Is your PR having an impact? The missing ingredient to your PR strategy
Nobody cares about your business as much as you do. That’s the way it should be, but when it comes to your PR strategy, your love for your company is a double-edged sword. The passion can be infectious, but it can also trick you into believing that your business is as interesting or exciting to others as it is to you.
The secret ingredient to making any press release appeal to journalists and to readers is the story.
You don’t need to be a boxing fan to enjoy ‘Rocky’, you don’t have to follow bobsledding to love ‘Cool Runnings’, and readers don’t have to care about your business to appreciate your PR. Use stories well, and you can win the attention of people who don’t know who you are, and make them care about what you do.
Story in your press releases
Maybe you just turned over a million pounds for the first time, you grew 25% last financial year, or you ’ve launched a new product. All of those are PR stories in a basic sense, but would anyone be excited to publish them? Then if they got published, would anyone be interested to read them?
PR about growth figures and product launches are narratives more than stories — they tell you what happened, factually, but they have close to zero emotional content for an outsider. Editors and readers don’t care about your wins like you do, because they don’t have an emotional investment in your work. They do have an emotional investment in their work.
Your story becomes interesting to an editor when they think it will resonate with readers. Your story becomes interesting to a reader when they can identify with it or learn from it. That means you have to give them the ‘what’, but also the ‘how’ and the ‘why’.
Take this example from Heinz — a press release about their product that they describe as ‘Christmas dinner in a can’. That phrase in itself is attention-grabbing — ‘what do you mean “in a can”?’ — but the story delivers the how and the why.
How? It’s a ‘Christmas dinner’ soup, containing ‘turkey, pigs in blankets, brussels sprouts, stuffing balls and potatoes, with a gravy and cranberry sauce.’
Why? Supply chain difficulties in 2021 meant that many Christmas meals would be particularly expensive. A £1.50 can of soup can offer the hearty flavours of Christmas without the cost.
How? Zoom is working with the Irish government to create ‘Connected Hubs’ across the country, which are co-working spaces where anyone can book a desk.
Why? ‘Successive Irish governments have struggled to address concerns that opportunities in Ireland are overly concentrated in its capital, Dublin, at the expense of rural and regional communities. However, the widespread adoption of video communication platforms like Zoom since March 2020 has energized efforts to redress this imbalance and has helped Ireland begin to emerge as a world leader in remote working.’
So if we think about the example of your business turning over its first million pounds, your ‘how’ and ‘why’ will be what you did to get there, what market conditions you noticed and took advantage of, how you noticed an opportunity that nobody else did, or what unconventional philosophy drives your growth. There you have inspiration for your reader — lessons they can apply and approaches they can replicate.
Story in your strategy
Your time and budget are much better spent when your PR has focus and drive. Looking at the wider picture of your PR, in order to build real momentum, you need to consider your overarching story as part of your strategy.
When you’re preparing a content or PR calendar, consider what story you’re trying to tell long-term. That will allow each piece of content and each press release to build on the last, like episodes in a series. Your readers and target audience will be left with a far longer-lasting impression, and receive a much more powerful message than if you simply publicise a string of broadly unrelated or tenuously connected communications.
If you need help crafting a PR strategy, telling your business’s story, or writing press releases that get your company covered, get in touch with Nutcracker to see how we can put you in front of your audience. Call 020 3941 0305 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.