Pr Not Working? Then Rephrase It

Issue 79

When it comes to PR and dealing with the media, you can't beat experience. And it's even better when you know what works...and what doesn't.

Granted, you’ll probably hear a lot of PR professionals tell you that, but the difference with Paul Fraser and his Rephrase PR and Media Services, is that he views everything through the experienced eyes of a journalist who’s seen more pieces of PR float across his desk than anyone should really have to.

Paul is one of the North East’s most respected journalists having racked-up over twenty years covering the region for the Hartlepool Mail and, since 2001, the Northern Echo. He knows what it’s like to be under serious pressure to produce interesting articles on a daily basis.

And of course a handy way for Paul to write those articles is if someone else either does some of the leg work for him or gives him a decent lead to follow via some background information.

“There was nothing better, when facing a really hectic day at the office, to receive a good piece of PR which I could either chase-up or, in the best cases, immediately drop into one of my columns,” said Paul. “It was a win-win situation. I could quickly produce an interesting article and the PR company got some terrific publicity. Perfect. Sadly, some of the PR I received was either badly written, had no real angle to it or was plainly just a shot in the dark by a PR company who are trying to keep a client sweet. In many respects, poor PR is worse than no PR because, certainly from my experience and those of my colleagues, as soon as a journalist sees the name of the company who’s sent the story through, there is a serious temptation to ignore it. The shot in the dark has backfired.”

Which of course gives Paul one massive advantage in that he already knows what sort of PR works…and what doesn’t. You’ll find that Paul is refreshingly honest about the way he operates. If he thinks you are asking for something which could turn out to be a retrograde step, he’ll tell you. It might not be want to you want to hear but at least you’re not wasting your time and money.

However, and this is where almost 25 years in journalism comes in really handy, Paul can invariably spot where a potential story lies.

“Clients are understandably fully focussed on their business or on the product or service they provide. Something that they find to be seriously interesting may, for the average person reading a magazine such as Northern Insight, turn out to be rather dull. So why not look for another angle… approach the subject in a different way…give it a bit of a twist. It is often down to how a story is presented…come up with a punchy headline…produce a top quality photograph. Thankfully, having been at the sharp end of journalism where I’ve received hundreds of pieces of PR, I know what catches the eye of an editor and is likely to make it into the media.

“It’s also important to have a broad view on PR because social media is now an important part of the mix. For some firms it is the most important part because it reaches the sort of client or customer they’re looking for. Other firms find more success in traditional print journalism via local newspapers and magazines. Some prefer to go down the route of leaflet distribution. During my time at the Hartlepool Mail and Northern Echo, I’ve been involved in the full mix of how a company can promote itself. I’ve seen at first hand which ones work.”

In other words, Paul Fraser and his Rephrase PR and Media Services can point you in the right direction and get you the right sort of publicity. He can also help you avoid any pitfalls.

If you are looking to promote your business or you think you have a good tale to tell, the best idea is to get in touch with Paul and he’ll tell you what he can do for you. He’s also got a list of contacts which could turn out to be extremely handy for you to dip into.

You’ll also be getting the advice and guidance of someone who’s been in the media and communications industry for over 20 years. He knows how to help businesses and individuals raise their brand awareness. He’ll help you achieve your goals. If your PR isn’t working…Rephrase it.

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