The Reality of Media Timeframes

From press release to page – it isn’t always a straightforward journey, so we wanted to give you a behind-the-scenes look at what it can take to secure a client press coverage, and why it’s not always as quick and easy as it seems.

Some clients look at others and see how much press they got in a month compared to their own success rate, and we remind them of the following points:

  • Comparing a design firm to a fashion e-commerce business to a new bar is like comparing apples and oranges;
  • Getting press is, at the core of it, all about relationship-building. It takes time to earn trust and reliability with media. Our role as PR experts is to become a trusted source of news;
  • Sometimes it takes a number of responses, emails and phone calls for us to find the right target publication at the right time. Remember press coverage is not just print publications – it includes bloggers, online media, television stations, radio stations and more.

Here are a few examples of PR clients we have worked with, and how much their experiences differ. Please let us know if you have any questions – we’d only be too happen to answer them!

Example 1: New Restaurant Opening

We worked with a new Brisbane café/bar on their launch. Generally we find getting press for a venue opening is a fairly streamlined process, as we are in constant contact with the ‘right’ people in the industry. Foodie publications – both print and online – are built to discuss the opening of new restaurants and bars; it is their lifeblood. Due to SEO, online publications who write about an opening first will appear high in Google searches, so many are keen to be the first to know. Readers also expect their favourite outlets to be the first to know.

We find timely launches like this are quick to go to print and online. We had the restaurant featured in every single newspaper and blog we wanted them to be seen in, and worked to a very tight timeframe.

Example 2: Design Projects

We were working with this designer for four months before really great results came in. The first three months were mostly relationship-building and fighting for attention in certain editors’ inboxes. The client had a very particular idea of what publications they would like to be featured in, and we learned things along the way about many: one wanted at least 14 photos to choose from, featuring lots of different rooms, while another one wanted completely exclusive access. We now know these insider tips, but when publications change editors, it often requires us starting this again! Every editor is different. We recently worked with a journalist who was syndicated on three platforms – two of them national – but we had to pitch at a smaller local level to pique her interest. So this designer was suddenly featured everywhere in one week after a few months of seemingly slow progress.

Now publications we pitched to months ago are still gradually getting back to us, proving that while silent is sometimes an indication of disinterest, it’s not always. There’s no harm in following up! But it's important to trust in the process.

Example 3: Ongoing Retainer with Fashion Brand

We spent time interviewing this client and uncovering their story before going to media. They were some great business leaps at the time, which meant we were able to craft a strong business news story. This allowed us to earn some early online wins as we focused on the brand’s strong entrepreneurship rather than product. While this generated quick press hits, our team were able to continue telling the product story for articles that had a longer lead time. It is our job as the PR for your business or brand to always be looking for multiple angles to your story, not just the obvious or easy one. This is often a successful strategy that builds brand awareness when there isn’t a new product or campaign. Now, after around five months, we are seeing the fruits of our labour as product-focused PR is printed in national women’s magazines – but this is because print has such a long turnaround time. Case in point: we responded to a call in November for the March issue of a national women's magazine.

Side Note: Another takeaway is to have access to deep etched images of your products, as almost every media outlet request them. Editors are short on all resources including time, and it is best to make it as easy as possible for them to imagine your product or business in their publication. Also be prepared that some media will want to take their own photos of your product so make allowances for sending to journalists or have a loan collection. We make their job as easy as possible, which is why they come back and ask for updates when they need a new story! We told you: it’s all about the relationship-building.

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We hope these case studies have helped to bust some myths about the PR industry and the way it works. As always, feel free to get in touch or leave a comment. We look forward to answering your questions!

Claire Deane