affect their industry.
We scour the media for what’s getting coverage
At Wellons Communications, it’s part of our job to be aware, at all times, at what’s being covered and how we can connect our clients to what’s in the news.
Every day, weekends included, we are news junkies, watching what’s getting coverage, aggressively looking for story opportunities or creating opportunities others might not see.
Rather than simply issue press releases, which media recognize as self-serving, we seek to augment ongoing stories with information reporters will not know unless someone like us tells them.
That means knowing about our clients, what they are doing, learning what they are seeing, and identifying targets who can use that information. It means our clients must tell us what they are doing and seeing and requires us to listen and take that information and connect it to news media.
What’s more, when you bring an experienced, knowledgeable PR team to your side, you get considerably more than simply a publicity team. You acquire a team of marketing professionals who proactively help you sell your ideas while covering your back to fight off challenges that prove damaging to your enterprise.
Consider publicity in your overall marketing mix
If you find yourself spending the vast majority of your marketing budget on paid advertising, you may be overlooking the opportunity afforded you by placement of a high-value news story about your organization.
The cost of augmenting your marketing program with an ongoing public relations/publicity program is minimal, particularly in comparison with the kind of money that is frequently invested in paid advertising. Although news coverage is not guaranteed, the publicity it can generate when it is successful can be substantial…at considerably less cost than advertising.
When you are ready to tell the media about yourselves, give us a call
Wellons Communications has been identifying news pegs — and generating results for clients — for more than a decade.
We have news experience in our professional backgrounds and know how to recognize what’s newsworthy.