Today I'm going to show you how you can go from little known to industry icon in one year.
YOU can do this even if your company is a startup — as long as you have a viable product or service. And I'm sure you wouldn't be in business if you didn't.
And you can do this if you’re an established company. In fact, it can make your job easier.
If you’re serious about putting your company on the map, you need to be very methodical in how you create and execute your PR strategy.
Otherwise you’re taking the “spray-and-pray” approach, bombarding media with information and hoping someone bites.
Well I’m going to share a PR storytelling technique that almost guarantees you get high quality press for your company.
It has 5 foolproof steps that if followed will explode your company's brand.
Keep reading to learn how….
How to Use The StoryPress Technique to Take a Company From Anonymity to 740 Million Impressions
Here's a brief case study to illustrate what I mean. It's a powerful tool for PR for startups as well as established companies.
The cool part?
You can do the same thing for your business… without a big marketing budget, connections with media, or a brand name. You don't need to embrace all PR trends and PR strategies. You do need to follow one PR strategy: The StoryPress Technique.
Here’s why this PR strategy works so well.
Have you ever read a book or watched a TV show that you couldn’t stop thinking about? The story was so compelling you were glued to your seat.
What you’re doing here is finding a story so enticing that your target media outlets have no choice but to write about it. Who would turn down a powerful story that’s relevant to the outlet’s readers?
Suddenly, you have a story the media you care about want to hear.
Now: The StoryPress Strategy is one of many PR strategies we use to get our clients visibility, credibility and leads. But it’s a powerful one. I reveal the others in my 90-day Proof-Of-Concept program.
Life happens in the narratives we tell one another... Data can persuade people, but it doesn’t inspire them to act. To do that, you need to wrap your vision in a story that fires the imagination and stirs the soul.
Let's face it. Most stories on the face of it are compelling to the story teller but not necessarily to others. However, nothing beats a powerful story in grabbing us. That is why PR storytelling is one of the powerful PR trends.
Here’s how you elevate your story:
The company, lettrs, has a platform and application that allows people to publicly share letters.
We centered lettrs’ story around Reinventing the Concept of Old-Fashioned Letter Writing for the Digital Age.
Positioning the company that way let us pull some emotional strings since letters (at least for the media) are fraught with feeling.
We knew we did something right….
Our message was perfectly enunciated in the headline of a story for the Wall Street Journal: “Sending Letters in The Digital Age.” As did this headline from Mashable: “Lettrs Brings Snail Mail Back to the Future:
For the movement solutions company, Accuride ® International, which recently launched an electronic locking system, Senseon (™) Secure Access, we created a story about The Smart Alternative to Traditional Locks and Keys.
Our PR storytelling exploited the fact that the traditional lock and key was more than a hundred year’s old and ripe for reinvention.
If you can take an ordinary story and dress it up with some emotion, you’ve got a winner.
For example, with Senseon, we talked about all the problems associated with locks and keys, including lost keys and keys that don’t work.
Have you ever tried to open the door to your house and the key broke? Or you’ve come home only to find you left your key inside and you’re locked out?
We’ve all been there.
And what you’re doing here is finding the message that connects with media…and with prospects. That makes it something people want to hear and talk about.
Instead of being self-promotional, gushing about how great what you’re doing is, you’re recasting your product or service’s benefits as an engaging story.
Instead of reciting a boring list of features, you’re incorporating them into a defining story.
The writer E.F. Forrester brilliantly distinguished between dull facts and a story.
This is Forrester’s example of the facts:
“The king died and then the queen died.”
This is how Forrester described a story:
“The king died and then the queen died because of grief.”
The second adds emotion and power and pulls on our heart strings a little.
And that’s what you need to do in your PR strategies.
"In the world of content marketing (and PR), the worst thing you can be is boring"
-- Julia McCoy, CEO, Express Writers
We did that for our client, sales intelligence company, DiscoverOrg.
We piggybacked on the popular movie and book of the time: The Wolf of Wall Street.
While the accepted viewpoint was that the actual Wolf of Wall Street was an unredeemable cad, we showed a positive side. That the scoundrel was a master cold caller.
Since DiscoverOrg’s intelligence warms up cold calling, we tied that into the Wolf of Wall Street story.
The result? A byline in Forbes that was viewed over 43,000 times.
Important Note: I recommend that you spend some time brainstorming your story. Don’t take the first idea that pops in your head. Keep at it till you have the very best story possible.
Your next step is to make it as easy as possible for a journalist or blogger to tell your story.
With all the newsroom cutbacks, journalists may be the busiest people on the planet.
Journalists are bombarded by pitches and need a reason to tell YOUR story rather than the zillions of others they could tell. Here are some things to make that happen:How To Get Journalists to Write About Your Company
Here is an actual pitch note we used to launch an Indian-based jobs assessment company that was entering the United States.
It uses four key selling points.
Click image above to download as a pdf
As a result of that pitch, we secured:
Important Note: Don’t just pitch once and be done with it. It often takes more than one email to get the media interested. We recommend emailing at least twice (the 2nd time with some additional information). You can also reach out on Twitter.
Reports of the death of media relations are greatly exaggerated. It needs some tweaking, but it’s still a valuable part of a communications tool kit
--Marian Salzman, Chairman, Global Collective and CEO, North America, Havas PR at Havas Worldwide
An important part of the StoryPress technique is getting the right media in your camp.
Weed out the ones that don’t make sense to contact.
For example, it would have been folly for lettrs, if we reached out to reporters covering foreign affairs or business. Instead, as part of our PR strategy, we contacted reporters writing about applications and doing technology feature stories. We also contacted any reporters who had written about letter writing.
How do you find the right media?
There are media databases like Cision that PR professionals use. If you don’t have access to that, there are other ways to find the right media. Here are some PR tactics to try:
Click image above to download as a pdf
Now, you may be thinking, “Why should a reporter pay attention to me?” But remember, it’s about your story, not YOU.
But even the chummiest reporter won’t run a story just because he’s friends with you. It has to offer news value.
Work on making your story the very best it can be. All that hard word will pay off for you.
Once you find the right media, reach out to reporters with a pitch note as we did with the Aspiring Minds example above. Most reporters prefer email. Don’t try to be cute in your email but just share the facts.
Give reporters advance notice of your story, especially if it’s a noteworthy one.
If you plan to issue a press release announcing your news, reach out to reporters first.
We recommend at least 1 1/2 weeks before your formal announcement.
That gives reporters a sense of exclusivity — you’re letting them have first dibs on it before officially announcing it. It also gives them a chance to vet your story, and if you’re releasing a new product or service, to try it out. And it provides time for an editor to approve the story.
You can do everything right up to this point and still get no press.
Your spokesperson needs to be a master at PR storytelling, someone who can crisply and succinctly state your key messages, while wrapping them into a unified story.
Here are ways to ensure your spokesperson does just that:
Begin with the messages you want conveyed.
We often tell our clients to visualize their ideal headline and first paragraph. Those become your key points.
To ensure these stay top of mind, write down your perfect headline and three or four key points you want to make.
For lettrs, the ideal headline was its reinventing letters for the digital age.
Key messages included:
Use memorable, easy-to-understand language.
Eliminate all jargon. Use words and sentence structures that make your story easy to follow. Don’t lose someone in long, tangled sentences.
Pack a punch with your language. Use word pictures that make a story come alive.
For lettrs, we talked about turning an iPhone into a mobile writing desk and post office wherever you are.
For Senseon, we talked about locks and keys being over a hundred years old and antiquated for today’s security needs.
Steve Jobs understood the importance of soundbites.
When he introduced the iPod he captured its essence in just a few words: “1,000 songs in your pocket.”
When he launched the first iPad, he called it “Holding the Internet in your hands.”
Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.
A successful interview is all about preparation.
As Steve Jobs once said, “It’s not easy. You have to work darn hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.”
Has the reporter interviewed someone at your company before — or a competitor? What type of stories does he write? How does she write about your industry? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you anticipate the slant of the interview.
You have more control over an interview than you might think.
Good politicians use that fact to their advantage, steering questions back to their key points. You can do the same thing.
If a question is asked that moves the topic away from your message, gently steer it back by using bridging phrases such as, “As I was saying,” or “I think what’s key here,” or “This brings me back to my earlier point.”
Don’t bury the lead… and repeat.
Start with the most important information first. Otherwise, it may get lost in the interview — or the reporter may lose interest. Expand on your key points throughout the interview.
Repeat your key points.
Martin Luther King repeated the phrase “I have a dream” at least eight times in his famous speech to end racism delivered at the March in Washington in 1963.
A study from Microsoft confirms that you need to repeat a message 6 to 20 times before you achieve your desired result. I don’t suggest repeating your message 20 times in an interview (that will only annoy the interviewer) but do so at least 3 times in different ways.
End an interview by going full circle, repeating the key points you want the reporter to remember. Set the stage for future interviews by letting the reporter know that you expect to have more news about something you discussed, or a related topic, in the future.
Important Note: I recommend that you do a practice interview. That will ensure you smooth out any bumps. And it will help you steer the actual interview.
Which is really important when you interview….
"The increasing recognition of the strategic value of communications in the boardroom has seen measurement become more important."
82% of marketers report they have no way to evaluate the return they receive from their PR strategies, according to a survey by phone.
What’s the hitch?
Unlike its sibling marketing, PR efforts can be difficult to track because they often are intangible and deliver results over time. For example, say you publish an article and someone gives it to a friend to read. A year later the friend calls. How do you track that?
Yet, all is not lost.
Thanks to the web, the value PR delivers is increasing along with more ways to measure it. PR today can impact awareness, web traffic, search engine ranking, referrals, leads, and sales. Hence measurement has become one of the top PR trends you need to embrace.
Ensure you can measure the results of your PR tactics. We typically have our clients create an asset, such as a landing page or infographic, especially for a launch initiative, so they can measure downloads from a media campaign.
I hope you can see the power of The StoryPress Technique.
Using the StoryPress Technique, we took a startup from Anonymity to the Wall Street Journal, Time, Mashable and other major media — producing a media bonanza of top tier stories.
No, it’s not simple and requires hard work. But with this approach, you know your efforts will pay off unlike wasting reporters’ time with self-promotional, boring content.
So ready to get started?
To make it easy, click the link below and get the PDF StoryPress Technique Checklist
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