Entertainment marketing has strong crossover to public relations campaigns, but remains a niche specialty practice.
Shared aspects include the shared usage of celebrity to garner consumer attention; activations with talk shows and reality programming; earned vs paid opportunities; and even the nature of subjective ROI.
Creating a sound PR plan is a very important part to the backbone of Entertainment Marketing, as it allows brand managers the ability to create a comprehensive and concise strategy to build and activate entertainment marketing campaigns around. The PR platform will also serve to extend the campaign in order to garner more consumer awareness.
There are a number of reasons why brands pursue PR, which include:
- Creating a Public Relations success plan builds trust and credibility to consumers and the media.
- Public Relations campaigns new consumers and provides interesting story content for producers and editors – resulting in more $$$$.
- Incredible consumer awareness is able to be secured through TV, Radio, Print and Digital with dollars much lower than a traditional advertising campaign, and with higher engagement levels.
- Reassurance is provided to consumers who want the latest and greatest gadgets, fashions and technology but are gun-shy with unproven, staid or seemingly non mainstream products.
WHERE TO START
It’s important to create a solid foundation to the overall program.
- The brand manager should first examine what is unique about the brand, the company and the management team.
- The goal is to make sure there is a base that supports the core story – and this is accomplished before actual campaign strategy occurs or outreach begins.
- Materials should be developed that are shareable that demonstrate the core story, so that when conversations begin, materials can be immediately shared to carry on interest and push further discussions.
ESTABLISH TOP OF MIND PRESENCE
Producers and editors will do a Google search about the product before the brand manager has a chance to start building a persuasive reason on why the product should be featured. Five ways to help gain a stronger footprint on the web include:
- Press releases posted by the brand online which also help with SEO
- Tagged photos placed in photo image catalogues like Flicker
- Well-built website with product information
- A downloadable media kit with images of the brand
- Brand owned social media platforms
Positive user feedback is essential at this time as interest is easily lost in this crowded marketplace. Continue to improve the materials until they produce results. Improve constantly moving forward.
CREATE AN EXPERTISE POINT
Brand managers can list themselves as an expert in online expert service search engines. Producers and editors consult these services when looking for spokespeople for developing stories. Subscriptions exist to these services which may include a daily email or tools highlighting sample stories that the brand point can submit interest to being an expert interview subject.
Realize that most people are not naturally skilled at being interviewed, and while written interview opportunities for print may allow time thought being put into answers, TV and radio opportunities need the ability to have someone who can think on their feet, and camera friendly, in order to make the right impression with the media.
Sample companies that offer subscription services connecting journalists to brands and their agencies include:
- HARO – Help A Reporter Out
- Media Kitty
- ProfNet from PR Newswire
- My Local Reporter
- Pitching Notes
- Muck Rack
- Reporter Connection
KNOW THE COMPETITION
Knowing the competitive landscape helps narrow in on specific niche opportunities perfect for PR opportunities.
- If the brand manager doesn’t know what stories are being covered, it is difficult to position the brand as better, different or more newsworthy than competition.
- If competitors are getting more coverage already without the brand having a strong differentiator established, it will be harder to get noticed by producers and editors.
- If no competitors are getting coverage, then it needs to be determined why the media doesn’t care about the brand category – which ultimately means they believe the consumer demo won’t be interested in a story.
The ideal objective for brands is a middle ground area. It means there is interest by media as well as consumers, and that a story that goes into play has higher chances of interest and success.
Assign staff specific tasks to be in charge of, which can be difficult in teams already stretched thin. Be sure to consider the team’s workload and available time when creating this plan.
- Who will be responsible for creating the media kit, researching opportunities, initial outreach, generating press releases or newsletters, follow up with producer and editors, etc.? Even if the plan is to bring on board an agency partner, broad strokes need to be defined and materials culled before that happens.
- Determine what the first quarter, six month, one year and two year goals are that will make the executive team satisfied with the program’s ramp up.
Brand managers typically have enough on their plate that agency partner assistance is needed in order to truly create success and still allow time to sleep. The easiest way to lay the foundation for a comprehensive public relations campaign that will support future entertainment marketing efforts is to engage a seasoned entertainment marketing expert with PR experience in the process to provide guidance and actual activation.