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What really is PR? The basics.

Traders- Hints & Tips

PR, or Public Relations, does exactly what it says on the tin: it shapes and manages the public’s relationship with your brand, company or organisation.

What is PR, Pedddle

This is done through building and maintaining relations with the press. Essentially, it is the point of communication between the brand and those experiencing it. The PR’s purpose is to manage and enhance the reputation of your brand, drive awareness and boost your credibility. When done well and strategically, PR is likely to have a hugely positive long-term impact and can help drive your brand forward.  

The difference between PR and marketing

PR is often mistaken as being the same as advertising and marketing. There are similarities between PR and marketing and while they have different metrics, they do share the same overall goal; creating awareness for a particular product, brand, company or individual. While PR and marketing go hand-in-hand, there are a few differences. The main being that marketing is focused on promoting and selling a product, whereas PR’s main objective is to build and maintain a positive reputation for a brand as a whole. Marketing’s job is to create and bring a product to the market that people will buy. The purpose of PR is to build a positive reputation and trust through relevant and favorable media coverage.   

*Paid for coverage

Important PR terms to know

Earned media: A free promotion of your brand, which is earned through press outreach.

Feature: A page/article within a publication that displays product, it’s as simple as that.

Product placement: Having your product (cut out shot) featured in a press space – usually a shopping page or spread. Most publications run these types of spaces regularly.

Profile feature: A profile (or a founder feature) is an article, interview or a write-up focusing on the brand owner/s. These cover interesting aspects or the story of a business and are less common than a product placement feature.

Pitch: An email (or a phone call) to publications introducing your brand or product, or pitching a story to a journalist or editor. An essential part of PR, the pitch is what will help you achieve coverage. Keep the email straight to the point, include all the key details and make sure that your brand and product is relevant to the editor and publication you’re pitching to.

Coverage: Your product / brand was right for the publication or space and you have been featured in the publication. This is the end goal. Once you’ve built a strong rapport with press the easier it will be to secure continuing press. 

Target audience: The demographic of the people who are most likely to show interest in your product or service. 

Advertorial: Advertorial is a paid-for feature in a magazine or a newspaper, disguised as a regular piece of content. Look out for the ‘advertorial’ sign, usually in the top corner of the page. We don’t count advertorial as ‘real’ coverage and suggest avoiding it where possible as it can potentially devalue your brand. 

*Regular product placement

How does PR work?

These are the vital steps to implement an effective PR strategy:

Market research

Identifying your brand’s target audience and their demographics is the first crucial step to any brand strategy. By understanding your target audience and knowing your core customers inside out, you can then work out how to reach them and how to communicate with them. This includes looking at what publications and social platforms your audience is using. i.e. if your audience is slightly younger you might want to focus your outreach on the relevant online publications as they’re likely to consume online content.

Targeted press list

An extensive contact list of media contacts across a number of publications and fields, depending on the type of outreach you’re focusing on. The press list will include the name, contact details and the regular feature (s) the editor normally compiles. The media landscape is moving at a rapid pace and editors move around quickly so it’s important to update your press list regularly.

Press outreach

Outreach is essentially pitching information about your brand, product or service to press. Creating relevant and targeted pitches will increase the chances of getting a response or being featured, and the more hours you dedicate to your outreach the more results you will see.

Maintaining press and influencer relationships

PR is all about building and nurturing relationships, whether that’s with the press, with influencers or both. This includes staying on their radar, connecting with them via social media, staying up to date on what features they’re working on and demonstrating that you understand their key areas by only pitching relevant products, angles and similar. Building a strong relationship with an editor (or influencer) will increase the chances of them featuring your brand or product again in the future.

Ready to take your brand to the next level with PR, but not sure how to get started or have the confidence to email the press? At PR Dispatch we provide you with all the tools you need to do your own PR, from press contacts to downloads and templates to ensure you feel confident in sending your first pitch email. Join hundreds of independent brands who are not only pitching their products to press but have access to our support, knowledge and recommended suppliers every step of the way through our memberships. Find out more here.