As a freelance writer, my job involves some public relations (PR). It's fun. I enjoy working behind the scenes to help raise my clients' profiles.
In this post I explain the role I play as a freelance writer in PR. If you find this useful please subscribe to my blog. I welcome your comments.
What is public relations?
Famous American historian Daniel J Boorstin took a cynical view of PR. Here's what he had to say:
"Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers."
There's certainly more than a kernel of truth in this statement — look at Kim Kardashian, for goodness sake! However, this doesn't make PR a bad thing.
This is Wikipedia's definition:
"The practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization (such as a business, government agency, or a non-profit organization) and the public."
Well, "managing and spreading information" is my forte. I do this in two main ways:
Let me explain...
In case you don't know, the point of a press release is to encourage media coverage of a story — a story with you or your business in it. This coverage could be in the form of a newspaper or magazine article, a radio interview, or an appearance on TV.
Ghost writing articles
This is where I supply the story to the media. I do this by interviewing a client and then writing an article under their name based on what they said.
Unless a publication has given my client the go ahead to contribute an article, I find it pays not to write too much until they do. So, often my job is to pitch an idea first.
What are the benefits of public relations?
So, what are the benefits of public relations?
Credibility is possibly the biggest factor. According to studies, people view information in news stories as seven times more credible than in advertising. And this makes sense. After all, you don't pay to feature in a news story and a good journalist will only choose a story based on the interests of their audience, not the people or businesses featured in them.
Public relations costs money, that's for sure. And, your efforts might achieve nothing. However, if you do receive media coverage, your exposure could be considerably more than what you would get by paying for advertising.
Courting the media sounds like a perfect plan, doesn't it? Before you embark on a PR campaign, though, ask yourself: Will anyone else care about what I have to say?
Think like a journalist. For your press release to get any traction, it must be newsworthy.
End of story.
What do you think? If you found this useful, please subscribe to my blog. I welcome your comments.