How to Get Publicity in the PR Capital
London is a vibrant, exciting and diverse city, which boasts some of the best restaurants, entertainment and culture in the world. It’s home to more than 100 of Europe’s 500 largest companies, and produces around 30% of the UK’s GDP.
If that’s not enough to brag about, London is also one of the PR capitals of the world. Held in high esteem by flacks from every corner of the globe, a single placement in a London newspaper can be worth tens of thousands of pounds – and not just in the value of ad space. Getting covered by the London press lends a level of credibility, prestige and buzz that money can’t buy.
You’ve got to be quick
While London may be cool, hip and happening, like any big city it’s also crowded, competitive and challenging. Things move really quickly, so you need to act fast to grab the media’s attention.
So how can you get visibility for your business in our bustling metropolis? Here are a few pointers:
Hone your message
You need to be crystal clear about who you are, what makes you unique and why the media should care about you. If any of these things are unclear, they will move on. You can hone your message by crafting an ‘elevator pitch’ – a 30-second summary of who you are, what your business does, and what makes you newsworthy. The pitch should be concise, reflect your passion and stress your USPs.
Don’t send the same pitch to every journalist
Every single journalist out there can spot a copy/paste job within seconds; after all, they get pitched around the clock with generic requests. The media will not appreciate you for this and may even block you. Sending a ‘pitch blast’ is no longer a pitch — it’s spam. Known as ‘spray and pray PR’, it may seem like a good idea, but throwing a wide net over entire swaths of journalists like a fisherman won’t do you any favours. Journalists like to receive tailored pitches — not only will this approach keep you in their good graces, but it’ll help build trust. Making your story stand out by tailoring it to a specific media contact and leading with why they should care, demonstrates that you understand their outlet and what they cover.
One of the best ways to get media attention in a big city is by doing something original or unexpected. This is where PR stunts and guerrilla marketing come in. An eye-catching PR stunt can give a whole new dimension to a press release. Take FHM for example. In 1999, the men’s magazine projected a 60ft naked image of it-girl Gail Porter on to the Houses of Parliament, to promote their poll of the world’s 100 sexiest women. It whipped the London media into a frenzy, and got plenty of column inches for the publication.
However, as effective as PR stunts can be, you need to make sure your stunt is related to your business, and in line with your brand values and image.
Hire a city based PR agent
If you’re struggling to get anywhere with the press, or have found that pitching, scheduling, and tracking media hits is a bigger undertaking than you first thought, it may be time to call in the professionals. PR agents can be a fantastic resource for growing businesses — it’s our job to be plugged in to the media outlets, journalists, and industry influencers that you want to get in front of, and we can help navigate the many nuances that exist in the world of promotion.
Whatever type of business you run, PR pros work closely with you to develop compelling stories that catch the imagination of journalists, bloggers, TV and radio producers, and engage the cool and discerning London readership.