We recently had a few conversations with people outside the PR industry which highlighted some interesting perceptions about PR.
For some reason, people seem to think that PRs spend all day just talking to their contacts and telling them what to publish.
A good PR company is constantly looking for opportunities for its clients and finding out how it can use those opportunities to generate publicity.
A few years ago, one of our team members was working for a mental health charity and picked up that the film ‘A Beautiful Mind’ was coming out. The film focused on John Nash who had schizophrenia and she recognised that it presented a great opportunity to raise the profile of the illness and the charity.
She contacted the distribution company and arranged a meeting to see if there was a way of working together to support the film and raise the profile of the charity.
They agreed to hold two screenings at private screening rooms in Soho before the film was released in the cinema. One screening was aimed at the charity supporters and fundraisers to thank them for their help and one was aimed at journalists where they’d get the chance to meet the team and the CEO and ask questions about the condition.
The screenings went well and generated some good publicity for the charity however one journalist was unable to make the screening due to a breaking news story. The organisation really needed the support of this particular journalist who wrote for one of the UK’s biggest newspapers so it was time for plan b.
She contacted the distribution company to ask if it was possible to bike a DVD of the film – before its cinema release don’t forget – to the journalist so she could watch it in her own time.
As a result, the newspaper ran two pages on mental health issues, valuable publicity for a condition which was widely misunderstood.
If you’re promoting a service, a charity or an issue, that’s what you need a good PR agency to do. Your agency should be constantly looking for opportunities to get you featured in the press and to be seen as the go-to expert in this field.
We take this approach at Cerub PR which has led to our clients being featured on TV programmes such as The Victoria Derbyshire Show and on channels including CNBC and Sky News as well as The Independent, The Telegraph, The Times, OK magazine and Hello!
Without a good story, your PR agency has nothing, so it’s their job to create and develop a story which will get you into the news.