The challenge for any brand wanting to earn coverage and links to raise brand awareness and boost performance in search is to win the content battle with their competition.
Rival businesses have the same goals that you do, the media landscape is large and competition for coverage is fierce.
With multiple content pieces being pushed out every day, taking the right approach to what stories you tell and how you align your brand with these stories, while initiating strong media relations is key to your success.
A story that the media wants to publish because it is engaging, newsworthy, and contains valuable, relevant information for their readership will very often not be the same story that your marketing team wants to tell about your brand.
The art is to marry your brand with a story that aligns with your products and values but isn’t wedded to the type of brand messaging that is more suited to a piece of sales promotion than a news story.
As much as your marketing team wishes it wasn’t so, the media’s concern is not with your brand, but the quality of the story - Will the story interest their readership and get them talking, clicking and sharing or won’t it?
The publishing journalist wants to receive PR stories that are interesting, topical and fresh, and are presented in a journalistic news focussed style that they are familiar with and will grab the attention of their readers.
PR is done with the objective of getting your brand published and noticed so the stories you tell need to meet these requirements or they won’t be published.
Without a story worthy of being published to latch onto there is little reason for the journalist to publish your brand messaging.
So what stories can you tell about your brand to cut through the noise and rise above your competition?
Try to tell stories that provide valuable information - I’m not really talking about the latest sales figures or the number or employees you have grown by this year. While there is a place for trade focussed comms, these aren’t the kinds of stories that will get you 100+ pieces of coverage with link numbers that will significantly impact your performance in search.
Valuable to a journalist and their readership could come in the form of new information such as consumer insights that translate into stories that are relevant and actionable, but they don’t have to be so practical, and most brands don’t have this sort of information to share.
An in-house or agency PR team with the right journalistic skills can create page-ready stories for your brand by tapping into the news agenda and creating stories that are valuable to the reader without requiring additional input from yourself.
These could take the form of tips, advice, guides or warnings to name just a few - but whatever form they take they should be created with the news agenda in mind and be written in a style and tone that journalists can use.
But not all stories live or die on the information they provide.
While it’s true that human storytelling evolved from our need to pass on warnings and guidance to other humans to stay away from tigers or not walk through a particular swamp, stories have become so much more than that for us. They entertain, they make us smile, they touch so many more emotions than fear.
A good PR agency will enable your brand to reach all potential audiences because they will have the ability to be both serious and creative in their storytelling.
An idea in itself costs nothing and creative ideas that get serious pickup in the media can create award winning campaigns for minimal investment.
If you would like to have some of the best examples of the types of stories you can tell about your brand and the kind of results you can get then please click here to download our Greatest Hits document.
The ‘Selling Fresh Air’ campaign for MyBaggage is a great example of a creative and emotive story that fed the imaginations of journalists and readers alike.
The ongoing work we do for Leasecar shows how you can position your brand as an expert or champion by providing stories that provide valuable information over a consistent period of time.
And that feeds into one other recommendation I have.
Keep your storytelling consistent.
To find out more about telling valuable stories to get your brand name in the media, please get in touch.