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Labels Plus 59 Bill Gates’ view on public relations (PR) By John O’Keefe - a Melbourne-based Communications Consultant, Mentor and Public Speaker. His reply raises the question: Do you understand and use PR to advance your business? Regardless of your answer, here are some tips and tricks to make sure you’re taking advantage of one of the most powerful marketing tools available - the Media Release. In this article, I’ll cover the basics of obtaining PR in traditional mediums - print publications. Social media we’ll leave to a later article. Hit List The perfect starting point is to compile a list of all possible print magazines relevant to the labels industry. Sure, the obvious in Labels Plus, but think more expansively. Even if some publications are infrequently used, include them. Include publications that cover artwork and design, packaging, printing - even general manufacturing. Compile these onto a spreadsheet with headings for Title, Editor Name, Email address, and most importantly Material Deadline - as print publications work months in advance. Daily press can be limited to Australian Financial Review. Content When organising a media release restrict it to one page, or one and a half pages max. Always remember, a release must be newsworthy - avoid any trivia or out-of-date waffle. Editors receive media releases by the truckload and only those that contain relevant news in the Subject bar get past first base. Another must do, is to include at least one, or more short, sharp quotations from management, a customer or someone known and respected within the industry. Avoid using flowery copy. A media release is not an advertisement, so stick to the Who, What, Why, Where and How. Do include statistics (if applicable) in the body of the story. At the conclusion include details of phone numbers of contacts for further information. Attachments Always attach a professional image. The image should include people, particularly if the focus is on machinery. Don’t include product brochures with original media release - these are advertising material. Seven immediate tasks 1. Once you have completed your hit list send them a brief email introducing yourself saying you’ll be in touch when you have news to report. At the same time, request a list of features and deadline dates. 2. If you represent overseas companies, establish a link with the PR executive at head office. Ask him, or her to exchange releases, as some overseas material may be suitable for publication in Australia. 3. We live in the Clever Country, so if you have invented an original idea, let the world know by emailing overseas trade media. 4. PR is the responsibility of senior management. You should handle PR internally. If you need a hand in writing or photography, then find a local professional who can cover those tasks. Tech colleges are a good source of emerging talent. 5. If you’re emailing out a release about a new item of machinery – maybe follow it up with a sample of the end product. Like a tin of biscuits; bottle of wine, or confectionery (with its new label of course). I’m reminded of the huge response we received, when we distributed packets of Turkish Delights to journos when promoting a Turkish National Day. 6. Respect the media, adhere to deadlines, and thank them when they publish whole, or part of your release. 7. Keep your releases newsy. For more information contact John on 0408 344 905 or visit www.pmid.net.au Founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates knows a thing, or three about business building. Gates was once asked what he would do if his company fell onto hard times. Although a highly unlikely scenario, he quickly replied: “If I was down to my last dollar I’d spend it on Public Relations (PR).” Sage advice from one of the masters of effective PR. roduct brochures with original media About John O’Keefe: John has 30 years experience in planning and executing marketing and publicity plans. He has a proven track record assisting brands to attract the desired attention to their product and drum-up sales. He is also a fellow of the Marketing Institute of Australia and a journalist.
Labels Plus July 2016