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Starter guide for marketers before a public relations launch

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

Here’s a quick checklist to align marketing in the days or weeks leading up to your big public relations campaign. Prior to reaching out to the media or even drafting your press release, you need to build a strong foundation in your overall marketing. PR is the gas you pour on the fire, but the fire needs to be lit already.

Don’t turn off reporters with boring, inaccurate or misleading website content

Your website is the first impression most journalists will have on your business. Is your site missing basic information about what you do? Got some old information in there that’s no longer true? Misleading or confusing web copy? Bad messaging can torpedo even the mightiest PR initiatives.

During the height of its popularity amid the pandemic, Zoom claimed on its website that calls were end-to-end encrypted. However, an investigation by The Intercept revealed that Zoom's claims were false. This led to a slew of bad media coverage and prompted the company to quickly revise its claims.

Planning a rebrand? Or maybe your current website doesn’t convey a minimal level of quality in terms of content or design? Before you throw time and effort at a PR effort, make sure your brand’s home base doesn’t make a reporter respond instantly with “Yuck, nope.”

Pick the right experts on your team for when reporters come calling

Starter guide for marketers before a public relations launch

Your CEO is often a primary source for reporters, but they’re not always the best choice if a reporter is looking for a particular kind of expertise.

Who are the experts and what could they say? Whether it’s the HR lead discussing staff changes, or the CFO breaking down the numbers, ensuring the right person is at the helm of the conversation is paramount.

Who can write up a compelling email response? Who can give that snappy soundbite for a phone or TV interview? These voices represent your brand, and how the message is delivered can be as impactful as the message itself.

Build a PR strategy around hard data, not hype

In 2023, journalists want more substance and less smoke, and PR is the perfect opportunity to flaunt your victories. Case studies, quantitative results, and client testimonials are the backbone of any PR campaign, and even the world’s best agency can’t make these numbers up for you.

You don’t need to onboard a research consultant to dig out these metrics. If you've made some headway, like attracting early customers or securing fundraising, the numbers might just be under your nose. Dive into your pitch decks, review product tests, and sift through market research. This is not just just about boasting—it's about demonstrating that you hold to your promises.

Know your ‘dream' media targets

Starter guide for marketers before a public relations launch

PR isn't just about being seen; it's about being seen in the right places. When you're crafting your brand's narrative, you need to be just as intentional about where that story unfolds. What's going to be more meaningful for your business? Being one of 5 CEOs quoted in a long Forbes feature, or a full-on interview in a trade publication that your customers like to read?

Maybe it's a little of both. But come up with a quick list of 10 or 15 reporters and outlets that you believe are the perfect ones to learn about your story. For whoever's actually doing your public relations, that helps them focus and also build out that list to useful niches.

Particularly in the world of tech, pivots and reinventions are par for the course. Making sure the media landscape you operate in aligns with those changes will set you up for PR success.

Be your own champion. Be ready to share all of those public relations hits

To get more value out of your PR campaigns, integrate your media wins into your other marketing platforms.

Think you can skip putting a bit of effort into seeding links to your news coverage into Threads, X, LinkedIn or your other social media accounts? Not going to bother sharing them in your email newsletter and other platforms? Then why go to the effort in the first place of getting the coverage - and why should any of your fans and supporters care? Model the behavior you're hoping to see from your friends and supporters.

Reporters do pay attention to who is sharing their articles and other media reports. They care, because they know that their editors are looking at the numbers of hits and likes. Better numbers for the reporter means they have better job security. So when the reporter sees you taking that extra effort to share their work, they're also more likely to use you and your company as a source in the future.

Each media hit is a feather in your cap, so ensure you weave those wins into your social channels, blogs, and more. Everyone knows you don’t build a giant social media following or email newsletter subscription base overnight. But if you didn’t build these marketing pieces out years ago, then the next best time to start is right now, before you kick off your PR effort.

Ready for the public relations spotlight that real news coverage brings?

Get Mind Meld PR’s Media Opportunity Report. Tailored for you, this curated roundup will include a list of media opportunities where reporters want to talk to experts from a company like yours, this week. Get your free media opportunity report today



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