PR Playbook: Best Practices for Creating a Unique Narrative

By May 19, 2022Uncategorized

The next chapter in our PR Playbook series is here, and with Small Business Week celebrated in the month of May, we decided to focus on best practices for creating a unique narrative for your clients. As PR professionals, it is our job to help our clients build positive brand recognition, and in order to do so, we must know what kind of story we want to tell. 

The first step is getting to know your client and its voice. What is the company all about, and what are its missions, pillars and goals? It is also important to know the spokespeople and the way they operate. What is their tone – are they buttoned up or do they take a more casual approach? It is important that everyone is aligned as you move forward in sharing your client’s story. 

It is a good idea to conduct topical brainstorming sessions at least once a quarter — first internally and then externally. This will help you to come up with new angles and topics based on corporate marketing initiatives, industry trends and world events. Additionally, it will be a good refresh for your PR program and help you avoid falling into the rut of simply promoting only what the client thinks is important. When you’re driving the story mining effort, your clients will appreciate your proactive, strategic and visionary efforts. The icing on the cake: you’re likely to win more interesting and higher-quality media coverage.

It is always smart to cozy up to the marketing team and try to get your hands on their plans and goals for each quarter and the entire year. This will ensure you can closely align topic ideas and narratives to their campaigns. It also prevents you from missing any important themes or audiences they are trying to target and capitalize on. You might identify unique stories that otherwise would have been missed if you didn’t go digging into that part of the business. Marketers don’t always divulge everything that’s going on within their company because they don’t always understand what’s newsworthy, or they may not realize that some obscure or seemingly boring detail can actually become an interesting story. This detective work can also lead to great trendjacking opportunities. Make your PR team an extension of the marketing team!

Conducting thorough research is important so the client is well-versed and prepared on potential topics that might come up throughout conversations with the media. While a client may have existing thoughts and opinions, it is important to make sure these positions are not recycled from other sources. As PR professionals, we need to take the time to dig a bit deeper into the subject matter and share our findings with clients to craft that unique narrative. This extra research will also help determine if a topic has been covered frequently or not. It’s hard to pitch a story that’s already been told, so finding those nuggets of “news” is a game-changer.

As content is created and shared, ensure that key phrases that frequently appear in searches within your client’s industry are also incorporated into all news releases, bylined articles and pitches. These SEO tactics will improve your clients’ search rankings and domain authority, resulting in increased visibility with prospective customers, partners and investors. 

Look for ways to tie your client’s messaging and activities to relatable topics, whether customer pain points or current national/world events. Anytime you can introduce a human element into your narrative — something that people can relate to that offers a possible solution to the problems they may be experiencing — not only increases the chances of the story being picked up, but it also increases the likelihood of better engagement with the article. This helps to position your client in a more positive light, which is your ultimate goal. 

So there you have it, tricks of the trade that are tried and tested to make sure the content you put out is true to each client and gains as much positive coverage as possible. Creating a unique narrative – BOCA style.

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