This is a guest post from freelance journalist Dakota Murphey.
In PR, timing is everything. Get the timing right and it can mean the PR content that you painstakingly planned for months on end is picked up and run with. Get it wrong and it can feel like an awful lot of wasted effort for no reward. It is not surprising, then, that businesses are increasingly focused on the perfect timing for their PR work.
Well-planned and executed PR campaigns can be hugely beneficial to your business. They can help to build a connection with customers, limit and quickly manage any damage in a PR crisis as well as establish your business as a leading authority in the sector. Over time this is an incredibly rewarding form of marketing that can result in additional sales and boosted profits.
In this article, we will look at some top tips for timing your PR content and comms more effectively.
Being smart with social media
There can be no doubt that social media have revolutionised how we approach PR. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook can be used by PR professionals to get far more opportunities to connect with an audience online, as well as to provide a much larger potential audience for the content.
It is common for PR professionals to work closely with social media marketing to get the best possible results for their campaigns. Some of the most effective ways to use social media include engaging with press members, as well as identifying trending topics that are gaining popularity and momentum.
Writing engaging content
It is often an overlooked factor of PR: your content needs to stand out from the crowd. Remember that when you are conducting PR you are asking members of the press to take the content you give them and publish it online. That means you need to put a lot of effort and investment into creating truly engaging content.
The last thing you want is content that comes across as promotional or simply acts as an advert for your business. It can be easily seen through, not just by those publishing the work, but also by anyone who ends up reading it.
Writing timely content is an essential part of impressing those looking to publish your work, and you are much more likely to get work out if it has a time-relevant theme.
Responding to the pandemic
For many businesses, planning for PR content and large-scale communications can be done months or even years in advance. It may well be the case that a large part of your company’s business model was actually conceived before the Covid-19 pandemic took place. If this is the case for you, it is important to consider the effect that the pandemic has had on your marketplace and your audience.
“You should recognise that the pandemic has changed things significantly – and this might have to affect your business strategy moving forward,” explains Chris Plumridge, Director at Wellden Turnbull. “It may be the case that the kinds of products and services you offer may need to be re-thought and updated. This can be a painful process, but it is important to ensure that the company is sustainable.”
If you have planned for PR content that is no longer applicable, or perhaps no longer as relevant as it once was, you really need to reconsider the work and think about how you can put it out more effectively. The pandemic is continuing to influence business decisions, so this can be a key part of your strategy.
Building your relationships
There’s no doubt that relationship building is a key part of any PR role. Knowing who to go to with a particular piece of content and how to get them to accept it is the bread-and-butter of the role. A huge part of the good timing of your work is knowing when is the right time to send over a piece to a particular contact.
You should never be sending out a dull press release to generic channels. It is best to take every possible opportunity to build that personal connection – offer a story to a particular journalist, and do your research on them before you send it over.
Using a digital asset management system
One of the biggest challenges of always being timely with your PR content is the fact that you have to manage multiple media outlets at once. As such it can be an extremely good idea to invest in a digital asset management (DAM) system. This is a useful way to manage assets such as images, videos, infographics and more.
Check out previous guest posts published as part of our PR Club series on best practice in PR and comms here.