What is PR?
When you think of public relations, you may imagine bold, front-page stories in the newspaper, high-profile press conferences or the excitement of TV interviews. While this glamorous side does exist, there is much more to it.
So whether you’re looking to start a career in PR, or are in your first few years, Roxhill is here to help you. Read on to understand the basics of PR, why it’s important, and how you can succeed.
"PR is essentially trying to get press coverage for your client in the broadsheets, the magazines, and obviously nowadays online, because pretty much every title now is digital first."
Consultant for Roxhill Media and Publicist for The Pig Hotels
Getting started in PR
Before you dive into making your first press list, or consider creating your first press release, it’s important to know the basics. Public Relations can be a hard to pin down concept, but essentially it is creating and maintaining a positive relationship with the press and trying to get press coverage for your client(s). When your client is featured in broadsheets, tabloids, glossies or online the readers and users of those mediums will naturally absorb this information. The public is engaged.
Your main way of raising brand awareness is through journalists and the outlets they write for. Traditionally, this meant print media. However, PR has changed with the advent of technology, so much of your output will also be through digital channels.
If your focus is lifestyle PR, your aim will be to score commissions for your, or your client’s products. This entails knowing what news a journalist wants to see in a press release, how and when to speak to them, and knowing the type of coverage you or your client would like to receive. You can check out our blog posts on How To Write a Press Release and What Makes a Good Image for further help.
How to stand out
Your main hurdle will be standing out in the crowd, especially when you’re first starting out. PRs with established relationships will usually get priority from journalists as they know they can trust them. However, we have lots of tips and tricks to help you overcome that initial hurdle of getting their attention for the first time, showing your trustworthiness and helping you land that commission.
However, if your focus is in the business or finance world, you’re much more likely to be focused on another form of PR; crisis comms or reputation management. This means knowing who you need to contact when you know your company, or your client, is going to be in the news. Ensuring you get ahead of the story can help guide the narrative. Having a media database that is accurate and full of information which can point you to the top journalists in your sector will make all the difference.
Brush up on your PR knowledge
Browse through our blog posts of top PR tips and read through some of the very best advice and exclusive insights from PR professionals and the journalists you try to speak to every day.
Why is this different to marketing/advertising?
Now that you know what PR is, lets tackle another common question: What is the difference between PR and advertising/marketing?
Marketing can be defined as a way of promoting and selling products and services. PR is a process where brands’ news is promoted through editorial content on blogs, websites, magazines, news channels, television programs, and newspapers.
The process of content creation for marketing/advertising and PR is different. While you have full control of the advert you place in the slot you’ve paid for, you do not have control over PR coverage. In PR, the news content written about you/your client is entirely under the control of the journalist, particularly if it’s a review or opinion piece.
Types of PR
Corporate and social responsibility
Integrated marketing and communications
Why PR is important
How often do you purchase a product from a brand you know nothing about? When you do your due dilligence to investigate if you should purchase something from a company you’ve never heard of, what are the markers you look for that instill trust? By and large, the answer to that question is one or a combination of the following factors; appealing and professional branding, consistent and clear communication across their platforms (website, shop, social media); brand values; press coverage; and word-of-mouth customer reviews.
An effective PR strategy and great PR etiquette will go a long way in building that trust by building your client’s reputation and visibility in the media. By putting in the effort to build those important media relationships and ensuring that your communications are clear, well targeted and efficient, you can ensure that you are putting your clients in the very best position to be featured in magazines, newspapers, and online.
On the flip-side, a bad PR strategy can do long-term damage to your clients’ reputations, and it can squander your chances of landing that coverage. Poor PR etiquette can render you blacklisted, and your strategy can even have a long-term effect on your reputation and that of your clients’.
A good public relations professional will ensure that external communications are well-targeted in order to reach the right audiences. You definitely don’t want to send untargeted and unpersonalised mass emails (with no news content) to 2000 journalists from various sectors, where they may not even remotely be interested in the product or story you’re pitching.
Don't just take our word for it
Find out more about how Roxhill can help you hit your PR goals from our clients who do it every day.
Hear from Emma Cripwell, publicist for THE PIG Hotels and discover how Roxhill has changed the way they work and helped them achieve their PR goals.
“Roxhill continues to be an unbelievably useful tool for me.”
– Emma Cripwell, Publicist for THE PIG Hotels