Shouting smarter: How to make the best of your PR budget

Technical PR, Engineering PR, Industrial PR, Manufacturing PR












The PR landscape has changed. Once upon a time, all you had to do to get coverage for a technology product was write a press release and send it to your favourite trade press contacts. Then, bingo, rivers of coverage would flow in, mountains of media would spring up and you would have to hire another warehouse to put the sales enquiries in.But trade magazines have grown increasingly thinner and more and more pages are devoted to paid for advertorial or colour separations. So how, in this changed landscape should one continue to generate coverage?Well, here are Stone Junctions top five tips:

1. DON’T IGNORE 50% OF THE MAGAZINE: Most people write product stories and case studies, perhaps occasionally authoring the odd technical article. However, this limits your coverage to the parts of the magazine that cover such material. Next time you’re formulating your message, think about the other sections – the FAQs, the letters page, the opinion columns and the news pages. What could you do to target these areas?

2. LOOK BEYOND THE MAGAZINE ITSELF: Where else could your press material be used? Direct to customer social networking sites, Blogs, online newsletters, industry Web sites, news sites and RSS feeds from your own Web site are amongst the possibilities.

3. TURN NEWS DELIVERY INTO CONTENT CREATION: Once you have eked every ounce of media coverage out of your material, re-purpose it as Web content for your own site, newsletter content for customers, staff magazine content or e-mail marketing material.

4. GET THE MOST FROM EVERY STORY: Most people look at a single event and see a single story. Take a product launch for instance – you could just knock out a product press release. However, there might be more there. Was the product developed in response to legislative demand for instance? If so, there is almost always an opinion piece in there somewhere, just waiting to be drawn out. There might be a letters campaign on the efficacy of that particular piece of legislation or set of regulations. Maybe the product was developed in an unusual way or by a unique individual? Could there be a story there for the design press? Or a regional press release targeting the area the developer came from? How about profile work for the business press?

5. MEASURE, MEASURE, MEASURE: If I had a pound for every PR tactic I’ve seen left half done when its originator moves on to soon I would be rich. So rich in fact, I would barely need to write this newsletter. However, there is a serious point. If you don’t measure the success of an activity, you can’t tell if the results are commensurate with the power of the original idea. Good measurement will tell you if any ideas should be re-visited to generate the extra column inches they deserve.

My last tip is simple – invest. A public relations campaign is an investment in the reputation of your company. As a result, invest your time, the time of your staff if needed and sufficient budget to make it work. If you are doing it in house but not getting results, maybe it’s time to hire an agency. If so, contact me on 0208 6997743 or e-mail richards@stonejunction.co.uk. If you are using an agency that isn’t getting the results you expect, talk to them about why it’s not happening. If it’s a budgetary issue, you might find a few more agency hours or a little more attention from you makes the difference. And, of course, if it doesn’t, you’ve got my e-mail address.

Richard Stone

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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