Public relations is hard to define and even harder to track. With the way in which we absorb information, it's nearly impossible to determine which delivery resulted in the purchase. Was it the article we read in the magazine at the doctor's office? The Facebook post that my friend liked? The mention on the morning news? Nothing makes a PR professional prouder than securing a gem that truly captures the power of PR and makes a substantial, measurable impact on a client's business and sales.
Tip #1: Every PR effort is worthwhile.
You don't know the pub? You don't really have time? Can't figure out how it will directly drive sales? PR requires many small steps to get to one large result, and each step is worth the time.
i.d.e.a. has been working with NRG Matrix to launch its all-natural, mushroom-based energy drink in Southern California. In early June, we sat down with one of our local NBC San Diego producers and filled her in on the new project. Within a week, we had a segment scheduled for the 11 p.m. news.
Tip #2: In-person media meetings will always be more successful than email pitches.
The impact of talking with an editor, producer, or journalist in-person is always more effective than pitching them via email or even phone. We see this proven time and again, most recently with a media tour in New York for another client.
We met NBC San Diego's Danya Bacchus in San Marcos at the NRG Matrix facility where we set up an interview with CEO Sandra Carter and NRG's mushroom expert, Steve Farrar. Sandra, Steve and the i.d.e.a. PR team gave Danya a tour of the impressive facility. The story ran locally last month. You can check it out on their site here.
Tip #3: Make the interview memorable, visual, and interactive.
The key to accomplishing this is to spend as much time as possible with the media to give them a story they can really run with. In this case, we spent about 45 minutes talking with her and the photographer about the product. We pulled up photos on the TV to show them the process of creating the product, then we made them a part of the process.
It took 10 minutes alone just to get suited up in the sterile head-to-toe suits that must be worn in the facility. We took Danya and her camera man through a wind chamber to remove all possibly contaminating particles and we spent a good 30 minutes in the lab fully explaining the process and showing them every step along the way. We gave them adequate time to ask questions about not only the NRG Matrix product, but medicinal mushrooms overall, making ourselves a valuable resource worthy of their time.
Days after our NRG Matrix spot ran, we got word that someone had seen it in Sacramento, then Vancouver. We pulled a report and lo and behold, our NBC segment had run in 55 different markets across the United States.
Tip #4: Be ready for anything.
Very often with PR, one story turns into many, either via syndication or because the media watch other media. Be ready to react, both to media requests and consumer purchases.
Sandra at NRG Matrix received calls from friends she hadn't spoken to in years from Canada, they had seen her on TV too. While we have yet to receive a Canadian report of coverage, we have received calls from across the country.
Tip #5: Don't let anyone tell you PR won't drive sales.
A sales report found that NRG Matrix had shipped product to 366 different zip codes over the month of July. Being a new product to the market and only available online, sales had been minimal with no major spikes to speak of until directly after this segment was picked up across North America.
One wonderful segment linked directly to sales. That's the power of PR.