Do-It-Yourself PR

Get a feel for construction PR and learn how to raise awareness of your business in the press.

Content


  • What is PR and how can it help your business and brand?

  • How PR ‘works’ in the construction media

  • What makes a good story?

  • Working with suppliers/customers to do joint PR

  • The power of good photography

What is PR and how can it help your business and brand?


PR is all about raising awareness of your business and your product range, communicating what you stand for, what makes you better than the competition, and ultimately increasing sales. It won’t necessarily generate immediate or direct enquiries, but what it will do is create an environment where it’s easier for you to sell.

By keeping your products, your business and your brand values at the forefront of people’s minds, you can make sure that, when they are looking for a new supplier or to replace their windows and doors, they’ll be more likely to approach you.

It’s all about consistency and momentum though – a one-off press release won’t make much difference. If you want PR to work for you, you really need to commit to a sustained campaign.


How PR ‘works’ in the construction media


The trade magazines exist to promote and support the industry. With very small editorial teams, they rely on businesses telling them what they are up to so that they can fill their pages. Typically, the ratio of advertising to editorial in these magazines is around 50-60% so, in a 100-page issue, that’s 40-50 pages to be filled with stories.

PR is essentially free, but most of the trade magazines will charge a fee for including a photo. This can be anything from £70 - £150, so this needs to be factored into your PR budget.

Outside of the window trade and specification magazines, it is also worth looking at the ones aimed at key market sectors such as new build, local authorities, schools and healthcare, and obviously at your local press and even home improvement magazines if those are relevant for you.

What makes a good story?


The best stories are the ones that communicate why your customers want to do business with you. For the local press, that might be because you are supporting a worthwhile community initiative or have opened a new showroom, while for the trade press, it could be that you have reduced lead times or invested in new machinery to improve the quality of your finished products. If you are targeting the home improvement/lifestyle press, then they will be interested in new products or new contemporary colours or finishes.

Remember though that press releases have to be interesting and memorable – PR which no one reads or takes any notice of is a waste of time and money.


How you can share company/product news at a smaller cost than ads


When marketing companies work out the value of PR vs advertising, they normally work on a ratio of 3 to 1 (i.e., the PR is worth three times as much as the advertising in terms of influencing your audience). Even if you factor in the photo charges, that still makes it extremely good value.

You can obviously use a professional PR company to look after everything for you but, if you have someone on your team who can write well, is enthusiastic and in touch with everything that it happening across the business, then they can be tasked with putting together regular press releases and staying in touch with the media.

Working with suppliers/customers to do joint PR


Even if you don’t have the resources to do your own PR, then it’s always worth joining forces with bigger suppliers like AluK to look at joint PR opportunities. Suppliers will generally be keen to demonstrate how their customers are successfully using their products or services and will be happy to put your business front and centre in any press release.

At the same time, if you’re running your own PR, you can offer similar support to your customers, helping them to showcase projects using your products.


The power of good photography


It’s a cliché to say a picture is worth a thousand words but it is the photos which go along with press releases which make people stop to read them. Good quality, creative and eye-catching photos can make a huge difference to the amount of coverage your press release achieves.


Ideally, you should try and send a selection of shots with every press release so that editors can choose the ones they think will look best on the page.



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DISCLAIMER: The advice offered on this website is based on marketing experience and general industry best-practices. Any action taken by you as a result of this advice is strictly at your own risk. We do not take any responsibility for any losses and damages in connection with marketing activities undertaken by your business. 

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