Let’s talk press releases and PR

By Jane O’Mahoney

Press releases are an excellent tool utilised by PR professionals, but they are just one piece of the puzzle and by no means the most powerful.

They are ideal to communicate news with stakeholders, often regarding growth, new appointments, contract wins or perhaps situations where a business has provided a service that has significantly improved the efficiency of another business.

What they are not, is a sales tool.

They are part of a well-rounded, carefully planned and executed strategy. One that aims to build the profile of a business and communicates externally that it has a clear and shared vision amongst its team, that embodies a culture built on honesty, integrity and doing the right thing. This is what PR can achieve, highlighting your business as one of choice, one which people would like to work with.

That is why, when approached about a one-off press release, the majority of the time, my advice would be to save your money, or, at the very least, I would have a conversation about expectations.

Issuing a one-off release is a bit like trying to lose weight and eating well on Monday, only to revert back to over-indulging on Tuesday. If you want the best results, you need to have a plan that involves a number of tactics such as meal prep, hitting daily steps and consistency. It takes time, but the end result is more than worth it.

The same is true of PR.

When I hear people say that PR didn’t produce the desired outcome, the reality is that sometimes they want short term reward and are unable to play the long-game. Building a brand, where people know exactly who you are and what your business does before you enter the room, is invaluable.

After all, your brand is what people say about you, and your business, when you aren’t in the room and, if you aren’t communicating and asserting control over that narrative, people will make it up for you.

Ultimately, what I’m trying to convey is that media coverage is only one area that can be leveraged. An exemplar PR professional will approach their work laterally, thinking outside of the box and looking for opportunities that clients might not spot themselves. Drawing all of this together, they will help you to create a brand you can be proud of, one that people will talk highly of and one that will help you differentiate from your competitors, ultimately helping you win business and retain it.