Stop shouting and engage
It’s easy to spend your time telling everyone how good you are, what deals you’ve done, the big names you advised and the people you’ve appointed. But shouting like this does little to engage prospects and customers alike. You need to inform and entertain before you earn the right to shout.
We’ll work hard to understand your business and your objectives. We’ll ask questions of you and your management team to discover the key messages that set you apart from your competitors. We’ll tell the story of your business in ways that will achieve media coverage and engage prospects.
Raising your profile might start with a simple press release to spread news of your successes. We’ll discuss it with you, write it in the most appropriate tone of voice, target the appropriate media and ensure its right for them and their audience. We’ll collate the coverage, celebrate and share it.
When you have no news, that’s when our experience kicks in and we help create the stories people are looking to read. We can approach the media with synopses, or relevant case studies or pitch your expertise to conference organisers to secure speaker slots. We know how to sell your story.
And when you stop worrying about shouting at your prospects and begin to engage with stories that inform them, solve their problems or help them overcome challenges, you start attracting attention for the right reasons. Prospects will visit your website, find more interesting content and stay.
But we’re also there for you when things go wrong; for when you have a problem that attracts criticism, or adverse news risks stirring up a Twitter storm. We’ll work with you and for you, to mitigate damage to your reputation. We’re available when you need us, to listen, advise and resolve.
Get ready for questions
Our approach although well-proven, is still not one-size-fits-all. We will work with you to understand your ambition, then tailor our activities to realise your goals. At this point we still don’t really know each other, so the first step in identifying your goals is an initial discovery session.
Ideally, we meet face-to-face with you and your team, to work out what your ideal customer looks like; what makes them tick; what makes them buy and want they want from their suppliers. We’ll also discuss key metrics, your revenue goals and sales process to establish a customized strategy.
We’re not in the business of content for content’s sake and need to understand your prospects fully. We want to know what motivates them, what they hope to accomplish, what advice they want, how they make buying decisions, their pain points and what will keep them coming back to your website.
We will also quiz you about your competitors. We need to know what your competitors are up to and how they do things differently; better even. Once we know your business and those of your competitors, we’ll know what sets you apart and can then identify opportunities to get you noticed.
Write your own release
The traditional press release comes in for a lot of criticism in the modern digital age, but we believe it still has a valuable role to play in promoting your business. It definitely falls into the ‘shouting’ category, but handled sensitively and targeted accurately, a well-written release still has impact.
We might argue you need the services of experienced PR types like ourselves, but in truth, no one knows your business like you do and that’s important to get to the essence of the story. Of course spotting the right story and the angle to interest the media often requires a little more expertise.
A good press release follows a few simple rules that anyone with a reasonable grasp of the English language can take to craft something engaging, informative and entertaining. The trick of course is to be empathetic. Ask yourself who benefits from reading the story, you or the audience?
If readers come away with new information, perhaps about the industry, the sector in which you operate or your view of the future, then they may return for more. If you are merely shouting how clever you are or what big business you’ve done, with no insight, they’ll be lost to you.
Setting the right tone
When writing about you, your business, its brands and the activities you undertake, we use different styles and different words dependent on the personality we want to portray. Ideally, this ‘tone of voice’ will be a true representation of your business and not an image you think might look better.
When we meet to discuss your business and set objectives, we will gain valuable insight into the personality of the business. If we present an ‘alternative’ personality that does not reflect the true character of the business, customers will see through it quickly and their trust will be lost forever.
It is this valuable tone of voice that governs not only what we say about you, but how we say it. It sets the scene of the content and style of all communications. And whatever the personality, the tone must be consistent or the power of the message will be diluted.
It’s important to achieve this consistency across all communications, internal or external. You wouldn’t think of having a different design across signage, adverts or online marketing, so it’s important all the copy reads like it has come from a single source, with a singular objective.
Working with the media
The media and the trade media in particular is a voracious consumer of content. Fortunately it remains demanding. It is unlikely that a media outlet will take just any old story. It has to be, well-written, unique, interesting and relevant to the media’s audience. A tall order.
A strong relationship with an editor, whilst useful, will still not get a weak story published. Your opinion, your advice and valuable insights are what the media need to engage with their audience. And their audience will undoubtedly include your next customers. So it’s worth the effort.
To ensure unique content for each media outlet, we will work with you to discover the advice, information or insights you can offer about your services or sector. Once we have the basics, we’ll draft a synopsis that encapsulates the story, but still allows the media to request a specific angle.
The synopses, all written with a specific outcome in mind, will typically elicit a range of articles, wanted by the media. These will differ in angle, word count or specific issue, but each will be drafted to meet the individual needs of the media. It works, gains valuable coverage to raise your profile.
Your expertise solves problems
The much-maligned and often badly used case study still offers a great way to detail your expertise, explain your service offering and emphasise your customer service. It is not an opportunity to throw down a few lines to show everyone the big brands you work for. People often won’t believe you.
Any case study should state clearly the problems or challenges faced by your customer. It should explain your ability to recognise and solve these, with experience and expertise. Ideally you will include an endorsement from the client and finish with the benefits of dealing with you.
Again, the media will always be interested in well-written case studies that solve problems potentially being faced by similar businesses in the same sector. The trick is including enough detail to offer advice and make it interesting, but complicated enough to ensure prospects seek your help.
Although not time-limited, it’s best to start with the most recent and work back through time if you’re deciding to catch up and create some. Confront new challenges with case studies in mind and ensure you note all the relevant information, take the right photos and ask for a testimonial. Simple.
Get blogging; be relevant
The new digital age, with most businesses seeking products and services via search engines, requires you to treat your website as a work in progress. No more thinking it’s done. No more leaving it for weeks, months or even years without change. Content is king and you’re going to hear it a lot.
The ‘content’ referred to is everything from the words on the pages of your website to the reports, white papers and twitter feed that keeps your message fresh. At the core of your content is your blog. If you have one that’s great; if you don’t have one, get one started. Seriously.
Your blog is a chance to talk about the issues that are affecting your customers and how you have helped them overcome the challenges. You can offer advice and top tips to make the lives of readers of your blog easier. Eventually when you have won their trust, you’ll get to know who they are.
There are a lot of reasons why blogging is becoming increasingly important, with improving keyword density on your site near the top of the list. Key to a blog that delivers results is ensuring you remain relevant to your audience and you write for humans. Forget the robots, they’ll come anyway.