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PR Strategy: How to Find a Compelling Angle

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Emma-Leigh Hull

Digital PR and Campaigns Manager

A lot of time, thought and research goes into preparing PR campaigns. When it comes to seeing results, your idea alone isn’t enough – everything hinges on having a compelling hook for your story and framing it cleverly.

So, how do you find the right PR angle for your campaign? We’ve gathered together our top tips for PR success below.

The Idea

It all starts with an idea. Whether through brainstorming, market research, competitor monitoring or scouting journalist requests, you’ve landed on a subject you think has the potential to be picked up by the media. It’s likely your idea hits some (or all) of the following criteria:

  • It’s topical
  • It has search volume
  • It showcases interesting data
  • People are talking about the subject online
  • Journalists are writing about it

If these criteria are met, you could be on to a winner. The next step is to do all the relevant research: if you need data, how will you get it? And importantly, has your idea been done before?

The Planning Stages

Once satisfied your campaign is achievable and reasonably original, plan out your campaign. Think about how you want to present the story and who you want to reach.

A bit of PR advice… a good exercise to try is the RIBS Test, where you consider if your idea is:

  • Relevant
  • Inevitable
  • Believable
  • Simple

Relevant

Think about who your audience is. Does your campaign match their needs and interests? Are you providing information that will spark interest? Relevance goes hand-in-hand with attention – you can’t have one without the other.

Inevitable

Your campaign should make sense – inevitability means knowing that though you may be the first to pursue a particular idea, the subject will inevitably be discussed at some point in the future.

Believable

You must be able to instil confidence in your audience and, if you are making any claims, you have to be able to back them up. This way, your campaign won’t fall flat after any initial exposure.

Simple

Simplicity is frequently underestimated but it’s a key factor when it comes to PR success. Overly complicated campaigns that lack clear headlines or strong graphics can easily get lost in translation.

So, is your meaning clear? Can your audience understand what you’re saying, and will they remember your key message?

The Big Push

After all the careful planning and consideration, it’s time to push out your campaign to the press. So, how can you identify a strong PR angle and increase the chances your story will be picked up? From our experience, we have a few top tips.

Key Information Comes First

When it comes to knowing how to write a good press release, prioritising your key data is the first and most important point we’ll mention.

To catch the famously short attention spans of the press, you have to get straight to the point – and it has to be good. Depending on what information is at the heart of your campaign, this can mean:

  • Pinpointing specific numbers – if your story is data-led, feature the most eye-catching or shocking statistics prominently.
  • Highlighting ignorance – revealing misconceptions is a hot topic. For instance, findandfundmycar.com’s campaign revealed driving habits people think are illegal, but aren’t.
  • Profiling people and their differences – focusing on a particular sub-set of people (for instance men and women, young and old) can give you an interesting angle and help audiences relate to your campaign.

Show – Don’t Tell

Press releases with images often out-perform those with text alone, and that’s no surprise. There is a wealth of data out there proving the power of visual content – for instance, one study found only 10% can recall text information three days after seeing it, while 65% remember it when it’s paired with an image.

When it comes to creating visual assets, make sure they are in-keeping with your brand and with the campaign itself. Make sure to apply the RIBS test, too – are they relevant to your PR story? Do they convey its message effectively? Are they simple enough to take in quickly and appear recognisable?

Investing time and attention to your campaign’s visual elements is likely to give you an advantage, so think carefully at this stage and don’t be afraid to experiment with different designs and styles.

Once you’re happy with both the visual and textual elements, you’re ready to launch your campaign.

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And Now, We Wait

With your initial outreach complete, it’s time to monitor any responses – and re-push if necessary. Treat each PR story as a learning opportunity. If you scored lots of links, what are the key elements you can replicate next time? Or, if your campaign didn’t fare so well, what learnings can you take away?

Remember that no two campaigns are the same, and if you don’t hit the perfect balance of content, angle and timing, you can always try again – even with the same campaign.

Looking for a PR Partner?

Whether you’re looking for public relations advice or you want to take your online PR strategy to the next level, we can help. Get in touch today to find out more about our digital PR services and see what other digital marketing services we can offer your business.

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By

Emma-Leigh Hull

Digital PR and Campaigns Manager

Emma- Leigh previously worked at a travel PR agency and a number of tourist boards. At Liberty she has had a keen interest in e-commerce, getting clients in as many of our clients in ‘best buy’ guides. Finance, particularly property finance, mortgage rates, creating campaigns around housing and interest rates and legal. Creating reactive PR…

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