Will you be trick or treating this Halloween?
There are a number of ideas you can borrow from Halloween that can help to bring your PR strategy back from the dead. After you've eaten all the candy and put away your costume why not consider implementing these tactics into your PR strategy?
Don't be a zombie: Mindless zombies wander around at Halloween without a clear goal where they are going. Don't let your PR activities turn into a zombie by not having a clear goal for how you will communicate with your customers. You need a PR strategy for your business to help target your communication to the right audience and the right publications at the right time.
Also zombies aren't the most engaging creatures. Avoid becoming a PR zombie by engaging and building relationships with the media. Journalists are more likely to read your emails and call for interviews if they know who you are and that they can rely on you for an interview. You can start to build a relationship with a journalist by understanding what they are interested in, knowing the topics they write about, being mindful of their deadlines, getting their name right and delivering on your promises.
Trick or treat: Sometimes in business you can be surprised by a 'trick' or a crisis that occurs. This could be a negative comment on social media which, if escalated, could potentially be reported in the media. If a trick does occur you need to know how to resolve the issue before it escalates into a crisis. For the above example, you would need to respond to the negative comment in a polite manner on the social media platform it appeared. Show your customers the process you will take to resolve the issue and ensure it doesn't happen again.
If your PR strategy is effective you may receive a 'treat' by gaining great media coverage for your business. When your business is featured in the media it can help to build your brand, reach your target audience with your message and boost your reputation.
Halloween parties: An effective PR tactic is holding events such as a launch party to announce a new product, a press conference or an opening ceremony for a new building. Events are a great way to gain direct access to your target audience, secure media coverage for your business and build your brand.
Use evergreen stories: Halloween comes but once a year! Each year there are many calendar events which the media will publish stories about such as Halloween or Christmas. From a media perspective, stories around these events remain interesting and newsworthy every year.
You can use these evergreen stories to your advantage to gain publicity for your business by coming up with a fresh new angle. For example, a business media angle around New Year's Eve could be 'New Year business resolutions'.
Don't let your PR strategy turn into the walking dead. With the end of the year fast approaching, now is a great time to re-evaluate your PR strategy and ensure it's working effectively for your business.
About the author
Catriona Pollard is the author of From Unknown To Expert, a step by step framework designed to help entrepreneurs develop effective PR and social media strategies to become recognised as influencers in their field.
Catriona is also the director of CP Communications, which merges traditional PR tactics with cutting-edge social media strategies that engage consumers as well as business.
Catriona Pollard Communications Pty Ltd
Suite 404, 10-12 Clarke Street, Crows Nest NSW Australia 2065
P: (02) 9460 9200
T: @catrionapollard and @CPCPR