Your PR Toolkit – Issues Hi-jacking

So, you’ve got your business plan sorted, your marketing is all organised and you’re set aren’t you? Well maybe not.

If you haven’t got a PR strategy in place you’re really missing a trick when it comes to your marketing mix. Public relations should be an integral part of your marketing strategy as they can support your business goals by putting your company and your services or products in front of the right people at the right time and at the right place and can help you establish and maintain good relationships with your key stakeholders.

Customers, suppliers, employees, investors and regulators can have a powerful impact on your business and they all have an opinion about the organisations they come into contact with – whether good or bad, right or wrong. These perceptions will drive their decisions about whether they want to work with, shop with and support these organisations. In today’s competitive market, every organisation, no matter how large or small, ultimately depends on its reputation for survival and success and this is where PR comes in.

The PR toolkit can help with your reputation management, raise awareness of your messages and foster relationships with key publics.

So let’s start with effective media relations which is a big part of the wider PR remit.

Engaging with the right media and presenting them with your story through appropriate channels will work wonders for your reputation management as it will give you credibility and help you communicate your messages to your stakeholders.

There are hundreds of ways to engage with the press but for the purposes of this blog, let’s look at issues hi-jacking, a really effective tactic of media relations.

Issues hi-jacking is the skill of identifying a topic current in the press and reacting to it. If for example you’re an accountancy practice this could include generating publicity for your company around the budget. This can include interviews with broadcast media by issuing your predictions about what’s going to happen the day before the budget, giving a blow by blow account as it happens to an online media outlet and issuing an overview of the budget to the media at the end of the day to generate more interviews across the media.

Generating positive coverage in your target media is great, however you can make your media relations go further. You’re talking to radio stations or newspapers or online media giving your expert opinion but then what?

The key to success is to use this as a springboard to dive into other PR activity to tie in with your overall marketing strategy. You’d promote your radio appearances on LinkedIn beforehand to get the attention of your followers, you’d take your comments and use them on your social media channels, you’d write a blog based on your predictions and then your summary and use those on your website. You could record a podcast based on your findings and use that on your social media platforms.

Media relations is an important part of your overall PR activity as it can help you generate content to use on all your other marketing channels, getting your company seen on different platforms making you look proactive and knowledgeable. The more you put yourself out there the more you’ll engage with your stakeholders. Existing clients feel reassured that they’re with a trustworthy company that knows its stuff and potential clients start to notice you and wonder why their existing accountants aren’t out there talking about the budget.

And it keeps going. Once the media have your details and know that you’re a reliable source of comment, they’ll keep coming back and the circle keeps turning.

Keep an eye on our blog as over the coming weeks as we will be focusing on the different elements of a successful PR strategy which can help you maximise your profits and become a key player within your industry.