Five ways to regain momentum following a PR spike

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By Consultant Ned Worledge

For weeks, or even months you plan a major announcement for your client. Finally the day arrives and you share the information with the world. Your perfectly timed, perfectly orchestrated event attracts outlets from all around town and you spend the afternoon organising interviews for your client on radio drive programs.

The next morning you proudly peruse the daily papers before flicking on the television to watch your client chat with Kochie on Sunrise.

For the next couple of days you filter the odd interview request and read through a few follow-up articles, then, nothing.

After the excitement of your announcement wears off, there will inevitably come a period where there is minimal media coverage which leads to decreased visibility. This ‘peak and valley’ pattern is common place with most PR campaigns.

So what can you do if your client finds themselves in a valley?

  1. Thought Leadership

When you think you don’t have a story to tell, think again. Your clients’ experiences and expertise are simple ways to secure guest posts, Q-and-A sessions and interviews. The placement of thought leadership pieces work equally well whether they are related to a topic currently in the news or starting the conversation on something completely new. Thought leadership pieces are also a great way to drive brand awareness, reinforce your clients’ key messages and establish credibility. These elements are all vital when your client wishes to make an announcement of some kind. Their brand awareness and pre-established credibility legitimises the news they have to share.

  1. Can your client offer an expert opinion?

As long as what your client has to offer is potentially of real benefit to the journalist, it never hurts to ask the journalist if there is something they are working on that your client could offer an expert opinion towards. This works particularly well if there is a journalist dedicated to covering the field your client is part of. This tactic may not always drive immediate results, but it often lays the foundation for future coverage and establishes your client as a go-to source of comment for issues relating to their field.

  1. The silver platter approach

This approach does require a bit of work but will usually result in an outcome. If your client has a story that might not be very strong, try and do everything you can to make it as appealing and easy as possible for a journalist to pick up and run. This may involve giving the story exclusively to one outlet and providing them with everything you can in the way of talent, vision or photos. You may also add a human interest element to the story. This may mean your client isn’t the focus of the story but is still included in the outcome.

  1. Data

There could be any number of potential stories sleeping in spread sheets and Word documents. Interesting facts and figures can make great stories or spark the interest of a journalist into looking at the topic further. Have a discussion with your client and flush out whether there is something that they may come across every day, and as such may think is mundane or boring, that could be interesting to the public if framed in the right way. When you have an angle you may be able to tie this in with the silver platter approach.

  1. Trend-jacking

Keep your ears to the ground, your eyes peeled and fingers on the pulse for any topic, story or discussion your client might be able to leverage off. Work out what the major trends are that media in your client’s industry is talking about and what other current events could they comment on. When you don’t have your own news to pitch, just borrow someone else’s. This can be especially helpful when you want to build momentum for your next ‘peak’. Not only will you secure non-news media coverage, but you’ll also build relationships with the reporters you’ll likely be pitching to when you’re ready to tell your own story.

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