Most probably, on more than one occasion you have coped with that type of action we carry out from time to time within public relations: the creative submission to journalists or press kit. In some cases these shipments can be successful and in many others they do not turn out to be as we expected. Why? Which is what ultimately determines whether a creative media submission is a success or failure?
Here are some tips to keep in mind when either you or your client are thinking of making a creative submission to the media.
1. Questioning the submission itself
What am I trying to communicate? What´s the purpose for sending it? The grounds for making a creative submission are diverse: the launch of a new product, seasonal changes – quite often, the arrival of summer or Christmas has been used to have that detail we had long wanting to offer to the press- , the communication of an important change in the corporate image of the brand or in any of its divisions, etc. In short, there are endless reasons that make us think that it is the right time to send a creative message to journalists.
However, it is convenient to define very well which the reason for sending is, since if it is not well specified, it can be perceived as one more merchandising action among journalists and this is not our objective as a public relations professional. In those occasions in which we do not have enough reasons to justify the submission, it is better to discard this option.
2. Defining objectives
Depending on the reason for the submission, the objectives may vary. There are times when we can set as a goal that the media publish coverage of the announcement that we are making. Some others, we may try to generate conversations on the subject in social media. And many others, we can simply establish as a goal to strengthen those relationships that we are maintaining with the media or consolidate new ones that have started off on the right foot, without the intention of waiting for any publication in return.
3. Managing a budget and estimating times
Before getting started, we must have a good knowledge of the budget we have. We will contact the suppliers and we will shape our idea in accordance to the set objectives, the resources that the client wants to allocate to such action and the time we count with until submission. Thus, we will select the options that fit the economic amount that we want to spend and the time we have to prepare everything.
4. Specifying the list of journalists
You should select the journalists who, according to the objectives, will be interested in receiving the information or who will be grateful for the gesture that the company and your communication team, in a closer way, are having to them.
5. Originality and universality
In fact, it sounds great to say that the submission has to be original, doesn´t it? We’ve seen so many creative submissions that sometimes it feels like it’s all made up. Well, it isn´t.
There are always new ways to surprise journalists with our details. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most original. And the fact is that this is something Albert Einstein said : “Creativity is seeing what everyone has seen and thinking about what no one has thought about.”
On the other hand, we have to look for common points that unite the group of journalists and that make submission to their liking. For example, if it contains food or drinks, think about what is commonly accepted by the majority, although it is not always easy to guarantee a quote of 100% correct tendencies on this point.
Keep in mind that it is not good to burn formats. If an idea has worked very well on one occasion, it does not mean that you have to replicate it in the next submission, since it probably will not have the same effect. Little pleases, too much tires.
6. Delivery of the submission at the right place and time
Mailings to journalists have a personal touch. Depending on what we are communicating, it will be more or less relevant to send it to their homes or offices and have it picked up by the person to whom it is addressed or by a newsroom colleague.
Make sure that each journalist has received their package and then collect the acknowledgments you have received for it. In addition, you should monitor the posts on social networks and publications in the media that may derive from the submission. Any feedback is useful and helpful.
And you? What piece of advice can you provide to be successful with your submissions? Remember to tell them you want to make a special submission beforehand. Agree with them a place and date for delivery.