Top Ten Vital Tips When Starting in Digital PR
Good marketers should stop at nothing to provide their clients with the best possible service. These ten tips will equip you with everything you need to effectively deal not just with your clients, but also with your media contacts.
Prestige – Clients still like big names and big titles, even if they are not necessarily ‘link through’. If you manage to get a piece published in the Guardian or The Daily Mail, don’t snub it if it does not include a link. It’s a matter of prestige, national coverage, and brand mention.
Two-tier client – Both client and media are equally deserving of your time. Never forget that.
Understand Your Client – What niche, sector, and industry are they in? What do they offer? Who are their main competitors? Do you feel confident enough to talk on their behalf to journalists? If not, please read further.
Cover Your Back - If you are dealing with a complex subject, take time to research as much as you can, even in your spare time if you must. Prepare for any grey area and questions that may be thrown at you by the media. They can smell ‘fake knowledge’ a mile off, so do your homework. If you really don’t know the answer, simply say ‘I shall come back to you on that shortly, let me check at my end’. Honesty is always the best policy.
Clarity – No jargon please. If 100 words will do, write 100 words, not an entire essay. Get your message across quickly and eloquently. Use your creativity: pictures, images, and videos might prove much more effective than a traditional wordy press release.
Strategies – Your client will benefit from some guidance. You need to offer your client a good strategy, including deadlines, ideas, tactics, and potential achievable results. Don’t promise the moon or an interview slot during the BBC 10 O’Clock news, if you know that’s completely unrealistic. Be transparent with your clients and they will respect you for it.
Creative Ideas – Sometimes, unexperienced marketers forget that clients pay agencies their ideas. So let’s show them what you can do for them. A proactive, regular flow of ideas shows how much you care about their brand and what they do.
Going the extra mile – We cannot look at our watch and bill every second of our time. Some clients, particularly at the beginning of any working relationship, need extra efforts and extra intelligence thrown in. Rome was not built in a day and all that! The same applies to journalists. If they say ‘I’m not working on this right now’, grab the opportunity to investigate what else they are working on. How can you help them further? What can you do to support their work? Now, or in the coming weeks? Always think ahead.
Relationships: Your job is to ensure strong and meaningful relationships are forged and nurtured. Always be polite and thankful when a link or coverage is achieved. Send a note to acknowledge that. When client’s work is concerned, keep abreast of the industry news. If you see something relevant and interesting, send a link to your client, every day. You’re part of their business, you want to be an ally, not a mere supplier. Suppliers can be sacked if a better one is found. Instead, an ally is seen as a great supporter.
And finally, don’t be scared – Don’t be put off by certain journalists’ behaviours. Some of them may come across as abrupt, sometimes rude. Don’t take it personally. They receive hundreds of calls a day and double that in terms of emails. So please learn to live with rejection, dust yourself off, have a good cry if you want to, but move on and you will succeed in this role.
Nada Giuffrida is Digital PR Specialist at Hallam Internet.