How PR Can Turn Data into Gold

27 12 2013

(Guest post by Chad Van De Wiele, Intern)

Many companies are unaware of the power of research as a professional communications tool and only use their findings for internal purposes. However, research can have a great effect on your public relations and communications strategies – if conducted and shared the right way.Image

In order to get the most out of your research, be sure to share the results both internally and externally.  Why? Sharing your research results:

  • Publicly positions your company as a thought leader and expert in the industry;
  • Helps your company develop a greater understanding of your customers, enhancing your knowledge as a supplier and increasing your value as a business partner;
  • Helps you identify new trends and issues, which will benefit you, your customers and the media; and
  • Underscores your  company’s commitment to your customers and industry.

Here are seven ways you can use your research as a part of you PR strategy:

AnnouncementsUse your research results as material for external communications, such as news releases.

EventsDepending on the quality and implications of your company’s research, a press conference may be in order.

SpeechesData from your company’s research may also be used for an executive speech or presentation at an industry venue.

SalesUtilize the findings from a research study to add value by sharing details with your best customers.

NewsroomPosting research findings to your company’s website can attract new attention. However, instead of posting all your data online, use only a few relevant points to create facts, figures, graphs, infographics or videos.

Social MediaShare selected highlights of your research findings on social media, to drive prospects to seek you out to learn more.

InterviewsShare your data during interviews with reporters. Not only will this build your reputation and credibility, but also provide the reporter with potential graphics for a news story.

For more tips on repurposing your company’s data for PR content, check out our past e-newsletter, The Hidden PR Goldmine.

Play It Cool – How Media Pitching is Like Dating

6 12 2013

(Guest post by Brandon Burbank, Intern)

Recently, I read an article illustrating the similarities between media relations and dating. How true this can be, especially for new graduates just entering the professional realm of PR. Not knowing what to say, worrying if you’re coming on too strong or playing it too cool, the fear of rejection … one might wonder how the pros in this industry manage to do it every day.BB

Pitching media can be an adrenaline rush that is reminiscent of asking someone to prom. We’re never sure what the response will be, even when we’ve planned ahead and put our best foot forward. We just hope the response will be a resounding “yes” or even a “maybe!”

There will be times your story will be picked up. Other times, a reporter will decline for any one of many reasons: the story isn’t right for that audience; lack of unique ideas has your pitch being looked over; or bigger news bumped your story. When journalists pass on a story, one breakup cliché comes to mind: It’s not you. It’s me. It might just be your story is missing an element that is attractive to reporters.

Here are some tips to help make media pitching go a little smoother:

Find common interests – Identify how your idea will relate to the reporter’s audience. What do the readers you’re targeting care about most? What makes your pitch newsworthy?

Avoid being a wallflower – What makes your pitch unique? Presenting noteworthy facts or data will grab a reporter’s attention. Stand out or be left unnoticed.

Don’t use the same pickup line – Pitch different aspects of your story to different reporters. Fresh angles will help to avoid your pitch being overlooked.

Eyes forward – Pay attention to how your pitch relates to overall trends and emerging issues. Show reporters how you’re connected to larger trends arising through statistics and anecdotes.

Arrive on time – Your pitch needs to be timely. Reporters have deadlines; stick to them. Journalists are more willing to work with you if you help make their jobs easier.

Dress to impress – Stories with interesting photos, videos or graphics are appealing to journalists. Visuals can add a new dynamic to your pitch that otherwise weren’t there before.

When need be, compromise and adjust – Breaking news will forever bump other stories. Know how to evaluate when this will happen, and find a way to tie your idea into the breaking news.

Be yourself – A personal story makes for some of the best news stories. These descriptions give new life to the story, adding color and depth.


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