Scrolling down my twitter feed as I do looking for things of interest I came across a tweet from Tim Weber, the business editor for BBC news and radio which made me smile. His department had just received what he described as the most stupid PR call ever: “Hello, do you publish advertorials – am I through to the right department at the BBC?” And then having browsed the open questions on Linked In in the public relations category, I found the following: “What is the best press release service for a release about a new services offering from a boutique consultancy?
It made me think about how so many PRs fail to target properly – whether that’s a phone call, a press release or a pitch. And how many business owners – like our friend on Linked In – fail to appreciate what news is – and isn’t.
The old adage, fail to prepare, prepare to fail still holds true so here’s our top PR tips for recruiters:
- Target target target. Accountancy Age isn’t interested in a release about solicitors. The Birmingham Post isn’t interested in companies in Manchester. No-one is interested in the fact that you’ve changed the colour of your wallpaper.
- Research. Find out what your clients and candidates are reading and check out the features and news editors. Have a look at the media to see what sorts of stories they run (most are online today so it shouldn’t be difficult).
- Engage! Journalists don’t have to call you back – they don’t have to use your material – it’s up to you to persuade them that they ought to. They want good stories – ring then up and sell them in – just as you would a candidate.
- Have something interesting to say. Survey your client and candidate base; piggyback relevant stories already in the press. Note: “75% of our clients think our agency is fabulous is not something interesting!”
- Don’t get hung up about broadsheets. Having a few lines in the FT may make your mother proud but wouldn’t half a page in a trade title which is read by your clients and candidates be more credible?
Go on try it – and let us know how you get on!