Coming up with your story ideas, developing your pitches, building your media lists, defining your target market, and writing your initial press release are some of the steps you need to take when launching your public relations campaign. 

But those are only the initial, basic steps.  Whereas many people think that coming up with pitch ideas and sending out press releases is all it takes to launch a PR campaign, those are simply the starting point.

Too many entrepreneurs and business owners erroneously believe that a media relations campaign consists of writing a press release sending it out and waiting.  My response to that approach is – Good Luck!

Yes, it’s important to have a press release, but they are often overrated.  Sending a release out on one of the paid wire services, does not a PR campaign make.  We’re in the information overload era and that’s only going to get worse.  The media is now being pitched via mail, email, social media, phone, etc.  Having worked as a journalist and as a magazine editor, I can tell you from experience, that being in the media; it’s difficult not to feel assaulted by the number of releases and pitches that are sent.  They simply don’t have time to review them all and, unless they have to do with a breaking news story, a celebrity, or a major company, chances are most releases are going to be greeted by the receiver hitting the delete button.

View your press releases as you do your business cards, they’re essential, they serve their purpose, but in and of themselves, chance are they are not going to bring your business. That’s why it’s important not to rely solely on releases. . The following are some related activities you can try to stay in the news.

• Contact journalists via social media outlets.  Don’t just pitch them, engage, communicate with them.  Once you’ve established a relationship, then mention your story.  Never, ever use a hard sell via social media.

• Send product samples to key journalists and then follow up.

• Develop “champions”- high-profile individuals benefiting from your product or service.  These are your key stories and effective PR is effective storytelling.

• Monitor the press for opportunities to respond to reported issues that allow you to talk about your own business.

• Watch what your competitors are doing in the press.  If their ideas are working for them, consider following their lead.

• Monitor speaker opportunities and other editorial/seminar opportunities.  Once you land some, you can then use them to generate more PR opportunities. 

• Hold a press conference.  But this one is tricky.  Only do this if it’s really warranted.  Chances are the media will not not show up unless you have something or someone compelling to show them. Make the call to action very, very clear.  Also keep in mind, no matter how compelling the news conference, a breaking news story can pull the press in another direction.

Keep in mind when sending out press releases or pitches that you need to make sure to follow-up with a phone call.  I know, journalists hate follow-up phone calls.  To be honest, when I was a journalist I hated follow up phone calls, but when launching a media relations campaign, that’s the only way to make sure that the media received and actually read your release.

The above lists a few different approaches you can use.

Now add some of your own ideas. 

Get creative.   

Have fun and keep coming up with new angles and pitches. 

Top PR Firm Los Angeles Blog | Copyright © Mora Communications Inc.  2017