Finding PR tactics that generate actual free publicity might not be the easiest task at hand; this is why media update’s Talisa Jansen van Rensburg is here to take a look at the tactics that have been proven to work.

First things first, what are some of the benefits of free publicity? Well, let’s take a look:
  • Consumers know that you did not pay a publication to share your content.
  • It shows that you are a reliable source.
  • It shows that you are able to think outside the box.
Now, let’s unpack the tactics you can use to generate free publicity:

PR tactic #1: Solve a current issue

If you want your client’s brand to stand, you need to solve a problem that their consumers are actually facing.

For example, consumers might have a hard time uncovering if their charity event performed well, so a media monitoring service can offer their services to the brand. The media monitoring service can explain that they are able to provide the data and information the brand needs, and they can even provide the services for free.

This way consumers might be talking about your client’s brand and the great job they did helping them solve an issue.

If you are able to solve an issue that your customers are facing, then your audience will be more willing to take to social media to talk about it, you might even get some reporters covering it, which means you will be receiving, ta-da! You guessed it ... free publicity!

The reason why people will be talking about it and reporters cover this is because your client’s brand is not just raising awareness about an issue but actually finding a way to solve it. This is something that consumers will truly appreciate since they are not just stuck and left with an issue.

PR tactic #2: Support a local charity

It’s easy to just give money to a local charity and take to social media to show your followers that you donated. However, it might be time to put the wallet away and actually donate your time. Taking time out of your busy schedule to actually get involved in a worthy cause will show that your client’s brand genuinely cares about important matters, especially ones that concern the local community.

Taking photos of your brand spending time at a charity will encourage your followers to share the feel-good story and to view your brand in a more positive light.

The charity might even take to its own social media pages or website to talk about how much you have helped out. Acknowledgement on its part will be held in a much higher regard than your own, and will assist you in generating an increase of publicity, without you having to pay a cent.

PR tactic #3: Be anti-corporate

What does it mean to be ‘anti-corporate’? It means that, instead of following rules and guidelines like a traditional corporate company, you would place your focus on colouring outside the lines. This might be done by finding new and improved ways to talk about your client’s brand and by promoting them.

Let’s put this in the PR perspective: Publications receive countless press releases on a daily basis. Because of this, journalists will regularly close and delete emails if they don’t stand out. Being anti-corporate doesn’t mean that you are not professional — it just shows that you think outside of the box and create attention-grabbing content.

The same goes for content on social media; instead of sticking to what is safe, it is time to take out the glitter gun and create content that is interesting, unique and attention-grabbing. This way, your content will be shared a lot more and a lot faster, which will provide free publicity for your agency.

PR tactic #4: Attend events

Attending events is a great way to network with people from different industries as it allows you to be part of the conversation. By being at an event, you put yourself in the position to tag the speakers and the attendees on social media, as well as comment on what people are talking about in real-time.

Additionally, as you network at events, you will also be able to establish yourself as an industry expert. And, by doing this, you’re able to show that you can build strong relationships with reporters, influencers and businesses.

This is also a great way to encourage people to talk about your brand and what you do, because they can quote information you provided them with that they might want to share on social media and tag you.

This also presents the opportunity for other people to learn more about the knowledge you share, which will make you more admirable. How is that? Well, because it will be clear that you are indeed an industry expert.

PR tactic #5: Look into newsjacking

Newsjacking is a great way to get involved in current trends and to encourage people to talk about your agency or brand; but you can’t just piggyback off the news in a way that is not beneficial to anybody. Yes, you still need to bring a unique and new angle to it.

How? Well, if you see that there is a trending topic in the media, and you can somehow relate that topic and thus have something to say about it, you can gain some extra media attention by making use of newsjacking.

However, it’s crucial to ensure that the story really relates to your brand and what you have to say — and that the content you create is high-quality. This is because people can easily consider newsjacking to be spam; therefore, great quality content will still ensure that the audience benefits from it.

What are some other ways to generate free publicity? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

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