Every Brand’s Best Friend: The Benefits of Proactive PR
With the Kaizen PR department adding more strings to its bow for 2018 we’ve started taking a more assertive approach when it comes to our clients and the content they offer.
While traditional content and link building is always key, proactive PR can be another tool that targets your client’s brand in the face of the public, establishing them as a leader within their specific industry.
The Basics: What is Proactive PR?
Proactive PR is a more versatile marketing strategy which allows a brand to communicate a more positive message around their image, taking full advantage of getting the brand mentioned, linked etc. in the news or during an event.
When looking to start developing your client’s proactive PR strategy, its best to first distinguish the audience you’re looking for. Whether this is something that already exists or potentially you’re looking to branch out into a new niche or demographic. Also take a look at where the brand is heading in terms of tone and message – if you’re looking to access a new niche or demographic, you may need to soften or ‘vibe’ up the tone.
Once you’ve decided which audience you’re looking at targeting, the next step would be to look at various opportunities that would apply to your demographics. The audience you choose will not only influence the commentary and content you create but will also need to influence the execution of your approach.
For example, you could use potential events such as a launch of a new season of a TV show or Christmas spending as hooks. With something like the launch of a new TV show, you would particularly look at providing a story to entertainment journalists – or even gossip publications if the show tends to be on the more scandalous side.
Or if you’re a finance brand, you could look to provide your expert comments to news or personal finance journalists looking to advise their readers on how to best prepare their wallets for the festive season?
A content calendar is always a great way to stay ahead of your schedule – allowing you to plan ahead and prep accordingly, as the last-minute rush is never ideal. It’s also a great way to soft pitch a few ideas to journalists ahead of the game, giving them time to build up a story and really thrilling angle (they’ll definitely thank you for this).
How Can My Brand Use Proactive PR?
This would vary between clients, but the main first step would be to do some fact-finding with your client, working out the angles and stories you’d like to pitch – angling them as an industry expert. This would then formulate into a simple press release focusing on the niche and commentary you are wanting to provide.
Another mutually beneficial relationship you can create is contacting a few journalists from various publications who you think would be interested in having a discussion around a potential idea. Now not all journalists will have the time to either be on the phone or meet up but there are a few that would be willing to discuss and flesh out some potential ideas. This way they will see you as industry experts while also building a rough idea of a story based on your meeting.
For example, Kaizen has recently received a few requests from journalists we have previously met up with for expert commentary for upcoming pieces. Just by holding one simple meetup, we have opened the doors to numerous amounts of coverage, as well as ‘putting a face to a name’ with some really strong contacts.
It would also be wise to sign up to receive some media requests, whether it be through Twitter or platforms such as Response Source. This way journalists will be able to highlight what they are looking for and you are able to prep accordingly. This also opens doors between you and your acquired niche’s contacts, once again establishing a relationship.
Proactive PR in Practice
As mentioned, Kaizen set itself the goal of finding new and innovative ways to pitch their clients to journalists and establish them as industry professionals.
When our client approached us in the hopes of branching out to new demographics, we reached out to a journalist from VICE who was looking to interview cosmetic surgery case studies and discuss why they chose to have certain procedures. Along with our client and a brief from the journalist, we were able to provide a few case studies for the piece with different stories.
While still staying true to the brand, the article managed to beautifully bring a new audience to cosmetic surgery and erase any negative stereotypes associated with that niche.
The piece managed to tick all of our boxes in terms of shading a new light on the industry, while also allowing our client’s brand to truly be established as experts within their field.
While providing content and link building as a strategy might be the usual way of ‘selling’ your client’s brand to journalists, it’s worth-while definitely incorporating new PR tactics as well, such as proactive PR, that could widen your coverage overall.
For more information on proactive PR, or to find out how Kaizen can help your company reach a wider audience, email firstname.lastname@example.org
By Pete Reis-Campbell - 25/04/2018