Creating a Million Dollar Brand Through PR Outreach: Why and How Long Haul PR Efforts Pay Big Dividends (PART 3)
This is the third in a three part series titled Creating a Million Dollar Brand Through PR Outreach.
In the first series, we demonstrated with credibility comes opportunity.
In the next series, we demonstrated with opportunity comes fruitful media exposure.
Now, to put a bow on this idea and to wrap it up, it is time to demonstrate the idea that with persistence the cycle of opportunity and fruitful media exposure can and will extend indefinitely.
by Clark Covington
The cycle of credibility to opportunity to fruitful media exposure is oiled by persistence, to keep a million-dollar brand running top of mind among the minds that matter most.
Ever notice some brands seem to perpetually stay the focus of positive media stories? Media darlings as they are sometimes known. Is this by coincidence? By standard of quality or craftsmanship of the product or service the brand owns? Or is there something more going on?
Frequent media appearances are a virtue of brands working to stand out and aggressively pushing talking points and a specific agenda, more than simply a journalist seeking a fit for a story.
PR, like sales, is all about hustle, hard work, and thick skin. When it comes to leveraging PR, million-dollar brands are built on these three practices. Below we’ll explore each to understand why this works and how you can get involved in increasing your brand value through PR.
How to Manufacture Exposure?
1 – Hustle
Journalists get a lot of pitches. How many? According to research by Frac.tl the majority of the 1,300 journalists quizzed receive 50-500 pitches per week. That’s 10 to 100 pitches to compete with per working day per journalist! With newsrooms on the shrink, these numbers are sure to only get more dismal for the brand looking to send a pitch and receive a response, nonetheless exposure.
How will your brand ever stand out if you are not in the mindset that effort and ingenuity are paramount to success?
The type of ingenuity that someone hustling for something of great value would have. One that looks at the landscape, understands the competitiveness of it, and tailors a plan to suit.
Think of the portrait artist in a town full of them. Will she continue to style her work like others? Of course not, she’ll look to craft a unique style that is all her own, one that is apt of the trends of the given period and region, one that will have buyers wanting her unique style. A PR campaign should be the same. A work of art reflecting the time and trends of now. One that stands out among all the others. This begins with the proper mindset. Understanding the competitiveness of the landscape, and realizing that uniqueness and forethought are a must to ensure success.
2 – Hard work
With hustling hard work is inferred, yet it is good to double down on this point. Your best creative effort must be matched by time and energy.
It’s one thing to have a great idea, it’s another to put sweat equity behind it. Spending copious amounts of time researching the ideal media targets, and developing a compelling pitch, sending it out, and following up with them accordingly.
There are no shortcuts. Even software has limitations when it comes to swapping time for money to net a given result. You must be willing and ready to work hard at pushing your messaging to the correct audience, or else the ingenuity in the pitch will be meaningless.
Think of all the noise in the inboxes of journalists today. Think of creating a great pitch to separate your brand from the noise. Now think about giving up after sending a dozen pitches. See what a waste that would be? What results would come if you just kept pushing. Hard work is essential in building a million-dollar brand with PR.
3 – Thick skin
Rejection? Yes, please. Is this your attitude? It needs to be if you wish to receive major press mentions for your brand. Why? Because PR is a lot like baseball. It takes many strikeouts to land a hit, and even more to land a homerun.
In baseball to get a hit every 2 or 3 out of 10 at bats is considered good. In fact, just this past season MLB hitters averaged roughly 2.5 hits per 10 at bats. If pro ball player were to cry about all the strikeouts they had experienced over the course of a season they’d be distracted, never reach their potential, and more than likely fail to succeed. The game is difficult, and only the persistent and thick-skinned thrive.
What does this mean for your PR campaign? It means, like the best hitters in major league baseball, you have to step up to the plate a lot to get a hit.
In fact, let’s take the baseball example one step further. The average of obtaining a hit 2.5 out of 10 at bats oftentimes results in simply a single or double. Following this logic, to get a home run would be far less than 2.5 out of every 10 at bats.
The very best team in major league baseball, the 2020 World Series Champion LA Dodgers, hit 118 home runs off of 2,042 at bats, or roughly a homer 5% of the time.
If you send out 100 world class PR pitches targeted at the exact media members that report on the type of story you are pitching, expect a few to result in home runs, and some to result in smaller stories, and many to end up rejections. This rate of rejection is OK. There is nothing wrong with you or your pitch if you’ve crafted something innovative and timely, but rather this is par for the course.
See the big picture? With thick skin and a willingness to receive rejection as part of the process, you will be able to line up more at bats so to speak, and net more placements and even home runs.
If the Dodgers had 4,000 at bats would they have 100 more home runs? Most likely, yes. If you give yourself more opportunities through targeted pitching, expect better results.
As a PR pro I had pitched national newspapers like USA Today many times before receiving a story for a client in the paper. In fact, it took way more than 100 pitches to land that placement. Was this wrong? Should I’ve given up? Of course not. We are too fragile oftentimes in our PR efforts, afraid of what people will say. Be bold, be creative, and be persistent.
Above all else, remember that credibility creates opportunity and the opportunity engine is fueled by persistence of the utmost kind.
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