In our digital age, a good PR campaign needs so much more than a press release, interviews and a blog. You need to be creative and have further ideas up your sleeve in order to get the most of your campaign if you want to get some more coverage and have a lasting impact on your brand.
As a B2B PR agency, we know that sometimes, it can be hard to think outside of the box. So, here are some of our PR tactics for you to borrow, if your campaign just needs that extra push to get the coverage you want.
Amongst the best PR tactics, examples are:
Create a microsite
Microsites are great for campaigns. Try to focus all campaign activity on driving people to your microsite – that way, you can promote your messages more aggressively than in other more traditional media platforms. And you can capture visitor information pretty easily, too.
Offer non-competing exclusives
Offering different types of non-competing exclusives (i.e. give a national one version of the story, trade press another) will mean more coverage in your top target publications.
Launch a Udemy course
Udemy is an online learning platform that takes online content from creators and sells them as courses. If it doesn’t have a course on your campaign subject, why not create one for Udemy? It’s a great way to spread your knowledge and awareness for your campaign.
Stage a protest
If you want to make real change, you need to get people out on the street and protesting. Just look at the recent women’s marches, climate change protests and campaigns against Brunei’s death penalty laws. Protests work – if you’ve got a cause worth protesting.
Write an open letter
Open letters are often overlooked, but they can get a lot of traction. If your letter is punchy enough, it doesn’t have to be hosted on a traditional media outlet – LinkedIn posts and Medium work well for them, and you’ll have full control over the responses.
Give away a once in a lifetime prize
Offering an experience is a great way to pick up momentum for a PR campaign. For example, schools could win a science lesson by Brian Cox as part of a campaign to drive visitors to The Big Bang UK. The competition attracted 8,000 entrants.
Create a great photo
National newspapers need images. Create a good photo story and you’ll be in with a better chance of landing something in print and online. You can use The Atlantic’s Photo of the Week column as inspiration.
Send something around the world
Sending an item around the world to measure different reactions is a great way to collect global research. It would also provide more photo opportunities, as mentioned above.
Keep an eye on your competition
You can use tools like Media Planner to find out when competitors are planning to release news. If you can release your own a few days before, it stands a good chance of getting covered in a wider story on the subject or industry.
Kick the competition while they’re down
As mentioned, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on competitors, but particularly if their service is down or their customers aren’t happy. It can make for a good time to strike with your own PR campaign. Like Ryanair, which sent roses to BA’s union UNITE to thank them for organising a strike over a key holiday period and sending heaps of frustrated passengers to the budget airline. It’s a bold approach and not for everyone, but it can work.
Create a special day, week or month
Need a reason as to why you’re talking about your chosen subject at a particular time? Create a special day, week or month for it, then! There can’t be a better example of this than Movember, a month of global tache-growing to raise funds for combating prostate and testicular cancer.
Start a petition
Petitions are popular, easy to share and can create genuine change. Start a petition and make it easy to sign and share – it could be just the hook you need for your story.
Write an advice booklet
In order to position itself as a thought leader on enterprise computing, Fujitsu UK & Ireland released a practical guide to cloud computing (read the case study). It turned into a real lead generator. Anyone can do it, so why not give it a go?
Similar to petitions, crowdfunding is easy to organise and create a great hook for a story or cause that you’re promoting. Have a look at popular crowdfunding campaigns and look for similarities in them that you can borrow.
Commission some research
Research always goes down well with the press. It costs money but it produces worthwhile stories and results that are worth talking to the press about. You can also use it for marketing and your own social media, too.
Build a league table
You could be sitting on data that can be put into a league table, which people generally love. TomTom’s league table of the 25 most congested roads in Britain was an instant media hit.
Conduct a behavioural study
The problem with surveys is that they generally only gather peoples opinions on a certain subject, rather than their behaviours. Instead, take a tip from F-Secure, which managed to get Londoners to unwittingly agreed to give up their eldest child in exchange for public Wi-Fi, and got loads of coverage in the process.
Drive a branded car around town
This one’s an oldie but a goodie. The best way to do it is to tie it into a social media campaign, like Mexican restaurant Benito’s Hat did. For its Tweets for Eats campaign, it gave anyone who tweeted a photo of the car a discount on lunch.
Use an ambassador
Charities are particularly good at getting ambassadors on-side for their cause, but private companies can still do the same. Having a recognisable, neutral and respected third-party endorsement could be just the thing you need to get the press interested in your campaign.
Create a social media game
Sometimes, just sticking with one platform can help to drive more authentic engagement. Take Endsleigh Insurance for example. It invited students to compete on Facebook to win the ultimate house party. The campaign was set up to promote the brand’s insurance for sharers and drove a 30% increase in quote enquiries.
Create a useful tool
Similar to the theory around behavioural insights, it’s great if you can offer people (and media outlets) a useful. A good example is from the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association’s interactive pet size-o-meter, which helps owners check whether their pet is overweight.
Create an award or ranking
Everyone loves winning awards. If the type of award you want to win doesn’t exist, why not create it? Take the B2B PR Blog’s Top 50 UK PR Blogs for example. It attracted over 5,000 visits from the PR community in six months.
Make a request under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act
FOI requests are a cost-efficient and well-respected way of getting some stats as a hook for a campaign. This worked rather well for graduate recruitment specialists Give A Grad A Go, landing them an article on the BBC – and a massive client as a result!
Hire an expert
Having a third-party expert to comment or conduct interviews on your behalf will give your campaign gravitas. For example, if you’re talking about issues that businesses face, why not get in touch with a business psychologist?
Make something huge
Coming back again to the importance of images, why not create something huge that represents your campaign? Take inspiration from Nikon – it put giant hands in major cities across the world for the launch of its new camera system.
Coin a new term
New words are fun, and they can do wonders for a campaign. Take Microsoft’s ‘MOOF’ (mobile out of office) for example, which it created as part of its flexible working technology launch.
Hold a press trip
Press trips are still valuable – just remember that the journalists attending need to come away from the trip with a story in order to justify being out of the office for a while.
Host a roundtable
Roundtables with experts are a great way to get the press interested in attending an event you’re holding. Energy recruiter Spencer Ogden’s panel discussion on the future of shale gas, which was attended by 19 journalists – 12 from nationals.
Grab space at an event attended by your target audience
Consider events outside of trade shows in order to reach your target audience. For example, Ericsson Money set up a stand at a Filipino music festival in London to launch its remittance service to this demographic.
Make people dress up
Dressing up is cool again, thanks to Instagram. Ask people to dress up in exchange for a discount or gift and you’ve got a great social campaign.
So, there you have it – 30 PR tactics examples to get the most out of your PR campaign. If you’d like any assistance with an upcoming PR campaign, get in touch to see how we can help.