As that great ad man Don Draper once said, “if you don’t like what's being said, change the conversation.” Tweaked for public relations, “if you don’t have anything newsworthy – make it.” Now, we’re not suggesting you pull a Peggy Olson and pay people to fight over your product in store to generate publicity, but public relations is often less about waiting for something newsworthy to happen with your company and more about creating something newsworthy to gain media attention.
A few (non-shady) ways to generate good PR:
Hold a Contest
Find something related to your brand and ask your followers to make a video/paint a picture/write a song about it and then pick a winner! You’ll get the media mentions promoting the contest as well as the follow-up once you award your winner. Pro-tip, the more deserving your pool of contestants - i.e., teachers, nurses, volunteers - the more media coverage you’ll attract. Recently, we held a contest for our client Yowie to award a local teacher $1000 for their classroom and Yowie chocolate for the whole school! We secured two interviews for the Yowie CMO leading up to the contest and coverage of the award presentation!
Give a Gift
Your natural altruism is the kind of feel-good story media outlets love during the holiday season and beyond. Look for places your product would do the most good or organizations that align with your brand and donate, donate, donate! You can also look for national holidays (there’s one at least every day!) that works with your brand and donate a portion of sales from that day to an aligned organization.
Position Yourself as an Expert
You probably know a lot about your business. Put that knowledge to use in your PR! When there is something in the news that pertains (even tangentially) to your industry or expertise, offer to give some insider knowledge to the media. If you’re a financial institution, offer some thoughts on the current economic status. If you’re a medical institution, offer to explain current CDC guidelines. If you utilize shipping, speak about current shipping issues. Soon you’ll be the media’s go-to person for a comment and will have solidified yourself as an expert in your field to the public.
Creating PR when you have a new product to launch or an announcement to make is easy, but not having news isn’t an excuse to forgo your public relations! Staying in the media will help you stay at the top of mind for current and potential clients. Just take a page from the fictional ad men of yore and start your own conversation.