Elle Tucker (left) and Eve Laird (right). Photo credit: RUDE Communications.
UK-based communications agency RUDE Communications, the first ever of its kind dedicated to the sharing economy, spoke at Arcadier Inspire earlier this year, a virtual summit and competition for online marketplaces. Eve Laird & Elle Tucker, co-founders of this unique company, shared their insights on how boot-strapped new marketplaces can manage their own PR, by going through the nuts and bolts of mastering your media opportunities.
Set Your Goals and Targets
The backbone of a solid marketplace is built on successfully communicating key messages to establish online rapport with sellers and buyers. Eve and Elle break down on how you can connect and engage with your target audience better:
Know what you want to gain out of your media coverage. Coverage just for the sake of it will get you nowhere. Here are 5 key principles for earning your media coverage:
Get a Strategy: Why are you engaging media coverage and why do you want it? It is necessary to ask what is the purpose of you achieving coverage. Does it address your business goals? How does communications fit in with achieving those goals? You need to be aware of your aims in your media coverage and who do you wish to attract. Eve shared that "coverage for the sake of coverage is meaningless, you need to be where your audiences are... what is your business goal, how does the comms fit in with that.”
Know your Target Group: When advertising for your business goals, keep in mind the type of customers that you wish to appeal to. Be it investors, start-up providers or end-users, knowing their habits, preferences and opinions, frequented social media sites, the publications they read are essential when planning and earning your media coverage. Your aim is not to target them directly, but rather the media influencers they follow. Align your target with the people that will most likely influence your target base.
Build Relationships: Now that you know your key contacts, congratulations! Start engaging with them. While this may be a time-heavy process, it is important to follow, retweet and comment on their blogs, posts and publications.
Selling The Pitch: With the relationship you have established, you can now approach the influencer with something that may interest their readership. The primary concern should be framing your content in a way that sits with the interest of the journalist and their readership, rather than solely focusing on the message you wish to impart. Your pitch can range from new and exciting events from your company to background or data from you and your company.
Consider your Assets: Review the kind of material that you have and can share with your key contacts. Anything from visuals and logos to briefed case studies (which media influencers really like) that can be used and are interesting to their readership.
For sharing economy companies, it is important to tap onto the sharing economy’s ecosystem: the diversity and connectivity of the economy creates plenty of opportunities for different companies to collaborate and help publicise each other. Keep in mind that sharing leads to more sharing, and the connectedness of the community means that there needs to be cross-pollination of media exposure within different companies in order to grow the sharing economy as a whole. The type of media you engage in is dependent on your business goals, and that is from where you should kick off your media coverage planning.
Watch the entire Arcadier Inspire Summit talk by Eve Laird and Elle Tucker: