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How to get a story into the press

What does happen behind the scenes of a North Wales PR Agency? Well quite a bit but most of it if you’re a client you won’t see. Hopefully, all you’ll see is beautifully crafted press releases, happy social media posts and lots of stories and smiley pictures about you in the press and online.

Getting your stories to that point takes a little juggling. It takes planning, experience and a thorough knowledge of the industry to get that far. First off is actually getting the newsworthy stories from the client which is often the most difficult part. Many clients expect PR staff to be able to magic up stories up from thin air, so after a bit of magic and story finding it’s time to draw up a PR plan.

Once a plan’s been agreed and signed off, it’s time to make it reality. This means writing the stories from the right angle so they come across as newsworthy items rather than obvious adverts, and identifying the best media to send them to. Most PR companies use databases of editors and journalists not available to members of the public and can create a targeted media list for every client. This includes local and national press, specific trade media and specialised business publications, plus bloggers and freelancers who write about particular topics.

Dealing with the media is another important skill PR agencies do on an almost daily basis. They get regular phone calls and emails from journalists about press releases they receive, and field interview requests. PR agencies also call or email journalists to check if press releases are being used.

Then there’s keeping track of results. Good PR agencies offer monthly or weekly updates on how your media coverage is doing. There are cuttings services available where, for a small charge, you can have your newspaper clippings and online coverage sent to you, along with the PR values of those cuttings. Compiling these reports – along with social media statistics – is probably the most time-consuming part of the job. But it’s really important as it shows clearly what stories are getting coverage.

On top of all that, there’s loads of ad-hoc tasks. Typically, PR agencies are asked to take photos, even if they’re not photographers; organise and run media workshops and generally run round after their clients. And they gladly do it, usually at no extra cost.

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