To my old school PR friends, we have been here before. Every four years the world stand stills and all eyes are on the candidates. On a given day, The New York Times published 492 articles online; of that number, 60 were dedicated to the election. Now, look at the last month alone; we were inundated with non-stop coverage of the Olympics and let’s not forget that JoJo from the Bachelorette picked her true love just a few weeks ago. How could your placements compete with all that?
Our jobs are to find ways to breakthrough, even when it seems impossible. Here are some tips:
Create Compelling Content
It isn’t news to anyone that you have a new app. What is news? When a consumer need is being met for the first time or a business has transformed in order to improve revenues or change the world. Make sure when you pitch a reporter that you are sharing fresh new research or data. Provide a proprietary consumer insight that has not be shared or reported on before. Conduct surveys and cull the data to become more than a product or service and instead become the news.
If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them
We are constantly monitoring the news in search of trending topics. Provided the dominance of political chatter, work to find ways to bring your client into the conversation. Have the CEO offer an opinion on what might happen if the red or blue candidate ends up in the oval office.
If you are in the fashion world, looking to establish a position as a trend setter, offer a side-by-side analysis of who wore it best.
And what about healthcare? No industry stands to see more of a disruption than healthcare post-election. Position your client as the one best prepared to navigate the change.
Create Hyper-Local Relevance
Many of our programs are national in scope. When the news cycle is not ripe for a program, we look for ways to bring the story down to the local level. We can look at trending topics across the top-ten DMAs, allowing us to discover news hooks to help insert our clients into conversations. For example, peak travel seasons vary from market to market. We can reach out to publications with news hooks that are specific to the seasonality of that market.
Take this time to build relationships with the media. They are often put in the position of trying to come up with stories that will breakthrough, as well. Partner with them. Offer to conduct a poll on their behalf to validate a story angle. Take time to network and meet one-on-one to fully understand their scope of work and offer to support their efforts – even if it does not result in immediate coverage for your client.
With three months to go until the election, it will be important to remain steadfast, creative, and ballsy.