In the second part of the interview MaryAnne Edwards, GMBA Australia and New Zealand, chats to Hillary Buckman about the value of creating quality content, with an emphasis on press releases.
Do you have any advice for those wishing to get their press releases published?
Yachting media is bombarded with press releases daily, so they must be well-written, relevant and, of course, newsworthy to run. As for other media sites, the easier it is on our end to turn it around, the better.
Of course, we edit to fit our style and, if required, will ask questions to add more detail, but if it’s a topic we think owners and the industry will be interested in, we’ll run it. All press releases must have website links and contact details, and be accompanied by high-quality images.
It is surprising how often crucial facts, key contact details and high-resolution images are not included, which makes it harder to run. Finally, businesses need to understand a press release is not advertising. If you’re just promoting your company, it’s unlikely to be published.
Should a business engage a public relations (PR) company?
This is an interesting question. The companies that do invest in professional public relations companies generally get more coverage as they ensure press releases are well written, interesting and engaging, plus they make sure it is accompanied by quality images. They also usually have a good media contact base and can target the right audience.
Conversely, many PR companies churn out stories that are not newsworthy or relevant. They simply adhere to their promise of meeting their quota, not generating quality stories to improve branding or sales.
Most PR firms have various charging scenarios. It’s important to select one that suits you and not to feel pressured into any ongoing costs you may not be able to sustain financially or in terms of editorial quality. I believe a well-managed marketing strategy, which includes editorial and advertising, keeps your business front of mind.
Do businesses need to advertise to get their PR published?
Within Ocean Media’s group of titles, there is no requirement to advertise to get your news published. It’s all about the relevance and newsworthy nature of the piece. If, however, we continue to receive press releases from a company and publish them, either online or in print, we’ll approach that company to see if we can help them develop an advertising strategy that also supports our platforms.
Whether through my company or other yachting media, the industry needs to support those working for their benefit to ensure the media in our industry stays strong. It’s also worth noting that, as with most media, if you advertise with us, you also get access to our journalists to assist with writing your copy, which can be invaluable.
How should companies evaluate their PR results?
If you’ve gone to the trouble of sending out PR material, you must put as much effort into evaluating the outcomes as creating it. Look where it was published. Look at the timeframe between when you sent it and when it was published. Often, timing is critical. Consider, have you received any feedback? Have you had more interest in the product? Ultimately, is it driving sales enquiries or improving your branding?
Do you believe online newsletters are overtaking print?
There is a market for both. Each has its place and, again, it depends on your business strategy and budget as to which will work best for you. Most businesses we deal with like a combination of both throughout the year. In turn, we work out an editorial plan that complements this investment.
A high-quality printed magazine has become a luxury item, particularly in our niche market. If you’re trying to promote to the top end of the market, you must make sure your company’s message is on point and the platform you use mirrors the quality and message you’re trying to make.
With the ever-increasing use of digital apps for news, when it comes to relaxing, tuning out and enjoying the features you’re reading, there’s no better way than in a high-quality printed format. Time is the most luxurious item money can’t buy.
Printing and distribution costs have skyrocketed, leading to the demise of various magazines in various sectors, as well as newspapers and classifieds, so for quick results in a timely manner, online is important.
However, research tells us the retention of information is up to 35 percent higher when read in print than online. Interestingly, Forbes has just launched Forbes Australia’s first printed issue – many perceive print as a luxury item. And it still offers greater credibility.
Maryanne Edwards, GMBA Australia / New Zealand
Disclaimer: Global Marine Business Advisors is a registered legal entity and is a network of independent marine industry advisors. In all articles the opinions expressed are those of the author and does not necessarily reflect those of GMBA.