by Emily Gilbride
“The why is often what leads to a story.”- Jason Rose, Account Director
Who? What? When? Where? Why?
Are the basic questions we ask our clients. It means they can tell us what we need to know and it gets both parties thinking about what they do and why they do it.
We are here to work with our clients to find newsworthy hits. Our role as an agency is to collaborate with businesses and identify what’s best for them. We’re here to ensure their news gets an ‘oh that’s interesting’ echoing through newsrooms or boardrooms of industry competitors.
We are approached by businesses who certainly have lots of news stories to tell and it’s up to us to make their news everyone’s news. We have excelled and developed a great reputation for helping small-medium sized businesses achieve hits and coverage in some top tier publications.
Senior Account Manager, Cat Mackenzie discusses that building a relationship based on trust is key in order to maximise commercial success. “It’s important that clients find a PR agency that respects this and really understands their business, and will take the time to do their research, otherwise they could spend months missing opportunities or going around in circles.”
This year has been another busy year of telling our clients’ stories from autonomous robots, renewable energy systems, to harm reduction apps. The respect and dedication we give our clients allows our relationships to develop and we can deliver great results.
Finding the news
Our expertise lies in separating the nuggets of PR gold from palettes of information our clients provide us with. A simple conversation unveils a treasure trove of news. Jason says, “It’s about a conversation, a chat that asks who, what and why questions.” We are here to find the hit lines and these questions can help tease information out of clients.
Cat reminds us that “most of the time clients know their business and their stories better than anyone, but they just need a little help from a storyteller to get the message out there, and that’s where Hot Tin Roof comes in!”
“Another crucial point to bring back to things is who are the people involved. People make news, and if we can relate to what we are reading, seeing, hearing, then the news story will really break through.”- Cat Mackenzie
This determines whether our clients have anyone well-known attending an event they are organising or collaborating with an industry frontrunner to deliver a project. This can gain interest amongst journalists as a name can influence the reaction of any story.
What can it enable you to do now that you couldn’t previously?
Jason states he often asks clients, “what would surprise me about your work?” This gets the client thinking about their work and how to tell it to a wider audience.
If it’s a new product launch we ask for images as images look great with any news story. It draws people in to keep reading.
When is the event happening? When is the product being released and does it coincide with a recent report that’s been published or an event that has occurred?
This helps us identify a time to release the story as it might fit extremely well around, for example, a worldwide conference on climate change and sustainability, a current topic such as the rising energy costs and the rising cost of living.
Where is the business located? Where is the trial taking place?
These ‘Where’ questions help us gauge the size of the story and where the best place the story or even make this the story’s hook. Is it an international based story happening in India, China or Europe?
“The why is often what leads to a story.”- Jason
This is one of the most important questions we ask our clients. It’s a question that gets businesses thinking about why they believe their news is news. Not to forget, this is a question that PR creatives ask ourselves so we can well place the article alongside a current conversation and identify what audience to reach.
Asking a client why they are doing something, and continuing down that road opens up the natural conversation and information behind what has motivated what they’re doing as well as what they hope it might lead to.
Paying attention to current trends and topics of debate helps identify aspects of the business that journalists will find of interest. Why is it meaningful to the current news landscape? Keeping up with the news daily allows us to advise our clients on what is making headlines and where. We sell stories that slot right in.
Placing the news
Identifying the best possible media mix is key. “It comes down to asking about the audiences they are trying to reach.” Jason adds. We advise our clients where their stories would be best placed. Advising it could work well as a traditional press release, a series of thought leadership articles in a wide range of titles or a broadcast exclusive due to great visuals and the nature of the story.
We have great media connections as an agency and create a tailored media list per client, per story. PingGo allows us as a team to work together to write press releases and carry out distributions side by side. It’s a single source of truth that allows us to update media contacts and maintain our media relations.
For clients who are launching events, creating a social media campaign to keep up the buzz of the event is something that we often advise and works well in attracting attendees.
It’s our job to persuade a reporter or producer to go to their editor to give them the column inches or air time to do the story. We ensure all the right pieces are in place – photos, case studies, filming opportunities, talking heads – before the big media target is approached. Cat adds, “It’s down to us to advise what journalists may be interested in. It’s our job to maintain our clients’ excitement about their news and help them focus on their target audience and tangible PR outcomes.”
Asking the right questions to our clients helps discover their news. Businesses have the stories! We use our storytelling skills to make them coffee date discussions and bring them to life.
“Have you heard of this recent development?”
“Did you see that great story on page 10 this morning?”
Are just some conversations we’ve overheard about our clients whilst sipping a double espresso.
Do you have the stories but don’t know how to tell them?
Get in touch: [email protected]