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Archive For 'August, 2018'

Is the Press Release dead?

01 August 2018 at 15:58

Press releases are overlooked nowadays. Why? Because many journalists do not fully rely on them for their latest stories and the effort put into a media release isn’t always reflected through the outcome. So, for many start-ups and businesses who have very little spare time on their hands, it can feel like a redundant task.

 

Despite this, press releases are still a necessity. They’re one of the very few ways in which you can get your business news out to content curators and influencers, leading to audience reach. A great press release can also result in media interviews and feature, with digital coverage securing all-important links back to your website, boosting SEO.

 

A well written press release will also put you and your business on a journalist’s radar, informing them of your brand and providing them with your contact details should they need any comments for relevant, developing news stories.

 

So with this in mind, how can you give your press release some added je ne sais quoi to increase its chances of sparking interest with the news outlets of the world? Team Trailblazer have plenty of experience seeking coverage, so we’re here to give you some vital tips:

 

Refuse to be Repetitive

The attention span of today’s readers has dramatically decreased over time. As a result, you’ll need to make a conscious effort to not be repetitive. Where the traditional rules of press release writing involve writing a descriptive headline that is expanded on in the first paragraph, you’ll want to focus on using the first paragraph as a continuation of the headline. This means you’ll be getting straight to eh point without repeating the same information.

 

Sling the Slang

When you’re the one writing the press release, you’ll be including all of the technical language and industry slang - but will those receiving your release understand it? If you’re sending your release to non-trade outlets such as regional and national papers, then you’ll want to keep the technical language to a minimum so they can quickly and easily understand what you’re saying.

 

Increase Interest

The best way to get people interested is by giving them facts. With the current digital age providing the opportunity for false information to spread at an alarming rate, people struggle to believe just anything with any data to back it up. So, if there’s a chance for relevant and insightful data to be included in your release, do it!

 

To Quote Or Not To Quote?

It’s viewed as a standard rule that a quote should be included in your press release. However, this often leads to a crucial mistake. Throwing in a random statement that isn’t relevant and makes no sense can reduce the strength of your release. When including one, ensure it’s from someone who is a key stakeholder or an executive in the business and ask precise questions before editing out any rambling sentences.

 

Expand Outreach

Where do you publish your news releases? The very first thing to come to mind should be your website. After that, take your focus to news distribution services. But, if you’re looking to really get your news out there, utilise email pitches and sites such as Medium where you can publish your own content. By including every pathway, you’ll be taking the outcome into your own hands.

 

In essence, the press release itself is not dead, but the approach needs rejuvenating!

Times have changed, so how we act needs to change too. Realigning how we approach things in accordance to modern marketing and PR strategies can lead to increased success in coverage, overall proving that press release are still extremely important.

 

If you’re struggling with your press releases, Trailblazer can help. With plenty of experience in the sector, Trailblazer PR can provide you with a reliable press release service that provides successful results. Get in touch with our team today for more information. Contact us via 01453 887777 or email us on pr.info@trailblazerpr.com.

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5 Reasons You Should Stop Relying on Grammar Checkers

01 August 2018 at 15:55

Spelling and grammar checkers can be an incredibly useful tool. They provide a great proofreading service that ensures your content, whether it be an email, blog post or social media post, is up to scratch. But they do present some problems and aren't always the most reliable.

 

So just why should you take a step back from the software?

 

Homophonic Errors

The English language is one of the hardest languages to learn. So, it may not be surprising to find that it contains plenty of homophones – words that sound the same as others but are spelt differently and have different meanings. There are plenty of programmes out there that don't pick up on these. Words such as 'threw' and 'through' can be easily confused and overlooked and, if you're relying on the software to pick these out for you, can result in your work appearing subpar and uninformed.

 

Typos

Some typos aren't always recognised. If you've written a word that isn't technically a typo, they won't necessarily get picked up. For example, typing 'in' instead of 'I', you'll find they aren't always spotted by the programme as it isn't spelt wrong. As a result, your work can still contain incorrect spelling.

 

Learning

Grammar checkers often don't offer the capacity for learning from your mistakes - all it takes is a simple click for an issue to be rectified. While there are programmes that do offer explanations as to why something was a mistake, such as Grammarly, it's a lot easier and less time consuming to just skip through.

It's important to learn from your mistakes as, for example, if you're writing in a programme that has no form of checking, you won't have the knowledge to ensure your writing is correct. This could backfire if you're sending texts or IM's to someone of importance.

 

Badly Formed Sentences

There are plenty of punctuation and grammatical errors such as double hyphens, misplaced modifiers and redundancies that can, and have been, overlooked by checkers. Submitting writing that is full of these mistakes can reflect badly on you, so it's important to keep your punctuation in check.

 

They Can Be Wrong

The programmes out there often don't have access to up to date neologisms, slang and jargon. This can be a problem as some expressions can be picked up as incorrect, despite them being perfectly fine.

 

Regardless of what sort of content you're creating, it's important to go through your work to ensure you're completely error free as relying on a program completely can leave you with some hefty issues. Make sure you proofread your work alongside whatever tech tool you use and take the time to learn from any reported mistakes. We guarantee you'll find the quality of your work vastly improving.

 

If you're concerned about the quality of your writing, get in touch with Team Trailblazer. The team have been writing high quality content for a range of purposes for years, gaining vast experience in a range of sectors. As a result, all of our work is top notch and will satisfy your needs. Get in touch today by calling 01453 887777 or email us via pr.info@trailblazerpr.com.

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Should Your Business Follow Wetherspoons In A Social Media Detox?

01 August 2018 at 15:55

We live in an era where everyone and their dog is on social media. It can be particularly useful for businesses when it comes to connecting with audiences and potential new clients, resulting in social media strategies being key in any good marketing campaign.

However, some companies are making a strange step. They are deleting their accounts from social sites, almost creating a trend. One such business who has departed from internet socialising is pub giant Wetherspoons.

 

A Bad Move?

On the surface, it looks like a dangerous move, providing a key opportunity for self-sabotage. But founder Tim Martin, before the detox, explained how he wanted to prove that the conventional wisdom of social media being a vital component of a successful business wasn't necessarily true.

 

A Strategic Plan

With further consideration, it doesn't seem like too much of a wild idea. Their business requires people to enter their establishments and spend time socialising while consuming the food and drink on offer. So, if a customer is spending their time tweeting them, they won't be spending time in their business.

In another strategic move, the chain has deleted their online customer database. By not having an email newsletter, they're letting consumers move away from their screens and back into venues where they can continue to spend money.

 

Still Delivering

It can't be argued that they're technophobes either, or that they can't deliver news. Their website is the main serving station of new updates, information and promotions. And not to mention they still publish their own magazine. Customers are also still invited to share their thoughts, meaning Wetherspoons won't be lacking in any of the opportunities social media gave them.

 

Who Should Follow Suit?

It's not necessarily a yes or no decision on whether your brand should also have a social detox. In regard to Wetherspoons, they won't be heavily affected by their lack of social channels as they didn't make the most of them in the first place.

 

However, for brands who lack a physical space, this could be murder. Social media hosts the perfect in between that reminds customers that those online locations exist while inviting them to peruse products and services. Limit social interactions and customer relations will drop.

 

Not only this, but social media is a fantastic way to update and build client relationships quickly and effectively. For many businesses, even those in the same sector as Wetherspoons, it is the key to new business.

 

If it is a decision you're thinking of taking, put plenty of thought into it. Make sure you have other platforms to form client relations. And, if your social media channels aren't gaining traction, consider all potential reasons – they may not be utilised to full potential.

 

For social media help and support, Trailblazer PR can help. For more information on our social media strategies, management and workshops, get in touch via 01453 887777 or email the team on pr.info@trailblazerpr.com.

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How to Build A Successful Media List

01 August 2018 at 15:53

When it comes to getting your business’s news out there, a media list full of reliable and relevant contacts is a must. Once a catchy, concise and attractive press release has been written, you'll need to distribute it to the relevant titles, leading to the most important part of media list assembly; knowing who your target audience are and what they're likely to read.

 

It can be a hefty task to take on however as the right journalists can be hard to find. To give a helping hand, Team Trailblazer PR have 5 top tips to help you get it right the first time.

 

The Right People

An obvious place start, finding people who write about your topic is imperative to getting your news successfully in the public eye. Research the people who report on your sector and look specifically for writers who understand their readers and know if their audiences will care about your pitch. Don’t send it to people who won’t be interested as it not only wastes time but, if in the future there’s a pitch that may be relevant to them, you may put them off covering your news.

 

Influencers

It may not be an ‘official’ media channel, but many people on social media with an influential presence, and bloggers, are worth adding to your media list. These influencers have readerships that can sometimes surpass the thousands and their content is often widely shared. So, while you may need to adjust your pitch slightly to appeal to them, it is important to include non-traditional media on your list.

 

Relationships

To ensure your pitch is successful, a relationship with those you are pitching to can be key. A list of ‘cold’ media professionals will never be as effective as a pitch to the few you know well. It may be hard to initially build these relationships, but they will be endlessly useful to the success of your business. When a journalist does take interest in your pitch, encourage a relationship by apprising the information before it becomes public and grant them exclusive access to people in your business for interviews.

 

Scope

Is your story worthy of national reach? Or is it only of value to those in the sector, or even just the local area? Ensure that, depending on the news you want to circulate, you target the outlets that will find it of value according to their size. Trade, regional or national, getting the publication size right regarding your story can have a great effect on your pitching success.

 

Database

Using a database to source media contacts can be key in supporting your pitch. Services such as Precise and Kantar host tens of thousands of media contacts. It may cost money, but it can improve your success as they allow you to build targeted lists and track media mentions.

 

If you’re struggling to put together a successful PR pitch or can’t find the right people to send your press release to, Trailblazer PR can help - we’ve had years of experience in building media contacts who trust us. For more information or to speak to our friendly team, send us an email via pr.info@trailblazerpr.com or call us on 01453 887777.

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What It Means to Work in PR Today

01 August 2018 at 15:48

The PR industry can be stressful, but highly rewarding. It requires industry members to operate on a flexible basis, adapting to a variety of situations while utilizing a multitude of media tools. Good relations with both press and clients are necessary, and the constantly changing industry means that professionals are always on their toes. As PR specialists ourselves, Team Trailblazer want to share the wonderful highs of the industry, along with a few of its stresses.


There are a variety of skills that are absolutely necessary when it comes to producing campaigns and delivering successful strategies. Not only do you require an extensive knowledge of PR in a traditional sense, but a high level of literacy in digital mediums, with social media and the internet well and truly taking over the way that businesses reach new clientele and share their successes. If you want to get your clients out there, you’ll have to be able to provide both modern and traditional methods to reach as many people as possible.


Previously, PR professionals only needed good media relations and plenty of creative ideas. Now, however, an extensive knowledge of social media and an understanding of general internet practices, including knowledge of the blogging industry are required.


Nowadays, the digital age allows for PR companies to work with brands from across the country. Logistics may not be ideal for client meetings but, with software such as Skype and Zoom on offer, face to face meetings can be conducted from the comfort of offices, and even homes. Many realize now that the skill and connections that a particular business has are more vital to campaign success than geographic detail, and that's why you’ll see many PR professionals, such as ourselves, hosting clients from a range of cities throughout the UK.


There are a lot of personal skills involved too. Delivering a successful campaign involves extensive critical thinking, nerves of steel for pitching to busy journalists or delivering any bad news, not forgetting the importance of patience when it comes to waiting for feedback and the traction of campaigns to build. 


Professionally, extensive writing skills are key to every PR campaign. As one of the main skills, it's hard to teach, and, as a result, is one of the traits that anyone in PR will proudly come into the industry already possessing. Multi-tasking is another key aspect of the job. Being able to pitch to the media while forming strategies and leading crisis control initiatives is all a necessity of being part of such a whirlwind industry.

 

Here at Trailblazer PR, we know how to keep control of everything, all while providing a quality service that will lead your campaigns to success. For more information on how we can get your voice heard, get in touch via pr.info@trailblazerpr.com or call the office via 01453 887777.

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