Organic PR guide

We know organic PR can be confusing, especially if it is not your industry. As such, the team here at VerriBerri wanted to explain how PR works. 

Why PR?

There are many reasons a company may be looking for PR. However, there are three main ones that benefit your brand: brand exposure, reputation management, and SEO.  It goes without saying the more people are talking about you, the more important and trustworthy your brand appears. Good PR and effective company marketing should be an amalgamation of the above three benefits with no particular focus on one. 

Types of PR.

There are a number of ways your brand can benefit from organic PR. Influencer PR uses people of note to talk about your brand in order to reach a wider audience, instil trust in the brand by way of recommendation, and create that ‘I want it because X has it’ buzz. 

Digital PR is a way of getting your product out on the internet, and can benefit your SEO (more about that later.) It also increases brand recognition and as a result escalates sales. 

PR in print is more niche and is better reserved for specific reasons. This could be local awareness or trade specific publications. 

Social media is its own entity under the marketing umbrella, but it is a vital tool your PR team can use to further your existing campaigns and increase awareness. It can be an integral part of giving your digital PR campaigns traction.  

Finally, crisis management is when your company, as they all do at some point, encounters difficulty and as a result needs reputation protection and management. This could be by drowning out the negatives by shouting about all the positive things your company does or by releasing a carefully considered response to the problem in hand.

Pitches

In order to secure coverage, our PR team need to pitch story and feature ideas to media outlets. These need to be targeted to spike journalist interest and demonstrate an understanding of the outlet’s audience. Journalists receive hundreds of pitches from companies and PRs a day so pitches need to be inventive in order to grab their attention, show you’re worth talking about and can offer value that no one else can.

In other words, you have to be newsworthy. The more you have to talk about the more PR coverage we will be able to get you. 

Leads. 

When you receive a scope of work from us we will put the minimum amount of leads that we will achieve each quarter on there. A lead is when a journalist or media outlet expresses genuine interest in a pitch that we send them. PR leads are always worked out quarterly because we have no control over publication lead times. Sometimes leads are printed within 24 hours, other occasions will take six months. The lead time is dependent on many external factors such as journalist timescales, publications schedules, and of course breaking news will take precedent. 

What constitutes a lead?

A lead is classed as a single media outlet agreeing to talk about or reference your business in a feature. It can be the same story running in multiple locations, or it can be one media outlet running a number of different stories about you. 

Off the back of national coverage, other publications may share or feature the content on their own platform if they see value. This also constitutes a lead for the following reasons: 

-We will specifically target these national publications as we know this domino effect is more likely to happen. 

These larger media outlets are harder to gain coverage in, so more time consuming, yet the results are more effective as they often lead to further exposure on other platforms and a larger audience reach as a result.  

Essentially, anything that results in an increase in exposure is a lead. 

Secured.  

When we explain how many leads we will gain a quarter we will always say ‘secured’ rather than ‘printed.’ This is because we cannot, as above, guarantee publishing times for leads. This is entirely out of our hands. Secured means we are almost certain this publication will run with the feature, it just hasn’t been printed yet due to the journalist’s workload, publications schedule, or other important external factors.  

PR Links. 

The VerriBerri team will endeavour to assist your website’s SEO within online publications by journalists placing links to your site. This could be a follow link, no follow, or a mention on the site. So, when we write an article, because we cannot guarantee links, we will, were possible, optimise the content. For example, if the company name is ‘VerriBerri’ we will, where appropriate, write the company name as ‘VerriBerri.com’ as so optimise through mentions.

 Sometimes publications simply will not link. This could be company policy, or that they just don’t know your brand yet. 

If you’re a newcomer to PR, you may initially struggle to get links because, as far as the media is concerned, they don’t know you yet and you may be a flash in the pan that they get no benefit from linking to. Linking rights are reserved for companies that have put the time and effort in to build a brand and its reputation. Brutally put, as far as the media outlets are concerned, you should be grateful for the free exposure if you have not yet put that legwork in. 

It is important to remember Google likes organic PR content so a mixture of the mentions, no follow, and follow links are ultimately best for the long-term prognosis of your site in order to avoid being deindexed. 

Organic PR 

In order for your company to look organic to both potential customers and search engines such as Google rules apply. Your story should feature in a variety of publications, both high and low end, as this is what happens with natural stories. 

You should not have links in every story, as this looks like you’re trying to manipulate the algorithm. You must have more than one topic of story running in order to show your company is newsworthy. This will have the effect of search engines ranking you and customers purchasing from your brand. 

PR is not an instant process. As such it looks suspicious to search engines and potential clientele if you suddenly have lots of press. This is something you must avoid as it could constitute a story where someone has done something wrong. As such it can place distrust in your brand and its URL. 

You’ll note we have signed a contract with you for some months. This is to protect your brand and ensure the above does not happen. PR is organic, PR is slow, and PR is extremely effective. 

Communication. 

We are only ever as good as your team. The more you communicate, replying to the questions in our emails, and send us information, the more leads you’ll have. Our team cannot publish information without your feedback. The longer you take to get back to us, the longer leads take to be published. With delayed response times, there is also the risk that the journalist will reject the article.

We need to know what is newsworthy so if anything happens, even if it seems insignificant, please let us know. We want to portray your business accurately in the news and need your help in doing so. 

At the start of your relationship with us, we will have asked you for a list of where you would absolutely love to be featured. Please do ensure you send this, as it helps us not only target the right people, but to understand your organic PR vision.