PR Deliverables Explained
TopLine’s Account Director Luke Budka explains the elements of a successful PR campaign
PR is often viewed as a dark art by those unfamiliar with what we do. These are the elements of a B2B public relations campaign.
Media release (formerly known as the press release)
This is a written piece, normally around a page in length, which is specially constructed to alert the media to your company’s news. It will include the who, what, when, where, and why of the story along with a little background info, maybe a picture or two, and quotes from associated stakeholders. A media release is no longer solely aimed at the written press hence the name change and it’s an important weapon in the armoury we use to publicise your company. If you don’t have company news, we will work with you to create some (through research, launches or requests under the Freedom of Information Act. BE AWARE: Lots of PR agencies will tell you the most effective form of distribution is on a ‘news wire’. This is a service offer by Business Wire or PR Newswire for example, and costs upwards of £250. We won’t distribute your news like this unless you specifically ask us to. This is because we take great pride in our relationships with the media and our ability to pick up the phone and sell a story to a journalist. We believe (and have evidence to prove) this results in better coverage and gives you the best chance of reaching your target audience. Read our series on the value of newswires on the B2B PR Blog to find out why we believe newswires are a waste of money.
As part of your B2B PR campaign, we set up interviews with journalists, analysts and other stakeholders that might be interested in your business, news stories or key messages. The ultimate goal is to get you on a journalist’s radar, and forge strong relationships with your top target media so that they are receptive to our pitches and automatically come to us for comment from you when they’re writing about your industry. This won’t happen overnight – it takes months, even years, to become the thought leader in your industry, but it’s worth it.
This is an article we write on behalf of your company and your company’s clients. It will break down business deals in terms of your client’s background, the challenges they face, the solution to the challenges (that’s where you come in!), and the end results. Case studies are a great way of leading prospects through your service offering in a language they understand. A third-party testament to the quality of your offering will really resonate with the business community. The process includes us interviewing all parties involved in the deal, writing the case study, securing approvals and then presenting it into carefully selected media. We also produce a written version for your website, and our video production team can turn this into a video case study as well.
A byliner is called a byliner because it is an opinion piece ‘bylined’ or authored to someone in your company. The piece will present your perspective on a topical business issue positioning you as a ‘thought leader’. We’ve covered a lot of topics within the sectors we specialise in since starting TopLine, ranging from the latest in video conferencing technology, to how to achieve PCI compliance, to explaining the new Tier 4 visa system. We use your knowledge and our writing ability to produce thought-provoking interesting copy that the media will be keen to publish.
These are articles written by journalists that tell the detailed story of your business (or of you as a business leader). These can be tricky to secure as there has to be a strong business angle for us to be able to capture the attention of the media, but we are experts at working with you to find the point of interest.
We use letters (or comments for digital PR) to respond to printed pieces or online articles on your behalf. Once we’ve held an editorial brainstorm at the beginning of our comms contract with you we then look out for opportunities to respond to associated issues. A well written, succinct, interesting and prompt response will always have an excellent chance of being published. Responding quickly to online articles allows you to post first and steer the debate, exposing your business to anyone who reads the article in future.
Best viewed as a shorter more colloquial byliner and an important part of your digital PR campaign. While informal, a blog speaks volumes about your company and your personal business viewpoints, and will be the first public facing part of your business that most customers see. Whether on your own website or as a guest on other blogs, a blog post offers a good way to engage with a targeted audience, allowing you to expand on official website content and generate new ideas and customer feedback. This is essentially a ghost-writing exercise that we provide for a number of clients and a critical component in our B2B social media and SEO services.