Who do you think you’re talking to?

No really. I mean… do you even know? You’d be amazed how many people sit down to write a press release, a blog or some form of editorial without even considering the most important part of the whole piece… the audience.

For instance, writing this blog, I know it’s most likely to be read by franchisors, business owners and professionals involved with PR. I also know that anyone who does read it is likely to have an interest in generating coverage for themselves, their business or their product/service.

Knowing that in advance allows me to plan, not only the language and style of the piece I’m writing but also the desired outcome. All of that means the content follows quite naturally.

Thankfully, this process is second nature to me now (after years of practice!) But, in case it isn’t for you, here are five questions you should to ask yourself before you even think about putting pen to paper (or more likely, finger to keyboard).

1. Who is your target audience?

This is number one for a reason. If you don’t understand (and I mean, really understand) who you’re trying to reach with your copy then you may as well not bother writing it. Incidentally, I wouldn’t expect this to be the same for every piece.

2. Where will you find them?

Sometimes, we all have to learn to park our egos. Whilst we may have aspirations of appearing in Cosmo, The Guardian or the Times, if your target audience is reading obscure trade titles then, guess what? That’s where you need to be.

3. What’s going to get their attention?

In a never-ending flow of media, how are you going to cut through the noise and stand out? Questions, statements and controversy are just three ways to spark interest…

4. What’s going to be valuable to them?

Most people want to get something out of the things they read, watch and listen to. Advice, inspiration, hope, amusement… what are you offering your audience that makes it worth their while to give you their time?

5. How should you communicate with them?

Tailoring your writing language and style not just your audience, but to each individual publication or outlet might be tedious but I assure you, it is time well spent. When you’ve gone to the effort of creating copy, don’t let it be wasted by insisting on talking to an audience in your language, not theirs.

As with everything practice makes perfect (still working on it!) so don’t be afraid to test your skills and refine as you go.

For more advice on getting the most out of your PR, contact spark@revpr.co.uk

Why is giving a monetary value to press coverage (AVE) so unpopular with PR professionals?

In case you’ve never heard of it, AVE stands for Advertising Value Equivalency – how much it would have cost to buy the same space in the media where you gained any PR coverage.

Whilst it’s been around for decades, this way of valuing the results of PR campaigns has become more and more maligned by the PR industry because many feel it doesn’t show the true value of PR efforts and coverage.

So how should you measure your PR?

We still use AVE as one of the metrics in our client reports and here’s why… it makes for a great starting point to explain all the other ways to measure the value of PR coverage! It’s also the easiest metric to explain to someone who hasn’t worked in marketing and PR before. Think of it as a great appetiser before the main course.

Modern-day value

After measuring your AVE, it’s important to look at the relevance, reach, tone and tier of the media you’re being featured in. By setting metrics and measuring against things like impressions, a headline or early article mention, competitor mentions and the inclusion of quotes and images, you can really start to build a much more accurate value for today’s complex media landscape.

Sharing the love

Don’t forget to record social media shares where possible as this massively affects the reach of the coverage.

By utilising a tool such as our PR scorecard, you can combine AVE with these modern, media-appropriate measures to see a true value of your coverage.

To give you an example, one of our clients was recently featured on BBC Radio Northamptonshire – but the BBC don’t run advertising so an old-fashioned AVE would have been zero, which of course is quite silly when you think about it. Our advice; be sure that you’re measuring your PR through a value system outside of AVE.

Want to find out more about the value of PR? Follow us on Twitter @RevPRUK