Updated: Nov 3
I was watching Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+, and it occurred to me that Jedi Knights use multiple tactics to achieve their goals, even though they could easily stick to powerful mind tricks.
This got me thinking. In PR, we write well-crafted press releases to get clients media hits. But do clients know that just like Jedi, we use other highly effective methods to gain media coverage without a press release?
To channel the wisdom of Yoda: good, a press release is. Better, a campaign can be.
Obviously we can’t compare ourselves to Jedi Knights (or can we…?). Since we possess zero Jedi mind tricks, public relations pros rely instead on the Force of three other proven tactics to get our clients media coverage, without a press release.
1. In a galaxy far, far away, a PR Knight invented Newsjacking
And we’ve been perfecting it ever since. Newsjacking is pretty much what it sounds like: we see what’s trending in the news, and we piggyback off its popularity.
Let’s look at a prime example: In July 2019, people started following a story about breast implant recalls due to safety concerns. How were doctors going to find all the at-risk patients? By looking up the barcode of the defective implants.
Well, we just so happened to have a client whose app could scan any medical barcode and instantly tell you if the product was recalled.
We took that trending story, and were able to showcase our client’s relevance within that trend. The tactic earns clients media coverage without a press release.
We bet even Yoda would have a hard time topping that one, mind tricks or not.
2. Reactive PR: the dark side of the Force
By dark side, we don’t mean joining the Sith. We simply mean not proactive, as in the opposite of a press release. In reactive PR, reporters already have a story in mind and just need an expert source. There’s a service that gathers these queries. We comb through, looking for ones our clients can answer. Easy, right?
Sure, if you define ‘easy’ as ‘time-consuming.’ There are hundreds of these a day. Hundreds. But we’re highly experienced at catching the right reactives before they slip by.
Just these past few weeks, we combed through about 2500 queries, dozens of which were asking for stock market expertise. What a glorious time we had pitching our client’s investment specialist. We got our client’s company in the news just by sending quick, expert quotes to reporters. No press release,
but plenty of media coverage with reactive PR.
Think of reactive opportunities like they’re Stormtroopers – there are a lot of them, but most miss their targets (seriously guys, the Ewok was RIGHT THERE). We scan through the bunch and find the crack shots that suit a client’s campaign.
3. Thought leadership to teach young padawans
This would be like interviewing Obi-Wan Kenobi on the do’s and don'ts of training Jedi. You position your clients as ‘Masters’ in their field by writing a thought leadership piece for them.
These pieces need to demonstrate not just knowledge, but also the client’s passion and eagerness to share that knowledge with those who want to learn.
We have a client based in the Middle East. His company has created the first addressing system for the country, all digitally.
A colleague spoke with him for an hour to craft a thought leadership piece, and came out with quite the gem. Media outlets picked up his unique expertise on how he learned to be a better CEO by observing his own, young padawan.
So is channeling the Force of a press release worth it?
They just aren’t the only part of a PR campaign. Imagine if the Rebels only had ion cannons during battles. Sure, the cannons could eventually get the job done, but throw in light sabers, X-Wings, and a dash of Han Solo charisma, and you’ve got the makings of a seriously winning campaign to take down the Empire! (Or get media coverage).
Are you interested in an intergalactic PR strategy for your company?
Contact our tech PR agency and let’s get started with your Press Release+ package.
(And yes, we absolutely see the irony in a company named after a Star Trek reference to be talking about Star Wars).