Using a client case study - I thought it was a perfect opportunity to share a snap shot of how to prep your business to enter the world of PR. Client S, a new service-based website anxious to launch, had taken a year to build a site they were proud of. They hired copywriters a web designer and even put together an animated short video to accompany their marketing efforts. Now they were ready to 'get the word out!'.
Hold up! (enter sound of screeching tires)... your PR team will require a few checked boxes before putting you, and your message, in the spotlight.
Here is how you can be sure that your PR team can hit the ground running:
#1 Have a logo and name we can work with
Check! This seems like a no brainer, but that quirky name that sounded good to you in the shower may be very hard to 'sell' on your behalf. For client S, they lucked out on their web designer and would not require a complete rebrand or DO-over of their site or logo. *Basics are covered; good logo, well functioning site, great name that works for news and marketing.
#2 Ensure your website verbiage hits the mark
Half Check - While the website functioned well and the copy was nicely written, it was a bit wordy, leaving the most important messages buried deep in the text. Catalyst CC pulled the most important messages up front, as well as some site re-architecture around services. *A key word search exercise would be helpful in ensuring your website copy is optimized for Search Engines.
#3 Know ALL of your target audiences...really...
Hold up! While client S's target customer could be described by gender, age, income, etc. - this does not take into account the perspective or mindset of the customer when coming to their site. Catalyst CC completed a KEY MESSAGE exercise which broke their target audiences into three categories: USERS, DONORS and SPONSORS. Some overlap, some don't. *The client depends on each audience for success, yet different messages will hit home in each category.
#4 Get ready for traffic
Check! Client S's website has been tested, bio complete, social profiles updated and they are ready to launch. Be sure your website and social sites are synched and ready to receive a bump in traffic, hits, inquries, sharing, etc. *Also share key messages with staff or team members who may be feilding calls from customers or potential media!
#5 Are You Media Ready?
Hold up! While the client took it upon themselves to draft a 'press release', it read more like a blog post full of marketing speak. Catalyst CC crafted a timely, newsworthy, media release designed to get attention from news sites, reporters and journalists who are looking for topics around client's industry/subject matter and expertise. *It was a bonus that client S also had a media-friendly spokesperson who could take additional media training courses if needed.
Working through these 5 steps beforehand or along side your new PR expert will ensure that you will enter the public spotlight with increased confidence and expert positioning.