Posted 10th October 2016 | By Nicki Wedgwood, Project Coordinator

So I'm one of the newest recruits to the ExtraMile team and as well as coordinating on all of our exciting projects, I'm here to help grow the PR side of the business...

Since leaving university in 2012, I've been fully immersed in the wonderful world of PR and Communications. If you'd like a little summary of what PR (or Public Relations) actually is, here's the explanation I've been trying to get my mum to understand since I chose this as my career path... It's basically getting your product or service seen, talked about and promoted (usually for free!), by the right people in the right industries.

On my second week here, I attended a morning networking event held by the PR Manager for Michelin, David Johnson. It was a brilliant conference and even if you're a public relations veteran, I find that there are always key takeaways from these events that help to fire up your love for the industry all over again.

So if you're looking to grow your own PR, or even if you're an old-timer searching for a bit of inspiration, here's 3 things I took away from David's talk...

KNOW YOUR TARGET MEDIA

Whether you want to be featured in Vogue or Welding World Magazine, build yourself a target media list. There's plenty of software out there that has all of this information to hand, but if you're on a budget go old-school and buy a few copies of your target magazines or newspapers. Read them front to back religiously, really familiarise yourself with the publication you'd like to be featured in and note down the kind of news they cover. If you have similar stories to tell, make your life easier and use their own articles as a blueprint for crafting your own press release.

WHO ARE YOU PITCHING TO?

So you've got your target media in mind, but who exactly are you going to send your story to? Pitching to the right journalist could be the make or break of your success, so make a list of who's writing about what. If you can, go and meet with them to introduce your company and tell them about your business. Journalists are busy people, but face-to-face time is always hugely beneficial for kick-starting that relationship. As well as looking at the editor lists in magazines and papers, I like to do a bit of Twitter-stalking to discover who's talking about what and if they look receptive to more informal methods of communication, send them a tweet. Finally, if they've featured your story, say thank you. A bit of common courtesy never hurts!

PERFECT YOUR PITCH

So now you've got your media goal in mind, it's time to craft your press release. This is the tool that's going to 'sell your story in' to the press. David advised taking off your 'PR' hat and putting on your 'freelance journalist' one. The story is king, so ask yourself, what do the target audience want to read? Keep your release to 2 pages maximum, include a couple of quotes from relevant people to give your story even more credibility and make sure your introduction really summarises and captures exactly what the story is, in a succinct way. Add a 'Notes to Editor' section right at the end to include further information about your company and how to get hold of you, this will help the journalist out when they're writing up their article.

And if you find yourself in a PR rut... 10 minutes on this tumblr account will reassure you that you're not in it alone!

Written by Nicki Wedgwood, Project Coordinator at ExtraMile Communications.

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