We recently launched the Opal & Co Christmas PR Club, and it has got everyone talking about PR. We thought it might be helpful to share some of the questions that we have received from clients, to help you get to grips with your own PR strategy.
Q. Do I need to do PR?
That depends on your marketing objectives. In simple terms, PR is a way of managing your reputation through a third party, so when you plan your PR campaign, you need to consider your wider marketing strategy and what you want to achieve: More sales? Brand awareness? Repositioning? Be clear about your expectations for PR and how it will meet these objectives.
Q. What channels should I include in my PR Plan?
For retail and lifestyle businesses, your plan is likely to include a combination of magazines, newspapers, influential bloggers, social media, events, experiential marketing, endorsements or awards.
Q. Can PR help me sell more products?
Definitely. We know from experience that having a product prominently featured in a magazine can drive a significant sales spike, but interest can fall away again just a quickly if you aren’t careful. The trick is to create a consistent and rolling PR campaign which dovetails with your other marketing activity to create maximum benefits.
Q. Can I outsource social media to my PR agency?
Social media is one area which can be difficult to outsource to an agency, because unless they are working extremely closely with you, your social media can lack authenticity. Clear objectives and strong communication between your team and the agency is essential.
Q. How can I make journalists or bloggers take notice of me?
If you are going to do this yourself, two words: Research and Persistence. Research means doing your homework. Having a clear idea of what you want to say, and who you want to say it to. Make sure you are pitching to someone who works in your area, and if it’s a blogger, whose style aligns with your brand. Be focused, and targeted.
Persistence doesn’t mean making a nuisance of yourself; it mean consistently providing relevant and well presented information until you get a bite. Don’t give up after the first press release, try to build meaningful relationships with a core set of journalists.
Q. Do I have to pay for influential bloggers to write about my products?
It varies. Some will charge, some will review your products for free. Identify bloggers that have a good fit with your brand, build a relationship with them through social media, and then have an open conversation about your marketing objectives and budget.
Q. What materials do I need to prepare for journalists or bloggers?
A company overview that introduces your business and brand. An overview of any new products or collections with prices. Hi and low resolution images, organised logically and labeled clearly with product name. Ideally you will have a mixture of cutout images and lifestyle shots. Bloggers love good-looking lifestyle images, and magazines often prefer to work with cutouts, or re-shoot your products.
Christmas, in retail terms, is just around the corner. The PR push starts now.
So what next? If you don’t have the resources to dedicate to planning and executing a PR campaign, you can appoint Opal & Co or another PR agency to handle it for you on a monthly retainer.
Alternatively, take a look at the Opal & Co Christmas PR Club. It’s a simple and cost-effective way to get your Christmas PR campaign up and running. We give you the tools you need, plus valuable incoming requests from journalists, and you respond directly. It’s a fresh way of doing PR, and we really hope you’ll give it a try.