The Secrets to Effective Public Relations

There is no shortage of compelling stories in the transportation, logistics, and supply chain industries. However, capturing journalists' attention and getting those stories covered by the media isn’t always easy.

Director of Public Relations Amanda Bell

That’s where a solid public relations plan comes into play. With the right strategies and insights, you can cut through the noise and get your story heard. 

 

On a recent episode of the Fr8 Marketing Gurus podcast, Virago Marketing CEO Jennie Malafarina recently sat down with Amanda Bell, a seasoned communications professional who currently leads PR efforts for XRC Ventures, to discuss her top tips for effective media relations. Something she has perfected throughout her impressive career, which spans both large global agencies and boutique firms. Her current role at XRC Ventures involves running an in-house PR agency to generate media exposure for the firm’s portfolio of retail tech, consumer goods, and health tech startups. 

 

In this blog, we outline Bell’s top tips for upping your public and media relations strategy. But you can also listen to the full podcast for all of her insights.

6 Tips for Improving Your PR & Media Relations Game

1. Understand Your Client’s Value

Bell emphasizes the importance of clearly understanding and articulating your client’s value proposition. She likes to start by getting the client’s elevator pitch and refining it to ensure it’s something that clearly outlines the company’s value and that can be easily understood by media outlets and their audiences. 

 

“We have to help clients put themselves in other’s shoes, so that they can [get their story across],” Bell acknowledged. “I think they should talk about what they’re doing today. … I get as literal as you can with PR messaging, and then you can always say we’d love to move in this direction down the road. That’s a great way to end a media interview in my opinion; is to say, ‘OK, what’s next for the company?’ This is where we’re going. But the media needs to know what you’re doing today.”

 

2. A Good Story is Key

Bell firmly believes that a reporter will always cover good content, so crafting a clear and compelling story is crucial. She recommends leveraging data, statistics, and specific customer examples to add substance and credibility to pitches. She asserts, “Being a good writer is always something you’ll need in PR.” 

 

She also stresses the importance of contributed content, case studies, and podcasts as viable avenues for getting your story out there. For Bell, contributed content involves her interviewing her client and then writing an unbiased, thought leadership article for a publication. She also relies on case studies and podcasts to help line up speaking opportunities for her clients. Case studies provide evidence that the client is helping others succeed while podcasts showcase their ability to translate that story in an engaging way. 

 

3. Conferences are a Great PR Tool

It’s no surprise that public relations is often successful when it involves being face to face. And that means in-person events to conduct networking.

 

“In general, conferences can be like a secret PR weapon, such a great tool that you can use,” Bell said. “Conferences are fantastic because you can get the list of attending media that are going to the event and then you just reach out to their communications or PR team.”

 

She suggests reaching out to reporters attending the event two to three weeks in advance to arrange meetings. Onsite, she makes it a point to visit media booths and introduce herself. She shared a successful example with Fillogic, where impromptu interviews at a conference led to valuable media exposure. She believes leveraging in-person events and staying informed about industry data and trends can significantly enhance your PR efforts.

 

4. Keep Your Pitches Brief but Informative

Journalists are often swamped with emails, so Bell advises keeping pitches concise. 

 

“I think one of the most important things is to be just clear and brief in your emails to the media,” she said. “My goal is to send a reporter an email that basically sums up what I’m pitching them in the first sentence or two.”

 

Your email should include a brief overview and, if necessary, add detailed information below your signature. This approach respects journalists’ time while providing them with the essential details upfront, increasing the likelihood of your pitch being read and considered.

 

5. Nurture Relationships with the Media

Those email pitches can also be your foot in the door to building strong relationships with journalists. But it goes beyond the pitch itself. 

 

“I think just being available for them is so important,” she noted. … “I tell the media, ‘Hey, you know, if you’re ever working on a story where you need a specific type of founder in retail tech or supply chain, you can just reach out to me, and I can connect you to someone who fits that description.’ So just being a good team member with them and getting back to them in a timely way and being available.”

 

She added calling a reporter directly is a viable option, especially if their phone number is in their email signature. This can be very useful, especially if you have time-sensitive news to share or it can help you build a good relationship with your top outlets by reaching out to offer exclusives or the first shot at embargoed information. 

 

6. Track Your Google Analytics

Measuring PR success can be challenging, but tracking website traffic and inbound leads after a PR push can provide valuable insights. Bell advises monitoring Google Analytics to see if there’s a spike in traffic following media coverage. Displaying media logos on your website and highlighting secured coverage offers powerful social proof. Additionally, the SEO benefits from backlinks on high-authority media sites can significantly boost your search rankings.

Enable Your Public Relations Success

The road to earning media coverage may not always be easy, but with Bell’s insider tips, you’ll be well on your way to getting your story the attention it deserves. The key is to focus on telling a clear, data-backed story while building genuine relationships with journalists and keeping a close eye on the metrics that matter most to your business.

 

For more with Amanda and Jennie, watch their Fr8 Marketing Gurus podcast episode, “Pitch Perfect – Mastering Media Relations.”

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