RISE PR IN ACTION – NATIONAL PRESS
Posted by Paul Allen on 20th December 2017 / 0 comments
We are mostly a tech PR agency, but also carry out a lot of more general B2B work as well as the occasional B2C campaign. Each client is different, with different objectives but one thing is the same across nearly all of them – national press coverage is still valued above everything else.
Although there are occasions when we have to reinforce the point that there are more effective media for reaching certain and more niche audiences, there can be no denying the thrill (for client and PR) of national coverage. There are many ways of achieving this and it is something that at Rise PR we have built a strong record in since we started life in 2010.
Here is just a selection of national press successes we have enjoyed over the years.
The Exclusive – giving one publication first access to a story can be a high-risk strategy, but it can work brilliantly with national press, who love an exclusive perhaps even more than the trades.
In 2016 our fintech client Ormsby Street launched data around football teams and the speed with which they paid suppliers. We agreed with the client that City AM would be the best target for this
and approached the journalist on the Friday, with the story breaking the following Monday.
We secured a great in the print edition of City AM and were able to then pitch far and wide to other press once the exclusive had published.
Feature tracking – editorial calendars and feature lists are much rarer than they used to be when print media were more dominate. But some national papers and national supplements still use them and this was how we secured national coverage for our client PeopleTECH in 2016.
The Sunday Times was publishing a supplement, ‘Project Management’, and one of the features in it was about the cost of poor project management. We approached the journalist with sharp, concise comment that was insightful and answered the questions asked. The result – PeopleTECH featured strongly in the final article that published in The Sunday Times.
Knowing the media – Rise PR’s first client was home energy management startup, PassivSystems. The CEO was travelling to San Francisco and an Economist journalist that I knew was interested in green tech was based in Los Angeles.
After securing an interview with the journalist in question, I persuaded the CEO to hop on a flight to LA. The interview took place in the journalist’s house about 15 minutes form the airport and after some follow-ups on our part resulted in an amazing piece in The Economist, both online and in print, which was perhaps the most impactful coverage Rise PR has achieved.
Thinking outside the box – Italy in a Box was an innovative food delivery service, that supplied ingredients and recipes to its consumers. When in it launched in 2013 we knew that pure product launches were a tough sell to press, as it was already a fairly saturated market for food boxes.
We got the client to create some exclusive recipes and we used those as the basis for approaching press. We secured some great results, the highlight of which was this piece in The Daily Mail – we knew the writer wouldn’t cover a box launch but would like the recipe, and the client was ecstatic.
Strong research – a good research story can play well with the press and we have used this tactic to secure national coverage on many occasions. On Valentine’s Day 2014 we used research from Cat’s Protection that showed women were more attracted to men that liked cats. It was a story with real tabloid appeal and we were delighted with a big article secured in The Daily Star.
Research around business issues can also work well with national press. Earlier this month (December 2017) we launched to press a story about executives checking work email over the Christmas holiday. We had some good Scottish results so created a bespoke release for Scotland, successfully securing national coverage in five newspaper including The Herald and The Scotsman.
The byliner – bylined article opportunities in the national press are scarcer now than they once were, but they are still out there if you know where to look and how to approach them. Third sector tech firm Blackbaud had research about different age groups’ giving habits and was keen to achieve coverage in The Guardian.
This was a newspaper unlikely to cover the research as a news story but we knew that its third sector portalaccepted contributed articles. So we packaged the research findings as a bylined piece and sold-in to the editor, securing a really impactful and in-depth piece that spoke to all the client’s key messages.
CEO / company profiling – in some ways profiles of an individual or company are the most impactful national coverage, but they can be the hardest to pull off too…although that does depend on the client. In my dim and distant agency days, Dell was once a client and securing profile opps for Michael Dell was as straightforward as calling the national paper of choice and asking ‘fancy speaking with Michael Dell?’
If your client is not one of the biggest tech firms in the world though, then you have to work a bit harder. Find an angle, USP or something truly interesting and use that as your basis. When we worked with Danish eco firm Sprout, we pitched profile opps around the company’s ability to save the world, one pencil at a time. This provided a perfect platform for a company profile in top tier business title Forbes and a profile of the CEO in the easyJet in-flight magazine.
There are many ways to secure national press coverage but none are easy. If your company could do with the profile boost that comes with national press attention, why not drop us a line?