Effective Public Relations (PR) is one of the most cost effective ways to communicate your message with your audience. Public relations is a flexible communications tool that it can be used as part of almost any marketing strategy.

However, it relies on having an interesting story to tell about your product or service. The more interesting it is, the more you can expect journalists to write about it, and consumers to want to know about it. If your product or service isn’t inherently interesting (and most good products aren’t), then you’ll need to spend more on your public relations to make it so. I

f you don’t, your PR efforts will fail. It really is as simple as that. Here are a few tips on getting your PR out there:

1. Writing a press release Before you put pen to paper or type a word, identify the 5 W’s of your story · What? is your story?

When? is it taking place?
Where? is it taking place?
Why? is it taking place?
Who? is involved?
Be concise, accurate and honest. Every journalist is bombarded with press releases everyday so you should consider how the material comes across to somebody who knows nothing about your business or your industry – don’t use jargon or abbreviations that will mean nothing to them.

Other points to remember:

· Make sure is it a story/news,

· Is your key point up front so the journalist doesn’t have to search for it?

· Does the headline grab your attention?

· Check your spelling · Use an easy to read font – I always use Arial font throughout. 12 pt bold for my heading and 11pt regular for the body text with line and a half spacing (makes it easy to read).

2. Photography Journalists usually like a good quality photo with a story. Be creative, get interesting props or locations into the shot and include some company branding. Try and get the photo to give the reader the immediate idea of the story. Pictures especially of children, animals, and beautiful people all ‘sell’ a story. So if you can, make sure your photo includes at least 1 of these.

3. Put a contact on the press release Journalists may want to get further information on the story. You’d be surprised at how many people forgot to include their contact details. And many are unavailable when the press release hits the journalist’s desk. Put a contact on and be there to answer queries.

More tips on PR next week.

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