The Anatomy Of A PR Hit
There’s a huge misconception in terms of how PR placements actually come about.
We had one agency partner – who we thought was pretty savvy – actually ask us why we “couldn’t just blast email some mommy bloggers” and get quick results. He wasn’t as savvy as we thought…
What most PR agencies won’t readily admit is that the media landscape is changing and there’s more competition than ever for placements.
Even so, the good stories can rise to the top, but often it will take some solid effort unless your the iPhone of your industry and simply bleed PR.
We’ve outlined below some select examples of great PR placements we’ve had happen for a few clients the last two years and how long it took to see them happen. If you’re not regularly dealing with the media making pitch calls, may find some surprises!
Example 1: New Product Launch – National Men’s Magazine Website
Freelance journalist was a trusted friend of someone at the agency who we spend time with during non-work activities frequently. Literally put the product in his hand and a month later, he filed his story. It didn’t appear online for FIVE more months.
Example 2: Financial Client’s New Office – Major Market Regional Newspaper
New office openings are rarely news in bigger markets, but this client offered something in this market that few firms do. After researching who at this paper would be interested, in an email, we highlighted what we had to offer and sent it off at the appropriate time. The result was an email interview which took months to complete (due to slow responses by reporter), which was incorporated into a feature story. There was more to it than that, including the client being misquoted multiple times in an early draft. (again, this was an email interview). Thankfully we were able review ahead of time (which rarely happens – you should never ask a reporter for this) and we corrected it. Four months after our initial email went out, the piece appeared online and in print, and the local office’s phone rang with some impressive people on the other end.
Example 3: Client’s Industry Announcement – Trade Publication
While we have a great relationship with the people managing this industry trade publication, an indutry where our client is a force, we should add, that doesn’t mean that the editors of this site will drop everything just for us or our client. Even though the announcement wasn’t fluff, their staff was quite busy at the time and it took a few days for them to get back to us and later, run a feature. While the announcement was important, it wasn’t “drop everything” important.
Example 4 – Consumer Technology Launch / Major National Magazine
Again, the journalists at this outlet we’ve known for years and have a great relationship with. They almost always return our calls and emails with some sort of response… a rarity these days for most PR people. At the end of Q3 2015, we gave the team at this very respected magazine an early look and one of a limited number review units that we had available (one of 15 at the time) to try out. In all honestly, this is the next generation of a class-leading product in its category, a PR person’s dream and one that is a brand that is frequently covered. At the beginning of Q2 2016, they’ve finally decided they will cover it and we’re working with them now to triple-ensure they have what they need.
Example 5 – Financial Client / Leading National Newspaper
The client at the time was a 20+ year old, independent financial firm. Mid-sized… not the biggest, but not the smallest. In our first month of media outreach (which was our second month of working together), we cold called and emailed roughly 20 financial reporters at the major newspapers around the country. One reporter, who had never heard of our client and never worked with us before, requested an interview with their CEO, who was quoted in a story that appeared roughly a week later. Want to know which paper? Hint: It’s a journal named after a street with walls… in Manhattan.
So from the above, which were we the most surprised about? Truth be told, all of them, but Example 1 the most. It took months for a story to appear online… even after the journalist – a dear friend of someone at the agency – filed it.
Which placement do we brag about the most? Example 5… Wall Street Journal in less than two months? That’s PR gold!
And it was Example 3, a regional publication, where the client saw the most traction.
The reality of the current PR world is, unfortunately, that there are multiple variables affecting when and if your brand will receive coverage, and they’re often out of the PR team’s control. As we’ve said before, reporters are not parrots and on a micro-level, they all have their own needs, so research into what each one wants from you before moving forward.
Like this tip? Please share via the LinkedIn button below. Wondering if your PR program is healthy? Reach out for our complimentary PR Checkup at PRCheckup@Remedypr.com.
How do PR hits happen? What’s the anatomy of a PR hit?
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