Indesign: Do you have any key advice for those of us using social media to promote our brand or even ourselves?
GB: It’s important that your social media channels – whether owned, earned, or paid – are an authentic reflection of your brand values. Find the stories behind your product, brand, or service and share them in a compelling way across your content ecosystem. It’s pretty obvious when a business is following a set of content ‘guidelines’ to supposedly increase engagement or following, and the content doesn’t reflect the nature or values of the business in any way.
Consider social media to be like an invitation into the ‘universe’ of your brand or business; from storytelling or design inspiration to celebrating company or project milestones, your aim is to engage with your audience and make them feel like they are part of your community. Don’t bore them, inspire them! Find the platform that works best for you, your product, brand, or service, and experiment with content types, key messaging, and posting times to see what engages your audience. Review social media reports and understand what is working in your approach or content, what isn’t, and why.
Indesign: Your quick thoughts on the role of AI in PR and media? Opportunities and roadblocks?
GB: We have to accept that AI will be part of PR and media moving forward, just as it has integrated into other aspects of our lives including art, design, property, and far beyond.
If we consider AI as a technological tool that can help the efficiency and accuracy of tasks like research, fact-checking, case studies, data collation, analysis, and the enhancement of viewer experience, then yes, I think it has a place in PR and media. It presents opportunities for us to engage with our tasks and projects on a deeper and more intricate level.
However, I don’t think AI can ever replace human creativity, emotion, and expression – especially when it comes to things like crafting innovative narratives for campaigns and projects, identifying emotive connections and values within a brand or business, or creating comms materials that genuinely connect with audiences on a human level, based on the lived experience.
If we can integrate AI into our work and use it strategically – in balance with our traditional approaches to research, strategy ideation, and content creation – then I think we can strike the right balance of efficiency, creativity, and quality outcomes in our work.
Indesign: Gen, you have some really good advice on preparing your media materials properly and making your media out-reach count. Can you take us through it?
GB: It’s essential to show and not just tell with your media materials. Think about how you can bring your story to life and add credibility via third-party experts, data and analytics, case studies, and creative assets.
You also need to ensure you get the tone and format of your material right. Journalists want to receive press releases written in plain, clear English. Avoid overly flowery language or excessive writing. It’s also important to consider the knowledge level and the interests of the reader, who might initially be the audience of a press release: What do they know about the subject? What would they like to know?
And of course, do your research! Understand the format and visual style of the publication you are pitching to. If you want to be published you will need to ensure your writing mirrors the editorial tone, structure, style, and perspectives of the publication. Also, ensure your release is grammatically correct and fact checked.
Indesign: Gen – in summary quick tips for making a media reach-out?
Research who your audience is, and make sure that you understand them. Ensure your story or media material is compelling, and that you provide relevant supporting data, evidence, anecdotes, and case studies to ensure that it shows, not just tells. Consider the format and structure of your material and try to make it concise, with all key information in the first paragraph. I suggest following the format: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How, as this will act as a guide and ensure you cover all key points.
Lastly, follow up with a call. Don’t underestimate the power of a conversation to reinforce the main idea of your pitch, and to ensure it stays top of mind for media.