5 Elements of Traditional PR—and Why They Still Work
By LynAnn King, KingSings PR
I first learned how to do publicity from a seasoned mentor, before social media hit the scene. Now that we are all becoming our own brand marketers, and head of our own companies, we can take cues from how it worked, and incorporate these best practices in producing our media now.
With the marketing landscape changing and growing daily, some may think these suggestions are “old school” methods, thinking that social media replaces the press release, the press conference, and press kits. It’s simply hasn’t happened, and it’s not true.
These traditional ‘old methods’ are the ones that still resonate and work.
Here are five elements of Traditional PR, and why they still work:
- The press release
This is still the most effective way to organize the information, the announcement, the big idea.
Reporters and journalists are used to reading information in the press release format. They still ask for them.
In every media campaign I produce for a client, there are press releases. I’ve yet to be engaged in a media relations campaign when a reporter doesn’t ask for “the press release.” It’s one-stop shopping for all the information a busy reporter needs when filing a story, and it becomes the foundational document for developing key messages and crisis questions and answers.
- The press conference
Press conferences can be an expensive proposition. Costs for audio/visual, technical, and signage requirements need to be in the budget, and it’s not cheap. But there’s nothing like gathering media and stakeholders in one place at one time to create buzz, branding, and excitement about a newsworthy story.
- Key message development
Marketing takes that creative time. Sometimes you have to put your marketing hat on, gather the team, and brainstorm the key messages that can be used in the broadest channels possible.
It’s extremely important that the key executives have their three key messages—and know them by heart. This is the way that you, the company can control the message to the media, because the news items of your story should bear out the very same messages. And that certainly allows it to be measureable.
- Face-to-face relationships
Get to know the media contacts you are specifically targeting. They may be attending an event. They may be guest speakers or an MC as an event. If you know who they are, what they look like, you can have a chance to connect with them face-to-face, before they speak. After they speak, the crowd is around them, and it’s near impossible to make a connection. Personal interaction creates trust. Trust creates a great working relationship.
- B-roll footage
Be sure to always think about gathering B-roll (or background) footage (video or photos) because it helps broadcast media round out the visuals for a news item. With newsrooms busier and leaner, the more you can provide a journalist, the better. Shots that are action oriented, or Spokespeople giving “natural” answers versus boring corporate-speak; visuals that represent the story (for example, new products in action, or testimonials of people using the service or product). With B-rolls, you don’t need too much editing, the media properties will take what they need. Let the reporter (and his or her editor) decide how to edit the shot, to tell the story they have in mind.
5.+ Expert Profiles
This is a full bio description of the Spokesperson, that includes complete information about that person’s credentials, article/book publishing, media, awards and lots of pertinent information that a journalists can access.
In conclusion, these principals of PR writing of Press Releases has been used for decades, it’s in our DNA, and more importantly, in the media’s journalist DNA. They know you’re a serious PR person when you respect these principals.
LynAnn King is a publicist for over 10 years, producing big idea campaigns, strategy and media exposure for her clients. www.kingsingspr.com