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Introducing the PR diaphragm

Know what you’re good at… and shout about it! (It all comes from the diaphragm – or what you like to call the PR Agency)

With any PR campaign, the planning and execution is key. The best campaigns are expertly planned and executed by people who know what they are doing. That’s why a good PR campaign on the surface looks effortless to the consumer – but behind that graceful swan we can assure you there is a well-oiled PR machine that has been working hard to produce valuable content and maintain relationships.

What’s important to understand is that effective PR is a craft that involves writing well thought out press releases with story angles that interest the right media; not an afterthought whizzed out over lunch with a ham sandwich in one hand (excuse the crumbs…)!

If the goal is to raise media and/or consumer awareness of your business, then a carefully crafted public relations campaign is required. Creating a buzz and recognition of your business should start and remain present through the media, which (conveniently for this blog post) highlights the importance of nurturing positive relationships with the media and working together to generate and create publicity via the media.

Budget for PR – not PR on a budget

Take time to consider your budget – inhale deeply. Not every PR campaign requires a budget that would save Greece, but certainly resource the campaign properly – don’t exaggerate or be vague with your budget; be honest. If the resources (financial or man power) are not available to do it properly, the chances are you are probably better off not doing it. Whereas this may at first sound negative, what we are advising is to avoid damaging your brand with a half-hearted campaign; instead consult with experts who can tailor a campaign to suit your needs for now.

On the topic of ‘suiting your needs for now’, Oxygen will always be honest with you. Tempting as it is to follow the trends and be seen to be ‘current’, we often remind our clients not to make ‘noise’ for the sake of it. Often the return is very little and gets lost in the ‘white noise’ – so save your budget for when it really counts.

‘Measure twice and cut once’ applies

Which leads on to the importance of being strategic. Take a deep breath and repeat this mantra before going live with any PR campaign: Stop… Think… Review and fine tune. You’ll have heard carpenters say ‘measure twice, cut once’ and that underlines the importance of good planning.

Will your campaign or activity achieve what you need it to? Make time to think and reflect on the purpose of your activity to ensure you get the most out of your precious resource.

PR generates news coverage; news coverage helps build credibility. People absorb their environment and somewhat unconsciously take what they hear from the media, filter it, and re-present it as their own opinion. People can be wary of advertising and being told what to think. It’s easy to be your own biggest fan.

Good PR should allow for your unique story; it should work hard and allow for consumers to digest and discuss your story on its own merit. Personalisation – not production line.

And breathe.

Steve Lodge: Steve trained as a NCTJ journalist and is an experienced copywriter. He has over 15 years in agency, and started Oxygen in 2002.