Good public relations contribute directly towards business and indirectly to building up your reputation in the community. Successful coverage and relationships are built upon a readiness to help the press wherever possible.
Coverage can and does generate leads and helps the referral process enormously. Invest the time to get to know your press, their deadlines and needs ‘ the benefits could be enormous.
Getting to know the press is essential in developing a relationship with your local newspaper. A lunch or coffee is often a useful way to start building rapport, but a journalist will only come out once on a ‘get to know you’ basis. Any contact made thereafter should always be with a news story attached, for example a product launch, industry comment, response to an interest rate change and so on.
Stories can be placed exclusively with newspapers, but it is important that these should be shared out among your local contacts otherwise they will start to feel ostracised.
Responding to events quickly will also help you to obtain press coverage. For example, if there is an interest rate movement, issue a statement by fax or email to the press stating your views.
Case studies can be an extremely effective means of lead generation. If a journalist is writing a story on buy to let, they may ask you if you have any interesting clients who would be prepared to appear in the newspaper. This would involve a photograph and a short interview. Of course, if you have an interesting client, you could approach the journalist and suggest a story angle.
Local broadcast is another valuable medium although most local stations do not have a regular finance slot. Having said that, it is worth discussing the possibility of a regular finance slot with them or being part of a panel of experts. They will consider any items that are particularly relevant to the area or especially newsworthy, however they will not usually cover product launches.