Written by Sophie Maccagnone, Account Executive at Dittoe Public Relations
PR professionals thrive during times of client chaos. Between securing photoshoots to planning grand openings and coordinating influencer campaigns, we drool at opportunities alike that are sure to secure media interest and stir conversation. However, it’s when things calm down that truly challenge a PR pro’s strategy.
When a lull in client happenings arise, securing coverage can seem near impossible. Sitting around is not an option. Therefore, our roles require proactive thinking and promotional tactics that’ll tell our clients’ stories and spark conversation when things get silent.
Here are three ways you can take a proactive approach to public relations in order to keep your clients’ brands seen and heard:
1. Create a PR calendar
When you’re in proactive PR mode, it’s important to not neglect the basics. Classic strategies can prove wildly successful, that’s why creating an editorial calendar is the first step towards a proactive approach. Housing all your client’s upcoming product releases, events and initiatives, as well as any known opportunities to tell their story will allow you to strategically plan out each PR move in advance.
Take it a step further by incorporating any holidays or seasonal events into your calendar that align with each client and its messaging. For instance, leveraging national days or #NYFW-type events between announcements can help garner media coverage for clients while giving them the opportunity to share any upcoming company messaging.
Instead of simply focusing on your client and its direct market, try consistently tuning into what people are talking about worldwide to help keep a pulse on any trends that may present opportunities.
2. Be Inspired by trending topics
Often times we get too caught up or comfortable in our ongoing strategies that we forget to look at the bigger picture. Instead of simply focusing on your client and its direct market, try consistently tuning into what people are talking about worldwide to help keep a pulse on any trends that may present opportunities. Trendspotting has become a key, perhaps critical, component of any PR pro’s toolkit, as trends reveal what people’s interest and intentions are at any given moment. The key to capitalizing on a trend is to get on board while the conversation is just picking up. Wait too long, and your brand will be left behind while the trend takes off—without you.
Where should you look to spot trends?
With over 3 billion people using social media, the best place to start is scrolling through your feed. Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest, trends are plastered across every social network and gaining traction exponentially with the help of influencers and brands. In fact, 96% of US fashion brands are on Instagram.
3. RECYCLE AND REPURPOSE old pitches – WITH A TWIST
Anticipating future trends is an effective proactive PR approach, but another great way to create media opportunities when things seem slow is to look back at coverage from the previous year. The media industry is rather habitual, meaning many outlets follow a very similar calendar each year, covering similar topics around the same time. Garner that past coverage for a future twist on the topic that will give your client a competitive edge on the seasonal topic.
The best way to secure your clients coverage is to go after the opportunities they want, as well as the opportunities they may not think about.
Additionally, there is ample opportunity to repurpose PR content. After spending copious amounts of time creating pitches, blogs, releases and case studies, don’t let your content fall by the wayside. Transform statistics utilized in your successful pitch into a fun infographic, or revive an old case study by altering the format into Q&A style. You’d be surprised by the interest you can secure just by giving your content a fresh, new look.
The cheer says it best; be AGGRESSIVE – and the best way to secure your clients coverage is to go after the opportunities they want, as well as the opportunities they may not think about. Public Relations is not all star-studded events and bougee parties, although Samantha Jones may say otherwise, taking proactive measures consists of a lot of research, preparation and hard work. Which in turn, proves to be more rewarding, because you’re helping to drive the conversation, versus reacting to things that fall into your lap. By implementing these proactive PR approaches and mastering the basics, your efforts will help to drive the conversation and maintain a steady stream of client coverage – chaotic or not.
Sophie Maccagnone is an Account Executive at Dittoe Public Relations, a PR firm proactively shaping narratives that influence behavior and invoke change. As a former collegiate athlete, Sophie is well-versed in juggling countless tasks at a time and combines her passion for unique storytelling, articulate eye for graphic design and playmaker mentality to identify the best tactics that lead companies to success. When she’s not in PR mode, Sophie is kicking around a soccer ball or binging bad Netflix thrillers. Follow Sophie on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.