As a public relations firm, brands often ask us "What's the secret formula for PR?". And we get it, public relations can seem like an elusive art to an outsider. But we're going to let you in on a little secret: there is no secret formula or one-size-fits-all solution to garner press for your brand. It's all about creating a solid strategy and brand messaging plan. That may sound simple, but positioning your brand in front of the right editors, influencers and audience requires a lot of behind-the-scenes work. So before you start emailing editors (or approaching a PR firm to do the outreach for you), think about these three elements that can make or break your PR campaign.
Measurable goals and objectives.
In order to create an effective PR strategy, you must first think about your overall goals and objectives. What kind of results are you looking for? Are you aiming to establish credibility in your industry? Are you looking to earn customer loyalty? Do you want to increase brand awareness among a specific age group or demographic? Or perhaps it's all of the above.
Having clearly defined objectives will help you determine the best strategy to achieve them. But remember: be realistic. Having a magazine mention your brand in an article, securing a celebrity to wear your brand on the red carpet, speaking at an industry conference, partnering with a credible influencer — all of these PR moments are great for building brand awareness. But that’s all they do; they build awareness. If your overall objective is to drive sales for your brand, PR moments can create additional touchpoints for customers to notice your brand. But it’s up to your marketing and advertising strategies to drive the sale once that PR moment has happened. Promoting your press mentions on social media (and even running paid social ads behind it) can establish credibility in a potential customer’s eyes and push them further down the sales funnel, but PR alone will not necessarily drive the sales you're looking for.
Clear brand messaging.
Public relations is all about earning trust -- you have to earn the trust of the media and build those relationships before they will write about you. You have to earn the trust of influencers before they promote your brand on their channels. You have to earn the trust of your target customer before they make a purchase. And having a clear brand message will make your brand more trustworthy.
What do you want potential customers to know about your brand? Think about how to communicate that message in a clear and concise way. The fashion, beauty and lifestyle industries are quite saturated, so it's important to focus on what makes your brand unique and sets it apart in that saturated market. Perhaps you have a personal story that led you to start your own CBD business for women. Maybe you use a truly innovative ingredient in your skincare products. Maybe you use ultra-luxurious packaging to elevate your customer’s user experience. Or maybe you saw a gap in the market and decided to fill it.
Think about your "why" and share that with the world. An editor should be able to look at your branding, your website, your social channels and your overall brand story and immediately be able to see what you're all about.
Solid digital footprint.
In this digital age, your brand's digital footprint can make or break a PR campaign. So take a step back and look at your brand's digital presence. Do you have a polished website or landing page that customers can easily navigate? Do your social media posts match your brand aesthetic and brand voice? Do you have images of your products ready to share with editors and stylists? If not, it's time to get back to the drawing board. Without cohesive visuals or a digital presence, how is anyone supposed to learn about your brand?
Again, it's all about establishing credibility and earning the trust of your target audience. An editor is not going to write about a brand with spammy social media posts or a website that isn't shoppable -- they're not going to risk their credibility by featuring an untrustworthy brand.
Simply put, you cannot pursue PR without a solid digital footprint. So make sure your brand is searchable, functional and visually appealing.