5 Things to Consider Before Pursuing PR

Since there was some question as to exactly what journalists are looking for, I decided to expand on the topic.

One of the first things I do when speaking to a potential new client is uncover what makes them unique; what is the story that consumers will be interested in. The reason? Because this is exactly what journalists are looking for when they consider including a company, product or expert in a story.

Here are some things, from a journalist’s point of view, that you should consider about your company or product that will help you achieve positive public relations:

1. Is there a current trend that your company or product can contribute to? Example: right now everyone is looking for ways to save money and go green. Define how your business fits this trend. Journalists are looking for these tips right now!

2. Is your product or business new to the market? Is it a new trend in and of itself? Media prefer to cover new things. They’re always looking for new stories that they haven’t written in the past.

3. Do you have an interesting back story to starting your business? Did you develop the idea while struggling with something personally? Were you looking for an easier way to do something? Was your background and professional history a catalyst for starting your business?

4. How does your business effect the everyday lifestyle of consumers? Does it make something simpler, revolutionize a daily routine or enhance one’s life in a way that never existed before?

5. If your business has competition in the market, how do you differ? Why are you so special?

These are all things that journalists are looking for. I’ve used the analogy of the dry cleaner on the corner before, but I will remind you. Almost every dry cleaner is the same, offering the same services. The only difference that each may have is their pricing, and then they use other marketing tools like advertising and direct mail. There’s just not enough here to develop a story or interest to appear in a newspaper or magazine.

So consider this before you pursue public relations for your business. It will determine the success of your campaign. And when all else fails, consult a professional who can take a fresh look at your business and help you develop the story that will generate press, awareness, sales and make your business the success you’ve hoped for.

Jennifer Fortney, Cascade Communications
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