Do you know what helps increase your search engine ranking? (which let’s be honest, every business owner wants to do). You already know where we’re going with this from the blog post title… PR helps a lot. But how? Well…
When we think about SEO/search engine marketing, there’s the technical aspect, then off-page SEO. Both these aspects have an equal influence on your search engine ranking, and when combined, well, you’re flying.
The single most influential off-page action (activity outside of your site that directly influences your SEO) for your website is to build high-quality, followed links through to your domain.
There are several link building techniques, but having a strategy goes a long way. Link tactics are far too extensive to cover in this post, but some proven techniques include getting involved with local events/charities and being included in a blog post or partners page, local business directory links (don’t go overboard with this, though), and creating valuable resources or content that other sites will want to link to.
In the past few years, companies have largely focused on hiring dedicated off-page, link-building specialists to do this. In many cases, this is still effective, and we’ve seen first-hand the positive effect this can have on keyword and search engine rankings. Something we will say though, link building is pretty damn time-consuming.
Where PR and SEO collide
Ultimately, some of the best links that can point to your site come from digital news publications – whether this is national, regional, local or industry media.
Here’s an example - PR is of LIT Communication’s key services and we want to appear higher up in the search results for people who type PR agency in Huddersfield into Google. As PR is all about securing media coverage, we’d always include the words PR agency in Huddersfield in a news release for LIT Communication. As a result, if our news story is published on several local and regional news websites (especially if it includes a link), this will have a positive effect on our search ranking for that specific term.
Each digital publication has a different policy for links – some include them as standard, some never include website links and others charge a fee to add a link. Bear in mind that Google’s algorithm dislikes any form of paid-for links.
News websites have what we call a strong domain. They are relevant, the content is written by professionals and they often cover trending topics. The stronger the domain, the more powerful a link from it is.
Although we’re focusing on digital PR for this blog post, print media coverage is important too, but the benefits are different. Print media is amazing at driving brand awareness and can attract more customers to your physical business, online website, or e-commerce store. Print media’s targeting is very defined, and a print news feature is likely to give a higher return on interest (ROI) than digital coverage.
Writing an effective press release is important if you want to get your company’s voice heard and proactively reach a wider audience. People remember great stories, so when the time comes that they need your product or service, they’ll think of seeing your news and achievements in the media and consider your company for their needs.
That said, writing a press release is easier said than done and there are a few key elements that each release should contain before you pitch it to your target media publications.
1. A unique news hook
One of the most important elements of any press release. Having a unique news hook/angle is what differentiates your news from being published and not being published. It’s easy to think that everything your company does is immediately newsworthy, but that’s not the case. When evaluating how interesting your story is, put yourself in your target audience’s shoes and consider whether other people would find it interesting. Even better, run your idea past a PR specialist to sound it out, or look online and see if similar topics have been covered. This will give you a good indication of whether your news will be picked up by the press.
2. A newsworthy headline
When it comes to pitching a press release to the media, a catchy headline is the first thing that will entice a journalist to open your email and read more about what you have to say. Headlines also offer a chance to be fun and use a play on words to draw people in. Even better if your headline of choice makes people smile. Keep it short, snappy and don’t give too much of the game away in the press release header.
3. Supporting information
This is the who, what, where, when and how of your press release. Once journalists and readers are hooked in by the headline, they’ll want to know the essential background information about your company and the news story in question. Make sure you put yourself in the reader’s shoes for this section and fill in any gaps that your headline and introduction haven’t covered yet. For example, if you’ve won an award; where was the ceremony held? Who were you up against? Who was judging the awards ceremony?
4. Insightful quotes
A great press release should also include a couple of quotes that add value to your release and offer new insight to your readers. If you’re partnering up with another organisation, a quote from your companies CEO along with a high-profile contact from the other company will go hand-in-hand. If you’re writing about winning an award, a quote from the CEO and a member of the judging panel will both make great additions to your story.
5. A selection of great photographs
A great photograph is vital to securing media coverage (especially in print publications). If you can include several high-quality, relevant photographs in your press release then it has much more chance of success. Visuals will make your story more visual and allow readers to put faces to names – humanising your news story. Professional photography is also best but not always attainable for smaller businesses with a minimal marketing budget. In this case, use a high-quality phone camera and take several images, selecting only the best for inclusion in your press release.
For advice on getting your company news into the media and, email Sophie at LIT Communication - a Huddersfield PR agency, at firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Curate your brand’s social media content
As we know, business owners can be very, well… busy. Marketing your brand easily falls to the bottom of the to-do list when you’re spending time doing your day job and other admin that comes with it. LIT Communication can make sure your social media accounts are populated with daily social media content to keep engagement levels high and attract new audiences through your key channels.
2. Craft an attention-grabbing press release
Do you have some news to shout about, but you don’t know how or where to shout about it? We can start by drafting a press release that tells a concise story and helps voice your business achievements, ready to send to local, regional or national journalists who’ll be interested in publishing your news.
3. Write content for your blog
As you might have realised by reading through the LIT Communication blog – we love to write! And what better way to do put our skills into action then helping you populate your own website’s blog (which will also directly influence your site’s SEO). We’ll incorporate the keywords people use to search for your business online and offer tips and advice to your audience to help grow your brand’s digital authority.
4. Pitch your story to the media – local, regional & national
Once we’ve drafted a press release, we use a bespoke pitching process to present your news to the media and liaise with the right editors to help you secure coverage, interviews and media features. Whether you’re looking for local, regional, national or industry press coverage, we can help you with everything from Huddersfield-based PR to national industry pitching.
5. Write catchy email marketing content
Email newsletters are important for letting your new and loyal customers know what’s going on behind the scenes and announcing new products, services or events. Let us tackle your email marketing content by writing unique newsletters that engage your audience and drive clicks through to your website.
6. Social media coaching
Do you want to get social but don’t know where to start? LIT Communication can provide social media coaching for the channels you want to use – and even come into your office to deliver the training to you and your staff; meaning you can be a Twitter-pro or a LinkedIn whizz in no time at all.
7. Write an impressive awards entry
Awards are a great way to get recognition for your brand and the hard work you put into growing it. We also know that they can be time-consuming and difficult to do if you’re not used to writing long awards applications. We’ve helped several businesses enter and win a plethora of industry and local awards and are ready to help you do the same. Contact us today to enquire about local PR services and awards entries and how we can support you with this.
8. Secure guest author opportunities
Building your brand’s authority is a challenge for many business owners, and authoring articles on industry blogs and news websites is an excellent way to help you achieve this. We’ll pitch bespoke topics to popular and relevant publications, and help you write or proof these to meet demanding editorial guidelines.
9. Create graphics and logos for your small business
One of our newest services – we can design the perfect graphics, business cards or logos for your small business, and even put you in touch with local printing experts to help see your project through from start to finish.
10. Build relevant, quality links pointing to your website
Does your SEO need a boost? LIT Communication has vast experience in off-site SEO and building quality, relevant links to your website (one of Google’s key performance indicators) and can help you start climbing the rankings and getting featured more online.
If you’re on the search for a PR and communications agency in Huddersfield, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly at email@example.com
Automotive, motoring and fleet are highly competitive industries, and publicity is key to making your mark and standing out against other businesses that other similar products or services, PR will help shape the perception of your brand (the LIT motto) and with the right kind of content, position you and your brand as thought leaders in the industry.
News that’s worth sharing
Deciding what news is media-worthy can be tough to nail, but we recommend tailoring your media lists to each news item. We also recommend adapting your news or press release further to meet the needs of a specific publication. For example, if your news relates to a new vehicle model, but you want to send it to a fleet management magazine, highlight this in your release. Pull out all the information about the vehicle that relates to fleet management and make sure it’s prominent in the pitch and accompanying release/information you’re sending to that specific journalist.
In terms of the information you might have media success in sharing, publications are interested in news that’s topical (relating to current mainstream news/events – timing is everything), company successes (new appointments, information about business growth/profits, new clients, new products/services etc), news that’s unique, stories that have a human interest angle, or those issues that might directly affect the audience reading about them. Before you decide whether something’s newsworthy, take advice from your PR agency who are best placed to point you in the right direction of what will fly with journalists and what won’t. One simple trick is to look for similar stories published in the media, which publications have published them and what makes them interesting.
So which publications should you be targeting to spread the message about all your companies achievements and campaigns? We’ve put together a handy selection of UK automotive, fleet and business media to help you define your media list.
Example target publications for automotive/fleet/business coverage in the UK
Are you a West Yorkshire automotive/fleet/motoring business that wants to amp up your local, regional or national publicity? Get in touch with LIT’s founder and PR professional Sophie for a free PR consultation.
Developing a narrative is a strategic and compelling way to tell your business story, explain your business’s background and communicate your future vision. In this blog post, we talk you through developing your business narrative and communicating it to your audience, breaking the process down step-by-step so you can get to work creating yours. Remember that stories are what sticks with an audience, so telling your story well is worth spending some time working on.
How to develop your business narrative: step-by-step
1. Brainstorm and ask yourself some key questions
To start forging a clear narrative, brainstorm and write some questions about your business such as how you started it, why, what you specifically aim to deliver for customers and who your target market is. Then (without cringing), treat this step like you’re interviewing yourself. We recommend recording your answers on your phone or using a dictaphone. Being able to replay this back will help you decide what sounds effective for inclusion, and which parts are irrelevant to your narrative. It’s also a good idea to write down any specific words that you want to be associated with your business and to have these on hand when it comes to piecing together your narrative.
2. Focus on what makes your business unique
It’s important to consider what your business offers that sets you apart from competitors. This will form a key part of your narrative and should be what will resonate most with your customers - so don’t rush this stage. Think about what your competitors do, or rather don’t do and how you differentiate your business from theirs. For example, do you offer a personal service while they appear corporate and lacking in personality, or is the product your business sells a higher quality than its rival products? If so, these are the types of things you need to shout about in your business narrative.
3. Put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard)
The next stage is to pull your notes together and start writing (or hire a copywriter to help you nail your narrative). If you decide to go it alone, highlight all the best results of your brainstorming session, interview with yourself and notable words that you would like to use to represent your business and see what you come up with. Remember that the first draft is there to build upon and these things take time to perfect. Once you’re happy with it, run it past a few people who are familiar with your business to sound it out for a second opinion.
4. Share your story internally
Making sure that everyone who works for your business, understands your business is the next logical step. Getting your people on board with your company narrative is half the battle. Remember that word of mouth is still an inherently powerful marketing tool and if you have an interesting narrative, your employees will naturally want to share it with their network. It’s also a good idea to use visuals to help bring your narrative to life – people absorb visuals much easier than the written word.
5. Communicate your business narrative externally on your key marketing channels
Now it’s time to communicate your business narrative to your external audience and create interest in your company. Making sure your story is connected across your key marketing channels is important here, so it sticks in people’s minds. Hopefully, you’ll have already identified your main marketing channels by this point and will know exactly what type of posts encourage external engagement and resonate with your audience. Create a plan for sharing your narrative externally and make sure you follow it closely.
Remember that your business narrative is ongoing and should grow and develop as your business does. Importantly though, it’s what makes you stand out from competitors and engages your audience.
LIT Communication offers copywriting, SEO, graphic design, social media services, PR consultancy, PR and marketing services in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire and beyond. So, get in touch with us to help nail your business narrative and communications.
firstname.lastname@example.org / 07792734259
Sophie Marsden, owner and PR specialist at LIT Communication