You might well be familiar with the term permission marketing and the idea that people opt in to receiving information and promotional messages. It is a term that has been used in marketing for some time but became well known through the work of Seth Godin and is used, successfully, by marketing experts and businesses. But, what about Permission PR?

Permission PR makes sense

It’s something that I think about often, every time I get a sales call. That call disrupts and, more than that, it launches in totally focused on the caller’s agenda. Not one sales call I have ever received has focused on me and my needs. Of course not, I hear you cry. But, that is just the point – there’s a script and it’s a numbers game.

Permission PR matters – 7 tips to get you started

Now, here’s the issue – my reaction to the sales call is the same as a journalist receiving a press release or a telephone pitch that isn’t relevant or comes at the wrong time. So, let’s turn it around and get permission. Here are 7 tips on how to do Permission PR to help your business secure press coverage:

  1. Check in advance of sending a press release (see PR glossary) to see whether the story will be relevant to media outlets you are targeting. Not only will this save you time and hassle but it will help you build trustworthy relationships with journalists.
  2. Also, check as far as possible to get the right contact name and details. Being sent stuff that isn’t of interest to them or the media outlet they work for is a big fat peeve for journalists.
  3. Do you pile on in with a pitch as soon as a journalist answers the phone, or do you check they have time to speak? Ask for permission to speak. It sounds simple, but it is one of the most effective ways for you to signal, and acknowledge, you understand something about how journalists work – that they have deadlines.
  4. Double check the websites for your press and media to see if there are guidelines about making pitches, or submitting press releases, then take the time to adhere to them. Your job is to make it as easy as possible for the journalist to use your story. It sounds simple but the vast majority of people just fire off emails and don’t make these simple checks.
  5. Never send email attachments, or logos embedded in emails, without first checking with the journalist. Clogging up their in box won’t win you any friends or help you get your story or idea noticed.
  6. Find out the lead times, and deadlines, journalists are working to – it means you can time your approach more appropriately and effectively.
  7. Think about what is going on in the world that might impact on them – other news or events they are likely to be interested in or be reporting on. Your aim is to make your approach as relevant, and timely, as possible and this will help you to do that.

In a nutshell: Permission PR is about building relationships with journalists who are signed up to receiving relevant information, in the right format, when they want it. It’s a different approach but one that gets better results.

What do you think about doing Permission PR?

Image credit: Debbie Leven