Cliff Maroney November 22, 2013 | 09:56:43

Using Creative PR To Make News

Earlier this week we explored ways that PR pros can keep their clients in the media even when they have no news. The best PR firms create news rather than wait for it to come from the client.

At our agency, we’re fortunate to work with stellar brands, many of whom offer credible news hooks. Some are smaller, innovative companies who make few “formal” announcements throughout the year. One example is the leading mobile navigation and maps provider skobbler.

An app-chart topper in over 20 countries, with over 3.5 million users on iOS alone, skobbler is one of the premier players in mobile location-aware services and development based on the OpenStreetMap. Yet, while skobbler’s applications and services are popular and groundbreaking, the brand does not quite carry the same “brand-name recognition” as an Apple or Microsoft.

How do we compete and generate PR results without hard news or a recognizable name?

Research. Tech moves at the speed of sound, and we’re constantly on the lookout for emerging trends where skobbler can fit in and make a statement. Once we identify a trend or idea, we craft pitches with relevant insights from skobbler, including the sexiest facts and figures detailing why the company is a great source, and how it differs from others in the space.

Go vertical. Each client has its own wheelhouse. Mapping and navigation are skobbler’s, but the company execs also have the ability and knowledge to discuss the technology related to digital mapping, including everything from operating systems to mobile devices themselves. This expands the scope of pitch targets far beyond industry trades like GPS World, into news and tech targets like VentureBeat and CNET. We can then craft a relevant perspective that the journalist or publication may not have encountered or included in the past, in the form of a byline post or an exclusive article or Q&A.

Mine unique data nuggets. Part of our relationship with any client is to ask what’s new and mean it. Our ability to ferret out “ownable” data points that are timely, clever and out-of-the-ordinary helps generate stories around topical subjects, even a skobbler-assisted list of the most sought-after pubs on St. Patrick’s Day! The broader navigation topic offers many kinds of stories, from technology to travel.

As great as it is to have hard news handed to you on a silver platter, there is something a little sweeter about crafting a story from creative thinking and ingenuity.

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