If you want media coverage (PR), don’t advertise 

PUBLIC RELATIONS, Auckland, New Zealand: When issuing a press release, the temptation is to talk about yourself, your products or services or value. After all, the goal is to increase exposure for your business brand. Unfortunately, almost all journalists will tell you to take an advertisement because editorial is not self-promotion. 

To get genuine, authentic press coverage, you need to add value by putting the audience’s needs before yours. When you add value, you will get exposure to thousands, even hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders; you will start to build brand awareness with journalists, editors and your audience. Over time you will be regarded as credible, trustworthy and expert. 

A loosely used measure is that an editorial is seven times more likely to get engagement than advertising (which includes advertorials) because people consume media for news, information and education–they want to be informed and to make informed decisions. Good PR informs and educates, so you come to be viewed as a credible expert. 

The endorsement of a third party is very powerful for a brand. When the media quote you in a news story, you benefit from the endorsement of a highly authoritative and trusted source. Displaying media logos on your website to show where you are featured is a powerful ‘proof’ strategy. 

Here at Iron Road Communications, we have achieved tremendous success with the following press release strategy: 

1. Identify what is current and topical 

If you want to be interesting, discuss what people are currently interested in. Consider what people are discussing and determine which issues or topics align with your brand and solutions. A financial adviser may want to talk about inflation, a lawyer about name suppression and an air testing company about the health and wellness implications of CO2 levels in the workplace. 

2. Solve a problem 

If you want to be relevant to media and your audience, help them solve a pressing problem because problems get attention. Research shows that we notice problems faster and respond quicker because we are more motivated by avoiding ‘cost’ than by gaining something. For more information about this, read ‘Dr Robert Cialdini’s book ‘Influence, the Psychology of Persuasion’.  

3. Educate 

You add value by educating your audience on how to solve their problems or actions they can take to mitigate an issue. It is a selfless act that increases your esteem with your audience and builds trust, expertise and credibility. You earn trust like the salesman who advises you not to buy the more expensive car in favour of a cheaper one more suited to your needs and budget. The customer or audience knew that you did not have to do that and, therefore, you must have their best interest at heart–and so you should. 

4. Do it frequently 

You should be putting this type of press release out at least once a month to build visibility with the media and to increase your chances of having your story featured. It probably won’t happen overnight, but when you steadily and persistently ‘give’, you can’t help but reap a return. Keep at it. 

If you want help, Iron Road offers this monthly service for $895, excluding GST. We will also turn your media release into a blog for sharing on your website and LinkedIn.  

For more information, see: https://pr.ironroad.co.nz/ 

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