To most of the world, PR ignites visions of a glamorous existence of rubbing shoulders with celebrities and drinking champagne - cue PR maven Samantha Jones in ‘Sex and The City’.
However, to those in the know it's so much more than that. Rather than glamour-seekers, it attracts talented people with true passion, drive and tenacity. In today’s digital universe, where our iPhone is practically as important as one of our limbs, we offer capabilities and tangible results that are beyond the scope of traditional PR agencies. That’s what we’re all about at Return On Digital, my first experience in the exciting world of digital PR & outreach.
In my first few weeks at Return, I was introduced to the agency's various teams. We discussed the most effective methods of working together to ensure we deliver the best results for our clients. The core values at Return are an integral part of the company culture and also serve as a reminder of our purpose. This purpose binds us, the people behind the desks, together as a unified force who “set the bar high”, who “don’t stop until we win”, and who “trust” each other and our clients.
I quickly learned the importance of cultivating relationships with the press and key industry bloggers to fulfil our clients' goals. However, sometimes client objectives and media demands conflict with one another. I have listed my ‘Top 3 Tips’ for blogger and press outreach to outline how I've dealt with this challenge:
Jade’s ‘Top 3 Tips’ for blogger/influencer outreach:
- Make sure you do your research. Don’t make the mistake of contacting a travel blogger about a baby brand, as they may dismiss you for future opportunities. RESEARCH is key.
- Make sure your email is personal. Talk about a recent blog post or something they’ve posted on Twitter you can relate to. Bloggers can smell a generic email a mile off! PERSONALISE.
- Make sure you stay in touch. You might not always get a speedy response, but it is worth pursuing a blogger if you think the opportunity is of genuine interest to them. FOLLOW UP.
Jade’s ‘Top 3 Tips’ for press/media outreach:
- Make sure you find the right person. It isn’t easy, but where would be the fun in that? Before you send that email make sure that they are the best person for the opportunity you are suggesting. RELEVANCE is vital for a response.
- Make sure your email is coherent. Did I mention journalists are busy people? They are. Be clear and direct in your approach. Make sure you outline the FOCUS of the email early on, so if they only take a quick glance it grabs their attention.
- Don’t give up. At Return, we “don’t stop until we win”, and this perseverance is essential when contacting the press. DETERMINATION breeds results.
Working with a range of clients is something that drew me to an agency rather than an in-house role when I decided to embark on a career in PR. My personality suits the fast-paced and exciting nature of working with the variety of brands at Return. This acts as the motivation I need on a day-to-day basis and ensures that I am focused on the results that my work produces for my clients. Below, I have given some examples of my ‘client wins’ since I started my journey at Return:
32Whites Dental Practice
One of my clients, 32Whites, challenged us to build brand awareness and drive traffic to their website. From an outreach perspective, it was up to me to make this happen.
I suggested we create a piece of content surrounding the dangerous levels of sugar in Easter Eggs, as I was confident that this kind of feature would appeal to the press. I pursued every journalist who had ever spoken about the proposed ‘Sugar Tax’ and oral health, but to no avail.
Eventually, through sheer persistence and countless emails, the piece was featured on the Metro website. It felt like a huge victory! The excitement and sense of achievement you feel from moments like this are hard to describe. Results like this drive me as an individual and also the rest of the team at Return. We always make sure we are working as hard as possible to achieve the best return for our clients.
The Skirting Board Shop
Another client, The Skirting Board Shop, wanted to explore the option of working with interior design bloggers.
Through my research in this area, I came across Kimberly @Swoonworthy and saw a brilliant opportunity to work with an award-winning interior design blogger. She was just about to start a major renovation in her dining room and now was the perfect time to get in touch.
I remember noticing that Kimberly had just received a beautiful gold French press for her birthday, so I decided to mention this in my email to her, not only as a compliment but to show that I was interested in her. Hey presto! Kimberly replied almost instantly and it was the start of a fabulous collaboration.
Both the client and Kimberly were extremely happy with the results and have both said that they would be happy to work together again in the future. This is vital in our approach at Return: we want to build long-lasting relationships with key influencers across multiple sectors.
To me, the world of digital PR & outreach is a wonderful one. I have had the pleasure of working with great clients, lovely bloggers and some key players in the press. Not to mention being able to work with inspiring and motivated people on a daily basis at Return.
For anyone thinking of starting a career in this industry, it comes highly recommended - I can assure you, you won’t regret it.