We all love our own stories – and we all tend to think they’re important. For any PR consultant, in an ideal world every single story would be of national interest, snapped up by editors and run prominently for everyone to see.
But in reality, that’s not the case. Clients might think their stories are ‘hold the front page’ moments, but a good PR person knows the different between a story that’s going to pique interest nationally and those that are more suited to a local audience. They’ll also find a way to tell their client that – not always an easy conversation to have.
Of course, the job of a PR consultant or agency is to get coverage and push hard to achieve those goals – not to take a quick ‘no’ as defeat. But being realistic is important.
On top of that, it’s important to think about WHY you’re doing that particular piece of PR – what is its purpose? PR is never about coverage for coverage sake. It’s about that coverage helping to achieve a particular aim, whether that’s an uplift in sales, increased awareness, or some other target.
As part of EMPR’s work with Warwick Chamber of Trade, there are different goals and aims relating to certain stories. A large part is the promotion of Warwick as a destination for people locally and further afield, which is achieved by national coverage where possible, as well as broader regional coverage.
So far, EMPR has organised press trips for journalists from a range of publications, as well as securing inclusion for Warwick as a whole and businesses within it in national newspapers, radio stations and on television. Recent examples are the inclusion of Warwick in the Daily Mail’s guide to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations as well as the inclusion of the Old Fourpenny Shop Pub & Hotel in The i’s round-up of best barbecue spots.
But in addition to this, there are elements to work with the Chamber of Trade that are more focused on providing information to local residents and member businesses. For these stories, such as an information pack put together for residents, local media is the way to go. It speaks to the audience who will benefit most from the pack and add best value to the aims of the activity itself.
Then there are the stories that cross the two – and that’s where approach comes in. The story may be the same, but if the audience is different then the approach is too.
The launch of Warwick’s Town Break Trail and a Guy of Warwick Trail has potential interest to national journalists if they visit, but is also of great local interest, garnering coverage from local media including extensive items on BBC local radio. But the approach to different media even around the same story is different. It’s about finding different angles, communicating in the right way and thinking about what the ultimate aim is.
So next time, when you’re looking for people to cover your story, think about who you want to cover it and why. It will help.