Your stories without the postcode lottery – the hallmark of successful public relations
Friday, February 6th, 2015
Tell your story in every part of the country, with a PR Regional Rollout
ISN’T IT A brilliant feeling when positive stories about your business or organisation appear in national newspapers or on TV and radio?
But sometimes it’s still not enough – especially if the story you want to tell in Edinburgh, is slightly different from the story you want to tell in Glasgow, or Dumfries, or in the Western Isles.
Yet some businesses don’t reap the rewards of that kind of local media exposure. Sadly, they’ve already convinced themselves that getting the right story into the right postcode is too much of a lottery.
Don’t let that be you. Here at our public relations agency, Holyrood PR in Edinburgh, we have got the answer you are looking for. A sure-fire formula to ensure our clients come out as PR winners in the regional media.
For example we’ve just used that recipe for success to deliver amazing coverage for a Scottish schools bagpiping tournament – with 14 articles appearing in local media from across the country in just a few short weeks.
Here we’ll share with you exactly why you need your stories to appear in your local media – and the one simple strategy we offer to lighten the load for you, while delivering the results you are looking for.
Local newspapers, websites and broadcasters are thriving and provide a vital way to reach and influence customers in communities across the UK. Even better, local media outlets enjoy high levels of trust among readers, listeners and viewers. The numbers involved paint an even more compelling picture of exactly why your business needs to be featured.
Across the UK, there are 1100 regional and local newspapers, together with 1600 associated websites. The local press is the UK’s most popular print medium, with 33 million readers a week, while local newspaper websites attract 42 million unique users every month.
Wow. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that? Like most things in public relations – just like in the rest of business life – success is eminently achievable, as long as you don’t expect to take shortcuts.
So how does it work? If you are in business you already know 90% of the answer is hard work, by passionate professionals with hard-earned credentials. The other 10% is a clear focus on delivering results.
What’s the secret weapon at our Edinburgh PR agency? We call it our ‘Regional Rollout’ concept. It’s a tried and tested system to build influence with the local media and to achieve demonstrable results. While it requires focus, thought and planning, the beauty of a Regional Rollout is that it will deliver excellent coverage at a hyper local level, where the impact can be immense.
It starts with a core template of the story you want to tell. The parts that remain the same irrespective of geography, including the most important and interesting facts.
However, we then customise the media release for each geographic area that is important to you – the “regional” part. This involves a range of possibilities, such as quoting your local people, including relevant local facts and statistics or highlighting local customers and case studies.
Then comes the “rollout” which involves our expert PR team focusing on a specific area for a phased period of time, making sure that we are directly contacting individual local newspaper reporters, TV and radio journalists and bloggers to increase the chances of your story being used.
Simple, huh? Most successful strategies are when you unbundle them. But our accumulated expertise, experience and professional pride add the final elements which guarantee success.
Our most recent example of a successful public relations campaign using our Regional Rollout involves our PR services for the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships (visit the dedicated media hub we maintain for the SSPBC).
It is the largest school piping tournament in the world and our Scottish PR agency spearheaded a campaign to raise awareness for the competition and encourage schools to introduce piping and drumming into their curriculum.
During late December and early January we had already delivered hugely successful coverage in the national media (including The Scotsman and The Times) highlighting the threat felt by piping enthusiasts over the possible extinction of the national instrument.
While the organisers were thrilled with that, we surprised and delighted our PR clients further by assuring them there was plenty more in the tank.
So, we moved into classic Regional Rollout mode, with our expert public relations team drafting the core of a customisable media released including facts about the Championships and quotes from competition Convenor, David Johnston.
To give the material that vital local appeal, we then moved up a gear, by contacting more than 20 of the schools competing in March’s competition to speak directly with individual Pipe Majors and Pipe Band leaders.
The interviews yielded some incredibly interesting stories, ensuring powerful future material for our campaign. It also allowed us to get the pertinent quotes which helped give each release for that school that extra personal, and local, touch.
In each case, we also sourced a high quality image of the school pipe band involved, with our understanding that the media wants pictures to make their stories more eye-catching.
What we ended up with was a detailed and highly customised release – with images – tailored for local media across the country, by highlighting schools and kids from their area. Crucially for the organisers, each of those customised releases also stated when and where the competition was being held and the most central and important key message of the Championships – which is to encourage Scottish schools to form pipe bands.
The PR results were impressive with positive coverage in The Press and Journal, Evening Express, Deeside Piper and Herald, Mearns Leader, East Lothian Courier, East Lothian News, Edinburgh Evening News and The Strathearn Herald among many othes.
Even better, everyone involved in the campaign is a winner.
- Our client is seeing fantastic coverage packed with key messages
- The local media get stories tailored exactly for their audience
- The kids and teachers in the schools and pipe bands love to see themselves feature in the media
- The PR team at our public relations agency take huge pride in a job well done
Convener David Johnston said: “We are delighted with the coverage. I keep seeing coverage from the regional media popping up on my media alerts. So well done.”
While the Holyrood PR Regional Rollout model has delivered success to a niche sector such as a school pipe band competition, it is a system that can be executed for any client in any sector.
An excellent example is from the Regional Rollout we delivered for
Scotland’s care watchdog which you can check out in this case study. The Care Inspectorate’s new grading system for nurseries and care homes generated 70 items of coverage, reaching 1.3m people while driving a 40% increase in media inquiries from the local media and a 48% increase in web traffic from people wanting to find out more.
Find out how your business can enjoy powerful PR success without any postcode lottery
We’d love to speak with your business about the possibilities of public relations – whether you want to reach the local media or far beyond. If you would like to find out more, contact us on 0131 561 2244 or fill in the simple contact form below and we’ll get straight back to you
Raymond Notarangelo, co-founded Scottish PR agency, Holyrood Partnership after spotting a gap for colourful and innovative public relations in Edinburgh. He now leads a team providing media relations, social media, video, photography, brand newsrooms, crisis communication and media relations.View Raymond's Profile
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