A press office is your ‘always on’ team of PR professionals, responsible for liaising with the media and maintaining a positive image of your brand externally.
Often overlooked as the least ‘sexy’ of all the comms disciplines, the bread-and-butter press office is sometimes left on the shelf. But we shouldn’t forget just how powerful a solid press office can be.
Being ‘always on’ allows your brand to have a voice at every corner of the media landscape. You are providing a constant source of inspiration, sometimes being the final piece of the puzzle in the purchasing decision-making process. Just think about the last time you were inspired by a gift guide, a product review or a lifestyle recommendation.
I’m Laura Rudolph, the PR Director here at Leopard Co. I’ve ran press offices for brands across the country, and globally too, including Lidl, Bensons for Beds, BT and the Royal Albert Hall. Here are my top three tips for just what makes up the perfect press office.
Always listening and evolving
A press office should be constantly evolving. Always shifting as your press office team looks for creative ways to make you famous. It should be planing ahead with the media calendar in mind, but also agile and reactive. Your press office should always be listening attentively to the mood of the nation and responding to its needs.
A press office is what allows your brand to be available for the media with spokespeople, stats and analysis. Always in the media, and so on always on customers’ minds.
There isn’t much more important than media contacts. A team who has years of investment in their media contacts is worth its weight in gold. It’s only through these relationships that your brand will gain exposure to the opportunities no one else knows about. To genuinely be the eyes and ears of the media for your brand, your press office team will need an enviable ‘little black book’.
Quick as a flash
Speed is essential. Once your press office has spotted a relevant story or hook for your brand, the team will put together an idea for how you can news-jack. You’ll be pitched a concept, and once approved, the team will develop the content, seek approvals, and then get to work pitching to journalists. Turn around should be a couple of hours, not days. The media agenda moves too fast for thumb twiddlers!
A good press office will also protect your brand from crises that may arise. It may say ‘PR’ on our door but we’re also firefighters! It will protect your brand with an unrivalled ferocity, providing statements where relevant and using its expertise to make sure that any situation does not harm your brand.
Through our press office function at spottydog communications, we’ve had clients on the This Morning sofa, interviewed on Sky news, providing opinions in The Times and countless products placed across the consumer media.
Want to know what we could do for your brand? Get in touch.