Stick with us while we introduce you to PR 2.0 and show you exactly why we’re not mourning.
Have an emotional story to tell? Why not aim for the heart? Press releases can be formal, stiff and booooooring. You and I know that they’re mostly created to say what the clients want to hear, not what consumers want. You’ll travel far from Lagos to Mgbidi to find a press release that’s native to a platform, that doesn’t have some client jargon, or that doesn’t give call-to-action. Press releases no one reads. Meanwhile, non-PR people are busy breaking the Internet with well thought out materials that are thinking like self-driving cars. So when Tiwa Savage’s marital issues were exposed, her team didn’t put out a press release; she did a full on, video interview. President Obama is also known for his quick comebacks on potentially scandalous issues. Remember the Gates arrest controversy? As the negative stories caught fire and backlash ensued, Obama was inviting the parties over for beer. Safe to say it was a happy ending. Great save!
You can’t go wrong with Live. Whether in the form of Facebook Live, Snapchat or Instagram stories, we truly cannot over emphasize the importance of live content. Remember when Nigerian DJ Obi Ajuonoma was attempting a world record? His team didn’t rely on press releases; they had live content going up on social media, 24/7. Entertainment website thenet.ng has reached 1.5 million people this year alone, broadcasting content live on Facebook, earning over 604K video views. People are crazy for real time content. Give it to them. Plus, wait for it, the social media platforms that give the bulk of website referrals all now prioritize native live content. You’re welcome.
Speaking of videos. Remember the case of Philando Castille? His girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, recorded him getting shot by the police on Facebook and the video got nearly 2.5million views in a few days, setting off global coverage that may not have happened without the raw footage. As you’ll see from the most successful live videos around the world, your videos don’t have to be HD to get your message across. And you don’t have to hire a professional or have a professional camera to get good quality videos with potential virality. The Iphone 6s Plus, Google Nexus 6P and the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus are great for visual content and will do your videos justice. You can also try your hands on 360 cameras. The LG 360 CAM and the Samsung Gear 360 are some good examples.
Haven’t heard of 360 content? Check out this photo with Prince and Oyindamola from ID Africa, here.
When in doubt, meme it. Ever had pictures from an event that you just wanted the whole world to see but didn’t know how to get it out there? Well why not meme them? A meme is a picture, text or video, typically humorous that is widely spread by Internet users. Once it’s funny enough and has potential for virality, trust me, it will go far.
Like this one below, from an image captured during the launch of pop icon, 2face Idibia’s book in 2015.
And this one from Star Music Trek 2016 in Makurdi.
Blogs are huge too! Consumers spend time having conversations on social media. Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Medium, etc. And the bulk of what they will discuss will be influenced by what they’ve consumed online. One particular Nigerian news blog has over 15 million monthly users. Another, focused mainly on wedding and lifestyle, has almost 2 million followers on Instagram alone. These guys want the kind of content that’ll make their own consumers keep coming back. PR people must think like bloggers to get value from this segment that’s increasingly becoming more influential than newspapers and magazines. We’ll only get great coverage if we provide amazing content that will drive traffic and engagement on these platforms.
This is a newsletter right? Why not try it out! Newsletters are one of the low hanging fruits BHM uses to stay in touch with our friends. We’re not asking you to bombard your contacts with information they will find useless. Seek to add value by providing tips, leads and useful content and see people warm up to you and what you have to sell. BHM newsletters go out to over 100,000 contacts in different industries and locations. Our friends at TechCabal do this well too. You should subscribe.
Warning: DO NOT SPAM YOUR CONTACTS
Kill email blasts… As a rule, you should never send bulk emails to media or influencer contacts. It’s a sin. If you really want someone to take what you have to pitch with more than a pinch of salt, then you should be mailing them directly. Send a personalised email, address them by their first name and identified title, then go straight to the point without wasting their time. Then follow up by a phone call or short message. Remember you’re not pitching a client story or brand release – you’re pitching content you believe they – and their audience – would find useful. Try it. It works.
Build your own media assets. Media relations and publicity is what most people need, when they look to PR. According to Nigeria PR Report 2015, 68% of clients want media exposure, as opposed to other aspects of public relations. What does this mean? We need to invest in media assets, and have some clear high level influence in that space. BHM has been investing in media assets since 2009. Today, some of those properties have become niche leaders, and our strongest supporters when we need publicity, or audience insight. Another Nigerian agency, Red Media, does this well too, investing in properties in different genres. Apart from owned assets, our partnership with radio stations, TV channels, and blogs across the county ensures we have strong partnerships that add value beyond publicity transactions. What also works? LinkedIn Pulse, Medium, Blogger, WP, etc. There’s an immediate audience, on Pulse and Medium especially, if you don’t have the resources to drive traffic to a new site of you own.
Use your own staff. Another low hanging fruit. No one can be a better advocate for your brands than the individuals who work with you and are sold on the vision. Do this in house, and encourage your clients to do same. Abracadabra.
And if you’re still unsure, find that big idea. Take the Star Bottle Christmas tree for example. BHM client, Star broke a world record by building the world’s largest bottle tree with about 8000 bottles. The previous record holder was Shanghai with 1000 bottles. The Star Bottle tree was part of the main attractions for the annual New Year Lagos countdown in 2014 earning the brand national and international attention, like these ones from Getty Images and International Business Times UK. You have to give your audience something attractive to talk about and watch your message blow up.
Everyone wins: client is happy because they see tremendous earned media, bloggers and publishers are happy because they’ve seen increased engagement and traffic spike, consumers are happy because you’ve made their day. Job well done. Pour yourself a drink!