Successful public relations campaigns are not accidents. For consistently successful PR, you need to include these four vital components of public relations messaging success.
Know Your Core Message
Some call this a “key” message, but, whatever you choose to name it, the point here is that you have one thing to say that matters more than anything else you want to say. If you don’t know what that is, then you are muddying your own message before it’s even sent anywhere. Once you understand what’s the fundamental “key” or “core” message, you need to build all your messaging around that. No matter who you’re talking to or what you’re saying, they need to receive and understand some version of that core message along with everything else you want to tell them.
Understand Why People Will Care
Some would describe this step as “understanding what’s newsworthy,” but it’s really more than that. News cycles will shift, and something that was no big deal yesterday could be headline news tomorrow. Also, something that is hot now, may be cooled off as soon as the next news cycle. The bigger, and more important question to ask is: “Will people care?” and “If so, who?” Answering that question is how you know what your message should be and where to send it to. Remember, you’re not the only one pitching a story. You have to compete to be heard. The best way to do that is to give people what they’re listening for in a way that makes them want to know more.
Find Out What Journalists Need
Whatever your niche or target market, there’s a media realm built to cater to that niche or market. Find out who those people are and learn what they’re looking for. Then craft your messaging to deliver what they want. In doing so, you will find a much more receptive audience than if you give them what you “think” they “might” be interested in. There are even some tools out there that let you subscribe to services that will tell you which opinion makers or gatekeepers are looking for what content. That way, instead of a person begging to be published, you become a trusted source meeting a need.
Develop a Story Around Your Message
Nothing sells, nothing connects, and nothing compels better and with more consistency than a good story. So, if you don’t have a good story, your message it already at a competitive disadvantage. A good story will convey all the pertinent information — all the 5Ws — but in a way that is interesting, compelling, and relatable. People will listen longer, hear more, and retain greater details when your message is expressed in a story. It’s just how we’re wired. So, when you’re pitching your message, bullet points are okay, but a good story will hook them a lot faster and keep them on the line a lot longer.