How often do your clients talk to journalists? Is it something you encourage or are you more like a security guard, the stern-faced barrier between the press and your client?
But if that’s not the case, then it’s time to start some relationship building.
I had an example of some great pro-active PR last week, when I was working on a story for the FT. I emailed the in-house PR to ask her about sales of a particular category and not long afterwards I suddenly received a call from the designer and founder herself.
She’d thought my question sounded interesting and it might be a good idea to speak to me directly. Within about half an hour of my tentative email, my entire story had changed focus. I had a good human-interest business story, with lots of insight from the founder and great quotes. The short-term result was that her brand ended up being the main thrust of the article. The long-term result is that I now won’t be shy about picking up the phone to her either!
I’d like to suggest it might be helpful to encourage your clients to talk to press in a more regular and spontaneous way, not only on official occasions such as press days (ha, remember them), but via quick chats on the phone, even WhatsApp messages. If your client is someone who can offer interesting insights into their business and opinions on events in the wider industry, let the press know that they are always available to jump on the phone and share. The horse’s mouth is a valuable resource.
“Yum, I love this extended press release about the historic French jewellery brand, Goossens, soon to open a store in London. It’s not just the history, it’s the lovely format and great imagery.