New Appointments

Publicité Set For Growth With New Appointments

The UK’s re-emergence from the pandemic gave Katrina Suppiah, director of Publicité, the opportunity to think through initiatives she’d been planning pre-2020. One of these plans was and still is to grow the team and expand the company.

Kat explains: “The challenges of growing a small business include time, recruitment and funding. I have been focused on organic growth since the launch of Publicité in 2007, so this initiative was just a matter of timing and finding the right candidates.

“Our culture at Publicité is open, kind and we all have a genuine desire to do the best job we can. Finding the right people is important in a small team – but critical to the services we deliver to our clients.”

Since the beginning of 2022, Publicité is delighted to have welcomed Jessica Cross, virtual assistant, Karen Winter, marketing and copywriting specialist and Harley Rapp, graduate trainee to the team.

On all of the appointments, Katrina comments: “Jess has been a long-awaited and much-needed addition – providing admin support to the whole team means we can all focus on our key roles. Karen and I have worked closely over the last ten years or so. With decades of senior marketing experience, she is a stable influence and mentor, and a fantastic copywriting resource. Finding a graduate has been the icing on the cake for this initiative. As a journalism graduate, Harley fits right in and is brimming with energy, enthusiasm and talent.

Ultimately Publicité is the agency that can add more value to clients by offering complementary services such as social media and marketing support. Working so closely with our clients we build up a great deal of market intelligence that can be utilised, saving clients not only time but budget also. It’s a win-win for all, we love the clients we work with and we know they are happy with our service.


Social Sustainability: At the Heart of Health & Safety at Work 

By Louise Hosking CMIOSH CEnvH MCIEH CMaPS PIEMA SIIRSM, Director of Hosking Associates and OneWISH Co-founder

World Day for Safety and Health at Work

28th April is World Day for Safety and Health at Work. Launched in 2003 by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the day is intended to promote the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally and focus international attention on the positive potential outcomes and value add which can come from developing an effective safety and health culture in the work environment.1

These matters are central to the work of our client, Louise Hosking, director of Hosking Associates and Co-Founder of OneWISH, so we asked her for her expert reflections on the subject.

Adapting and evolving

What does safety and health mean in the current work environment? The workplace is becoming increasingly complex, and the pandemic has fueled transformation in the way so many of us work. Technological advancements and global networks connect us constantly anywhere across the globe, and remote working has become mainstream. 

However, whilst there are benefits to this new way of operating, challenges have arisen or even been exacerbated by the pandemic, including infectious disease, social divide and inequality, employment instability, increased workload, social isolation and burnout. 

This rapid change and resulting challenges have meant that organisations have had to adapt their strategies equally quickly and look for innovative new ways to take their teams with them. This has involved clear prioritisation, adjusting arrangements and communicating clear key messages which must land without delay.

Health and safety as a business concern

The pandemic brought health and safety into the spotlight and emphasised the need to put people and their mental and physical health first. With a greater focus on psychological health and safety we create work places where people feel safe and able to respond to these changes. With this focus our people feel strong enough to bring their best selves forward and work together to meet the very many challenges we are currently facing. This is how the most successful organisations are growing.

We are all having more conversations around transparency and ethical consumption. Customers are increasingly looking deeper and questioning the way those they purchase from, or their partners, operate. Businesses of all sizes, but particularly larger organisations, are going to have to invest in infrastructure to support their people especially in poorer nations and communities, transforming their supply chains, and themselves, in the process.

As the skills shortage becomes more and more critical, organisations will need to be positioned to attract and retain the right talent. Businesses that will be successful in this matter will be those who do not compromise in respect of their social and ethical principles, or the safety and wellbeing of their employees over financial considerations.

Sustainability ecosystem

How we do business has changed, and will continue to do so, yet even with all the technological developments and integrations, at the heart of all this change is people. Social sustainability considerations are inseparable from health and safety and the future of health and safety is in developing and maintaining a careful balance between financial, environmental and human concerns – People, Planet. Profit. We are facing a sustainability crisis because our levels of consumption are out of sync with what we are producing which is making the world more and more unstable. Unless we reduce our consumption, the climate instability and the inequality in living and working conditions will continue to deteriorate. 

Sustainability is so much more than environmental concerns and climate change. It is about meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. We must improve the environments in which we live and work as a core value alongside other business values. Focusing purely on profits causes people, communities and our planet to suffer. We cannot focus purely on climate change as we have limited knowledge and resource. There must be balance for a business to thrive and become truly sustainable. Human capital and environmental capital must become an intrinsic part of operations valued as highly as financial capital.

The role of the health and safety professional

It is time to reconstruct our current methods of production, operation and consumption. Health and safety professionals are here to support infrastructure and facilitate practical ways to create healthy, safe places to work and do business. Collaboration, creativity, transparency and honesty are key values for partnerships between health and safety professionals and businesses. The workplace of the future should be inclusive, supportive and diverse, and designed to create a harmonious environment for people to work safely and productively. This will bring value to their life and to the wider community, but for this to happen on a global scale we must look objectively at where we are today, face the reality of the situation and take practical steps in order to get where we need to be.



Key Calendar Events and How to Use Them for PR 

Each year is jam packed with events, from seasonal festivities, to trade shows, to the ‘season’ with its’ sporting and social calendar. 

Identifying where and how you can make an event a stage for your business’s PR is a skill that requires some discernment, but done right, it can bring real value to your brand profile. 

The calendar

There’s no point stuffing your calendar full of events that you won’t be using, or that are only tenuously linked to you or your industry, but you also want to make sure you have a range of events in there that you can use in different forms. Think about including a selection from the following:

  • Seasons – e.g: winter, summer, start of school holidays
  • Festivals or religious holidays – e.g: Christmas, Eid al-Fitr, Easter, Holi, Chinese New Year, St Patrick’s Day, Halloween
  • National and international business, social, political and sporting events – e.g: Davos, Wimbledon, Glastonbury, Paris Fashion Week, the National Budget announcement
  • Trade shows and sector events
  • Awareness days, weeks and months – National Apprenticeship Week, World Cancer Day, International Women’s Day, Stress Awareness Week, Plastic Free July, LGBT History Month  (These require a slightly different kind of consideration and approach, so we will deal with these in more detail in a separate blog.)

What kind of events will your target audience be affected by, or interested in reading about? Social, sporting, political, business events? Double-check the dates each year, don’t assume it will fall on the same day as previous years. Also, check and note down if there are any themes or special focuses for an event that year that you can tie into the messaging and your strategy.

The preparation

In line with your PR budget and resources, think about how much time you will have. You need to consider in what way you will be involved, as the strategy you select will depend on the kind of activity you are running for the event. Select the key ones you definitely want to be involved with and will have strong material for, and prioritise those for media contact. Then for the others, keep in hand and don’t forget to engage on social media or with a quick blog post where appropriate.

The pitch

What do the media want to talk about? Research what has been said in previous years, what do your competitors do, and where is there a gap?

If your business is taking a front and centre role, by hosting its own event, with a high-profile presentation, or your CEO speaking, then an invite to journalists could be relevant. If the journalist is busy or you can’t invite guests, another option is offering a post-event summary of what was said, as well as your specialist insights. If your team is attending, providing services or launching a product, then inviting media or sharing a press release around your activities is another strategy to consider (although bear in mind product releases or promotional material will often be met with a request for payment to feature).

If you aren’t directly involved or attending, a well-done survey with interesting, unique statistics is a great way to set up engagement with the media (and can be set up as an annual activity driving engagement year after year). However, this can require significant time investment for planning and proper implementation. Another option is providing detailed insight and advice from your business that relates to the event . If undertaking a survey, or sharing business data, make sure to consider privacy, as well as the accuracy and scope of your data collection – it must be clear and relevant to the journalist you are pitching to.

If you don’t have anything to say beforehand,  keep an eye out for stories that are released about the event and offer an expert response or opinion if relevant.

The contact

You generally need to be making contact with the press 1-3 months in advance of the event. Depending on the form of publication (online, print, local, national) lead times will be different. Check to see when your top publications or outlets have historically published stories on the event you are focusing on. Make initial contact well in advance to gauge their response to you providing material to them (but be ready to provide specifics on what you are offering) and also ask them what form of material would be of interest.

The review

After the event, fully review all the coverage received and note how each publication/journalist responded to you. Check what is working and what isn’t. Every year prepare to review – you can’t rehash the same material and expect people to be interested. Think carefully about what you do and don’t let it get tired. 


 Questions to Ask PR Agencies During the Tender Process

Once you have decided your business is interested in integrating PR, and you have reviewed your needs and expectations with the questions we outlined in the first part of this series, it’s time to prepare yourself to meet and interview PROs. 

You’ll set up some initial meetings for introductions, to run through background on your company, outline your needs and goals, and then collate some information about a selection of PR companies. Once you’ve provided this background, and have an understanding of each PR team, you can make a shortlist of those you think would be a good fit and schedule detailed pitch meetings.

In this blog we are going to explore the key questions you should ask your shortlist of PROs during the interview tender process. Be sure to have received a clear answer to each of these before making your decision, as it will help you evaluate and select objectively.

What are your values and style of working?

Nice one to start off with. Do they seem like they will be good to work with and does their ethos align with that of your own company? 

Who will be our main point of contact? Who will be working on our account?

Many larger agencies will send senior, experienced members to pitch in for an account and then drop off once a contract is signed. You’ll need to know who will be working day to day on your account and also who you’ll be in regular communication with. If your main point/points of contact aren’t even in the meeting (without a good reason why they are absent) then that’s a big red flag from the start.

What campaigns or strategies would you recommend or suggest?

This is where you’ll really see if the PR team pitching has listened to and/or read the information you provided regarding your company, goals and needs. It’s really important you were well prepared and provided as much clear detail as possible during the initial meeting to get the best responses from PR companies in regards to this question.

Consider the following:

  • Do they specifically respond to the details you provided them? 
  • Are their strategies clear and can they articulate their reasoning behind them? 
  • Do they outline where they would need more information or what you may have missed in your initial briefing?

What challenges do you see for our company PR?

It’s great to hear all the positive things about your company, what a fantastic job the PR team will do and how much potential your company has to be featured glowingly in all your target publications. However, things aren’t always that rosy, and you also want to be able to have a measured understanding and expectations. The pitching company should be able to outline some of the issues that may be faced, and their tactics for dealing with, or overcoming, those obstacles for you.

How will you demonstrate or measure your work?

Depending on budget and also the kind of PR campaigns you are running there are various methods for measuring the value and success of the work done. This is a tricky question as PR is not as financially clear to measure as say, sales. You want to make sure the PR team takes this question seriously and responds appropriately, elaborating on the methods they would use to demonstrate and assess their work on your account.

External press monitoring or other PR measurement tools may be beneficial if you have a large budget, or want to understand sentiment. Press monitoring is not always necessary, but for certain you want to know your PR team will be working with your business to evaluate the success and outcome of each campaign or output against clearly defined targets and goals. If you’d like to learn more about measurement, the Barcelona Principles 3.0, are an up-to-date communications industry agreement on measurement and evaluation.

Why would you like to work with us? Why do you think you would be a good fit?

This isn’t as simple as ‘we’re specialists in your sector’, although working with a business that has established relations and an understanding of your industry is an important consideration. Reflect on their answer in response to the materials you provided them and notice whether they show enthusiasm for your company and its work. Specifics are telling in this area. ‘Exciting business’ is nice to hear, but what do they think of your products or services, your potential for growth, your leadership and values, and where do they fit in?

Can you provide testimonials or references?

This is really a given and should be provided automatically. However, if you haven’t received any testimonials then be sure to ask, or if you’d like more then feel free to ask if they have any companies who would mind being a reference and sharing their experience.


A Thoroughly Post-Pandemic Intellect 

Amongst his many witticisms, Oscar Wilde once wrote, “to expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect”. This statement rings stingingly true in the pandemic-altered business environment, which has become thoroughly ingrained with the outlook of expecting the unexpected over the last two years.

Whether you’re thinking of bringing on board PR this year, or already have a PR team working for you, you may be wondering what 2022 will look like from a PR perspective. Here’s a few pointers on what Publicité is expecting and what we would advise organisations to do in the face of another year of uncertainty. 


Planning ahead is very important every year, so this has to be first and foremost. If you haven’t already briefed your PR team in on your 2022, and specifically Q1 plans, now is the time to do it. Your team should have content plans, forward features, awards and events scheduled into your PR calendar.

Make sure background research has been undertaken internally or externally, such as competitor and media reviews, to ensure you are up to speed with what’s happening in your sector before the year gets fully underway.


Whilst effective planning is crucial, flexibility is even more critical for 2022. This year will be another year of uncertainty and volatility for most sectors. Whilst there is some optimism and a certain degree of understanding of how to operate in this environment there is no predicting what will really happen. Adaptability will have to be ingrained into all plans and the mindset of your organisation. 

Considering different risks or obstacles that may appear and setting some alternative plans in place will be helpful. For instance, if your organisation is planning to attend any events in person, consider what you will do if the event is cancelled or moves online. These don’t have to be full plans of action, but putting some forethought into the matter and disseminating or noting down ideas on how to manage or make a success of these scenarios may help your team make the best of the situation if it arises. 


Political and environmental volatility means you need to expect and prepare for more regular contact with your PR team than usual to ensure you are responding quickly and appropriately to the turbulent news cycle. 

This works both ways, whilst your PR team may be updating you with news or opportunities to comment on, you should also make sure to keep them regularly in the loop with business updates, such as if there are factors that impact press releases. This helps PR executives plan your content better, respond to the media accurately and utilise time on your account most effectively. 

Keeping in contact doesn’t need to be onerous, or require long meetings, but should be structured as much as possible to ensure nothing is missed. Putting in the diary weekly, bi-weekly or monthly short catch-ups, as well as longer quarterly planning, assessment and brainstorming meetings is advised. Make sure there is an established point of contact on your team who is responsible for liaising with PR in the case of any immediate crises, surprises or compelling opportunities.


Key messages should be reviewed for 2022 – make sure they are accurate and your team, particularly spokespeople, are clear on these messages.

Aside from business messaging and individual industry challenges, the three universal themes most businesses will likely need to address within their PR in some form will be:

  • Sustainability and environmental credentials
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Workplace safety and wellbeing

Getting your messaging in line, and honest strategies in place to deal with these issues will be critical. Customers are demanding more transparency, and becoming skilled at spotting misleading or weak responses to these issues (such as greenwashing initiatives or statements). You must ensure honest, clear cut answers are provided if faced with these questions. 


Another way to counter all the uncertainly is creativity. Lead the way with creative ideas, unique stories and exciting strategies that will make you stand out. Try to schedule some time for out-of-the-box thinking and brainstorming. There may be more opportunities to issue reactive statements or pitches, as the news cycle is less predictable and ‘real-life’ voices are regularly needed. Think vertically and look into different areas where your expertise may be of interest to creatively build your brand awareness and reputation. 


Estate and Letting Agency Trainer on Growth Trajectory

Publicité is delighted to have been appointed by The Able Agent as the company’s UK PR partner. The team will be supporting the estate and letting agency trainer on their journey, as they grow and expand their online training and qualification platform.

Launched in October 2019 by Charlotte Jeffrey-Campbell, Lee Daymond, Barry Braley and Helen Thompson, The Able Agent was founded in response to the need for flexible, accessible, high-quality training resources in estate and lettings agency. It is the only company offering comprehensive online training and qualifications for estate and letting agents across every aspect of their businesses. 

Charlotte Jeffrey-Campbell, founder and director, The Able Agent, comments: “Since our inception we have gone from strength-to-strength. We are now on a real growth trajectory, and have really stepped up our marketing activities, so we are delighted to have the Publicité team on board.

“There is a huge future in e-learning opportunities, and the property industry is embracing digitalisation and technology to develop and solve current and future sector challenges.”

Katrina Suppiah, Publicité, director, adds, “We are delighted to be working with The Able Agent team, to support their growth and share their message on the importance of lifelong learning and accessible, quality training in the property industry. Exciting times (and content) ahead.”


You Can’t Lose Focus When it Comes to Features 

One of the first tasks you need to do when kicking off the PR strategy for your business is to take some time to learn and educate yourself on the best ways of working with your target media.

Identify your target publications, or those you already contact/feature most often and take some time to learn how they work. This includes researching:

  • What kind of material do they feature? (news, technical articles, opinion, interviews, case studies or a combination of these)
  • How do they like to be contacted?
  • What kind of format do they like to receive content in?
  • Do they work to an editorial calendar, have regular special features throughout the year or just use relevant content as it is pitched? 

Having this background is critical to developing good media relations. You have to work with editors and journalists and provide them with the material they want, in the format they like. In this piece we are going to focus on features, and how best to make use of editorial calendars to maximise your PR opportunities.

Identify your targets

Your first step will be to review your press lists and identify your target publications, those you regularly work with, as well as those you aspire to be featured in. This can include trade publications, as well as vertical sector media and even national papers which run special features or publications throughout the year.

End of October/early November is generally the opportune time to be starting this project. Too early and the next year’s calendars won’t be published yet, too late and you’ll miss the boat for pitching for features in January-March.

Find the calendars

Not all publications, particularly ones which are solely online, work to ‘features’, but you need to find out which ones do. Features can be listed on a website, but will usually be included in either a standalone ‘editorial calendar’, ‘forward features’ list, or quite often, as part of the publications annual ‘media pack’, alongside advertising costs and opportunities.

You may directly receive from the publication an email containing an editorial calendar or media pack, or you can request from your contact there. For those you haven’t had contact with, take some time to go through the websites for publications to download or find their forward features, or media pack (editorial calendars when part of the media pack are usually towards the back, with all advertising and publication stats in the front).

Select features 

Identify the features which suit your business and you would like to pitch content for and then include them in your own wider PR calendar. Additionally, creating a standalone features calendar which includes more details to help you keep track of deadlines, journalist contacts and manage ideas for pitching can be helpful. 

When choosing the features you want to pitch in for, make sure you can provide the correct materials, images, or product samples, or someone on your team can deliver insight, education and expertise. If the feature is for a specific item or service (e.g. top ten lists), then making sure you appear in as many of the correct features for your products is an important part of a tailored campaign to drive sales. 

Seeing the features publications are planning to run can be an inspiration for hot topics in the year ahead for your business too. 

Pitch in advance

You have to be ahead of the curve so your material engages the journalists interest before competitors, but also hit that ‘sweet spot’ that’s not too early. If the calendar notes deadlines for pitches, and/or deadlines for content submissions make sure you have included those in your calendar. Schedule your contact in your work calendar and prepare your pitches well in advance. 

If you aren’t quite sure what the journalist is planning to cover within the feature (if, for instance, it’s a wide topic) then send in a prospective email, with details about your business, services or product, and what insight or materials you could offer on the topic. Make your pitches concise, but include engaging details and relevant ideas.


Once the journalist has confirmed interest in receiving material from you for the feature, ensure you are clear on what they require of you, and their deadline. As always, deliver on time, exactly what was requested by the journalist. 

Keeping track and managing features can be a time-consuming task, but if you prepare in advance and set up protocols to stay on top then it can be very rewarding. Make sure you focus on the task in hand and you’ll be surprised at the opportunities it can bring for your business. 


The Publicité Team Share Their Experience and Advice for Establishing a Good Work Life Balance 

National Work Life Week, taking place this week (11th-15th October, 2021), is an annual event aimed at getting us all thinking and talking about work life balance and workplace wellbeing. It can be tough to establish a good equilibrium between our work and home lives, especially with the boundaries blurred by home working, schedule changes or homeschooling. 

Flexible and remote working is on the rise, which is great, but for those just getting started with a new way of working, or a new job, it can be a steep learning curve to avoid working around the clock or having work overstep its boundaries into family life. Many members of the Publicité team have worked remotely or flexibly for a long time, and have set up their own strategies to maintain a good work life balance.  

To celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of flexible working and wellbeing, some members of our team are sharing their experience and advice.


What is your experience with flexible working?

I have worked flexibly for many years and find that I can get many other things done in my day, and work when it suits me. I no longer feel restricted by the traditional hours of 9-5. Setting my own schedule allows me to be there for my children at times I might ordinarily need to be in the office. I plan in my diary to take them to swimming classes and other activities and can attend important events, such as dance shows!

Can you share your advice or a strategy you use for establishing a good work life balance? 

Completely switch off when you aren’t doing work. Although you can work from anywhere, if you aren’t at your laptop, at a meeting, or setting aside time to directly tackle a project or problem, put your mind into home mode.

What is your favourite way to relax and unwind after a busy week?

I love to get outside with the horses, or anywhere in nature. Lots of exercise and plenty of fresh air.


What is your experience with flexible working?

I work from home, and need to work around my children’s needs during the holidays, but I do like a routine so my flexible working is very structured. Flexible working facilitates me spending more time with my children, taking them to their clubs and activities, and being with them during their holidays, which is brilliant. I would never be able to do that in a standard desk job. It can be challenging keeping to my working schedule when I don’t have childcare, but I am generally happy to work in the evening to catch up.

Can you share your advice or a strategy you use for establishing a good work life balance?

I set a plan every week on a Sunday for how the week ahead should look and try to stick to it. I also do something called batching, this is when you batch all your similar jobs in one, i.e. all my house admin in one go, work admin in one go, and often on the same day every week, then I know everything should get done. You need to be realistic, methodical and organised, as well as give yourself some down time.

What is your favourite way to relax and unwind after a busy week?

A film, a book and a long walk!


What is your experience with flexible working?

With two young children, I really need to be able to work flexibly – whether that’s first thing in the morning before they are up, or on a Sunday afternoon when there’s a bit of peace and quiet and my husband can keep an eye on them. It’s beneficial as I can fit work around family life. It’s working really well for me and, to be honest, it’s rarely challenging unless the children are poorly.

Can you share your advice or a strategy you use for establishing a good work life balance?

Although unexpected things always pop up in PR and I would jump on something urgent where possible, I try to manage my “to do” list in a way that means I can spend time with the children after school and on weekends. I think learning when to say no and when to switch off is really important. This is something I’ve definitely got better at over the years. Managing the client’s expectations, for example, setting dates for when certain pieces of work will be done, certainly helps. The pandemic highlighted the realities of family life, and we all had times when children (or pets!) would pop up on Zoom calls.

What is your favourite way to relax and unwind after a busy week? 

A few glasses of wine and a kitchen disco with the family!


What is your experience with flexible working?

I work flexibly from home and work around family commitments. Although I do a lot of early mornings and work long hours, as I finish earlier than I would in a traditional office job to collect my children from school and take them to their various after school activities, I love having this flexibility. It has enabled me to manage my business successfully from home, with relatively few overheads and peace of mind that I am able to juggle work and family. 

The challenges are that I am always at home, so it never feels as though I’m away from work. I get interrupted when everyone is home and it’s hard to have my own space, as I would in an office.

Can you share your advice or a strategy you use for establishing a good work life balance? 

I always make sure that when I am with the children I devote my time and attention to them, and try not to be distracted by work calls or emails. It’s important to me that the time I spend with them is quality time and that we have fun (or do homework!).  

What is your favourite way to relax and unwind after a busy week?

I train at the gym 4 or 5 times a week. Although not relaxing in the traditional sense, it’s my own space and an opportunity for me to work towards my personal goals. I am a bodybuilding competitor and I love the challenge and meeting new people through the sport.

For more information about National Work Life Week 2021, visit:


Story-First Pitching 

When pitching to the media you only have a few lines to grab their attention and prove the worth of your material. A strong story, that is easily communicable, is critical to your pitch. 

Great stories require time and consideration to ensure they meet the key requirements of being relevant, engaging and well-written. Following the three steps below can help you to create and review your pitch, and guarantee it has the best chance of being picked up.

Find a suitable story

You may already have your story in mind, for example; big company news, new product launch, research findings, or hot-take on industry challenges. If you’re finding it hard to work out a good story, it may be that you need to be patient and wait for something to come through… or (more likely) that you need to think creatively and look into different areas of your business for your story. 

Try brainstorming these three kinds of material:

News story 

Any significant company news that has relevance for the wider world or your industry e.g: exciting product launches, significant company expansion, acquisitions, CSR initiatives, award wins.


This could be a reflection, or a new perspective, on recent events in your industry or a national/global story. It needs to be something unique, so check that you’re saying something new and make sure your spokesperson has got the experience or position in the industry to be saying what they are saying.


If your company or members of your team have some new research or findings, or specialist experience that would be helpful to others, then draft this out. Sharing knowledge is a brilliant way to build your reputation and promote your work in a less commercial way. 

Before settling definitively on any story, think critically about whether an outsider to your company would be interested in reading your story. Then, examine more closely the audience you want to target and who you will be pitching to.

It is always a good idea to check whether your selected journalist or publication has recently covered the topic you are writing or hoping to speak about. Don’t be ignorant, spend some time looking into their latest pieces and make sure you know their speciality. If they only cover gaming tech, then don’t go to them hoping they will do the hard work of finding someone in their organisation who might be interested in fintech. If they have covered your topic recently, do you have anything unique to add? Also, check they cover the kind of material you want to pitch in. For instance, don’t send a news press release to an academic journal that only covers peer reviewed papers.

If you are particularly interested in working with a certain journalist or publication another way round is to look into the material they are covering and see how you might be able to offer them something additional of use.

It’s important to make a good first impression. However, the same rule goes for the second, third, fourth and every pitch after that. You can’t let the quality of your content slip. It’s a competitive environment and journalists can be quickly turned off and frustrated by weak or irrelevant stories, or mistakes in your pitching. They need to know you can consistently entertain, inform, and educate their readers. 

Craft the story form

The kind of story you want to pitch in, combined with your target journalists/publications, will help lead you to the story form. News will most often take the form of a press release, going to multiple publications, but could also span out into exclusive interviews or articles if the journalist thinks that their readers would like to know more. For opinion or educational pieces press releases can work, particularly for announcing research findings, but more targeted Q&A profiling, long-form articles, short blogs, videos or podcasts may be more suitable.

Don’t include anything that could be construed as advertising or directly promotional. Stay objective!  Make it snappy and whilst you want to make sure your business gets mentioned or attributed somewhere, steer clear from including any promotional material. 

So your story is strong and you’ve settled on your form. Now you have to communicate it well. It goes almost without saying spelling and grammar should be immaculate. However, also think about how you can concisely communicate all that you need, whilst capturing the audience visually or intellectually. Include agreed PR messaging where appropriate.

Pitch it in

Address the journalist directly, personalise your message and keep it concise. Depending on the type of pitch you may not need to have your full piece written, but you need to be confident you can deliver and give them a strong overview through an abstract or outline first. 

Journalists get so many emails a day your pitch will go straight to the ‘trash’ if it doesn’t hit the three essentials: relevant, engaging, well-written. Your email headline is very important and whilst there is no ‘magic formula’ it helps to be clear and direct about what you are pitching. Journalists are well trained in spotting clickbait headers that have no real substance, so think carefully about what the key point of your story is and why they want to open your email to read further. 

Remember, it’s not just about getting your pitch past the journalist. The real goal is to make it go further and have an impact with a wider audience. The strongest stories are those that will be passed on, and get people talking (in a good way) about your material.


Get Set in September 

The ‘summer slowdown’ is something many businesses are familiar with. Of course this is dependent on the industry, but it does hold true for PR across most sectors. Throughout August, many phones go straight to answering machines and emails head to the graveyard of holiday backlog. However, this year, it seems the established cycle of business activity has been shaken up. 

Has Covid Counteracted the Summer Slowdown?

We work across a range of industries and have noticed that there has been significant activity right through from June to August. Clients we are working with, and their partners, seem as busy as ever, and the media keen for good quality material. 

So, in our experience it seems like the 2021 summer slowdown did not appear, which could be as a result of several reasons:  

  1. Business activity has been boosted by ‘reopening’ and the relaxation of restrictions in many industries across Europe, the UK and US. Customers and businesses were eager to resume activity, events resumed ‘in person’ and there was a lot of time to make up for – resulting in a lot more PR activity.
  2. Media outlets are hungry for news following a stagnated period at the beginning of this year where we were completely saturated with ‘Covid’ news. Of course, Covid is still hitting the headlines, but a shift to normal activity has been refreshing.
  3. Working from home has become the new normal and our productivity patterns have changed. Media have become accustomed to answering rerouted calls on mobiles or responding/working at out of hours times. 

Take Stock in September

It seems like positive news that there has been so much activity over the summer. However, there are a few pointers that we need to take from this. 

  1. If your business normally experiences a summer slowdown and you utilise this time to get admin in order or take stock with your team then don’t miss this out. Get your communications in order, check the to-do list of tasks that may have slipped and try to schedule in time to manage them in the next few months. 
  2. Stay aware. Keep on top of what is going on in your industry. Taking the time to do a review of trade publications, competitor news and sector news is key as we turn another corner in the Covid-19 timeline. In order to stay ahead you and your PR team should be well armed with a knowledge of recent news, as well as competitor messaging and activity, to make informed PR decisions for the autumn and winter ahead.
  3. Review PR, marketing or sales strategy in September and reflect on the year so far.  End of year reviews are crucial, but before we know it December will be here and pre-empting plans for 2022 will help during these uncertain times. Meet with your PR team following a busy summer to review, refresh and prepare. What has worked in terms of PR? Are there any gaps or opportunities we missed? How can we make improvements? What are the company’s focuses for the end of year/2022? What news or announcements are upcoming? 
  4. Get creative. Once you’ve done your research and made some strategic plans, brainstorm some creative ideas to have on file, ready for a quiet period, or for a big boost to PR.

Maintaining the momentum

The New Year always sneaks quickly up on us before we know it, but with all the upheaval, this year seems to have flown by faster than ever. With the continuing uncertainty, but positive movement for many businesses, the most effective way to maintain this momentum is to plan and prepare for all eventualities. Keep getting your name out there, and use September to refresh and review in readiness for 2022.