The TMPR Guide to Strong Media Relations

The new media revolution has placed more of an emphasis on digital PR in recent years, however, that’s not to say that traditional media relations is less important. Whether your news is good or bad, having a solid relationship with your core media can really make a difference. Here is TMPR’s guide to strong media relations…


Build relationships

Good media relations is strategic and planned. It should form the spine of any PR campaign, particularly in the early stages. By building robust relationships with your core media early you make it easier to generate quality coverage moving forward.
Face-to-face meetings are by far the best way to start building a relationship with journalists and commentators. This does mean that you should allow time in your diary to get out there and meet them. You can also invite them to your trade shows and exhibitions or to visit your own site when you have new developments or something interesting going on.
Remember that journalists and bloggers speak to lots of people and organisations everyday so make sure you have a quality press pack to leave with them. This will give journalists something to reference in the future and will make your organisation stand out.

Know your audience

Make sure you are aware of the types of topics your target journalists are interested in and have a good understanding of their recent work. Also, use your PR team to find out how your target journalists like to work and what their deadlines and press days are. Journalists work under a lot of pressure and disturbing them when their publication goes to print in a couple of hours is not a good way to build a positive relationship.

Deliver on your promises

If you are set a deadline by a journalist make sure you hit it. These deadlines are based on when publications go to print and if editors miss their deadline because you failed to send them your article in time – don’t expect to get another opportunity with that publication anytime soon.

Be available

Make yourself available and useful. Once a journalist or editor knows you are a good source of comment or insight for their publication they are more likely to seek you out for future content. Make yourself available to speak with them whenever you can.


Download the ‘TMPR Guide to Strong Media Relations’ here.

How to Create Powerful Case Studies & Testimonials

Potential customers and clients want to know that your company has clients who are completely satisfied. This supports the notion that your company offers quality products, expert services, and exceptional customer support.


This evidence often comes in the form of testimonials and case studies, both of which have an important place in your marketing content library. So here is TMPR’s guide to effective case studies and testimonials…


Client testimonials are short, focused quotes — typically no more than a few sentences — from customers willing to speak on the record about a specific aspect of your business. For example: a testimonial about the quality of a product, or its multiple uses; the warranty or customer service provided by your company; or an expert and responsive technical support or implementation team. Testimonials are useful for web content, social media output and for quotes used by journalists and bloggers.

Case studies

Case studies are more in-depth stories that usually follow a challenge-solution-results structure and can touch on a number of topics related to how your company met a customer’s need or solved a problem and produced measurable results. They are often the result of several interviews and multiple drafts.

An important difference is that sometimes a testimonial can be obtained from a customer with only the individual’s approval to use their quote, whereas a case study often must go through more formal approval channels with the customer, including their marketing and sales departments.

Ways to use customer testimonials

  • Add them as sidebars to relevant web pages
  • Compile a number of testimonials into a single marketing collateral piece
  • Add testimonials to proposals or letters to potential customers
  • Use testimonials on campaign landing pages
  • Include them as slides in a presentation
  • Use them in relevant press releases
  • Create testimonials as brief videos, in addition to print

Ways to use case studies

  • Create a library of case studies in PDF format that can be downloaded from your web site
  • Send them to potential customers by e-mail as part of lead-nurturing programs
  • Include them as downloads when exhibiting at a virtual event
  • Use them to pitch stories to media outlets such as industry web sites and online publications

Ask the right questions

The testimonials you get from customers will only be as compelling as the questions you ask them to answer and provide a quote for. Here are some example questions that can elicit compelling answers.


  • What is the single greatest benefit you realised in working with our company?
  • What is the single greatest benefit you realised by using our product/service?
  • How would you describe the return on investment you achieved by using a product or working with the company?
  • What might have happened if you had not chosen to work with our company or invest in our product/service?
  • What advice would you give to other companies who are in the market for a type of product or service?
  • How would you describe your overall experience working with our company?


Developing an effective case study typically involves a more in-depth interview, as well as expansive or open-ended questions around the customer’s challenge, solution selected, and return on investment. Here are some examples:


The problem

  • Describe the business problem/challenge that you were trying to solve.
  • What impact did this problem have on your business?
  • How have you addressed this issue in the past?


The solutions

  • How did you hear about our company/product?
  • Why did you decide to use us/it for your solution?
  • Briefly describe the solution and how it was deployed.
  • Comment on the people you worked with?


The results

  • Tell us how the solution helped solve your business problem/challenge.
  • What benefits did you derive from the solution?
  • What has been the measurable impact on your business of deploying this solution (i.e., increase in revenues, savings/productivity gains, safety gains, or return on investment)?

How to develop effective case studies and testimonials

Work with your sales and customer support teams to identify customers who would make good candidates for a testimonial or case study. Have the sales person make the introduction. Ask about their willingness to participate and how the approval process at their company will work. Find out who will sign off on the testimonial or case study.

Let customers know you are recording all interviews; also keep e-mail correspondence to have an audit trail for customer quotes.
Reassure the customer or client that nothing they have said will be used until they have given their full written approval.


Download the ‘TMPR Guide to Powerful Case Studies & Testimonials’ here.


How to Get the Most From Your Agency

When you first engage with a PR agency it is vital that both parties agree upfront what is expected from each other and what success looks like.Here are few pointers to keep in mind:


Communication is a two-way thing

Your PR team needs input from all levels of your business in order to make a campaign successful and everyone, from the receptionist to CEO may be required to get involved. Your PR team will regularly keep you up to date on what they are doing but it’s important that your organisation does the same in order to get the most from your PR effort. Regular PR update meetings should take place at least once a month with senior management in attendance.

It’s all about momentum

One of the first mistakes an orgainsation makes when engaging with a PR company is that, once a ‘big splash’ has been made at the start of the campaign, things can start to lose momentum. This can really damage your PR efforts because, your PR team will have been working hard to improve your media relations and make sure you are front of mind with key stakeholders and commentators. If things go quiet for a couple of months you are back to square one so working closely with your PR team to ensure that there is a plan in place for regular quality output will ensure that your PR is as effective as it can be in the long-term.

Take a partnership approach

There is one constant in every successful client-PR agency relationship: the two entities are true partners. You should view your PR agency as an extension of your marketing department. They are the conduits that enable your target audiences to learn about your company’s products and service. Therefore, you and your PR agency must be in lock-step, much like a partner who you are working with to bring a new product to market.

In addition to this, make a conscious effort to include your PR agency team’s most senior member(s) in company strategic planning whenever possible and appropriate. This will give the agency a very real sense of ownership and involvement, will enable them to be proactive, and is also likely to bring another valuable point of view to such planning.

Be constructive

Constructive criticism must be viewed as a positive thing on both sides, and you should have an open relationship with your PR team that allows for this.

Listen to their advice

When you engage with a PR practitioner you are investing money and resources so that you can benefit from their expertise. Experienced PR professionals are constantly aware of the pressures on your time and will only ask you for something because they believe it is essential for the success of your PR activity.

Remember, your PR agency is a trusted extension of your marketing department, so minimise bottleneck situations by viewing your PR counterparts just like colleagues who can speak with anyone in your organisation

Monitor, measure and evaluate

If you don’t measure and monitor your activity then you don’t know what is working and what isn’t. Agree upfront with your PR team what success looks like and make sure that checks and measures are included in your PR strategy. Work with your PR team to produce evaluation reports on a quarterly basis as a minimum. This will not only help improve the effectiveness of your PR but will also help you gauge your return on investment and justify your use of budget to senior management within your organisation.


Download the ‘TMPR Guide to Getting the Most From Your Agency’ here.

The TMPR Guide to Digital PR

As technology continues to advance, particularly mobile and smart phone devices, the divide between digital and ‘traditional’ PR continues to shrink at a rapid pace.


Any potential customer is almost certain to make a web search their first port of call when researching a supplier and your company’s digital footprint is there for all to see. Companies that are digitally savvy are turning this to their advantage with the PR team taking the lead. Here, our TMPR experts offer a few pointers.

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

Since Google’s recent updates to its algorithm, any decent SEO strategy is based on quality, dynamic, multi-media content including blogs, social media interaction and regularly updated web content. Within any organisation, the PR team is best placed to produce regular quality content and those with successful SEO strategies have PR at their core.
Improved search visibility helps marketing efforts and it can attract analysts, journalists and bloggers researching your industry.

Social media

Understanding social media is an important part of a digital PR effort. The audience a company is trying to reach or influence will spend time on, and being influenced by, social media. Social participation in a digital PR program means connecting with and engaging influentials and customers to perpetuate a positive brand image as well as identifying and empowering brand ambassadors. Proactive optimisation of social media content and building relationships with fans helps dispel negative brand attention and accentuate what’s positive. It is essential to be open with and useful to social communities and to adhere to both implicit and explicit ‘social rules’ rather than just dropping links to what you’re promoting.

Digital assets

Digital assets such as video, audio, blogs, pod casts, images and online communities are all essential tools for successful digital PR and will all have a positive impact on SEO. Keywords still have a role to play here to make sure you get the most from your digital assets and sites such as Flickr and Youtube are integral to your strategy.


When done right, a company blog can be an incredible PR asset. A company blog is an opportunity for a brand to create and publish its own content to a relevant online audience of key stakeholders and opinion formers. Well-optimised and linked blog posts can rank well in the search engines which makes them easy to find for journalists and bloggers researching stories.  Blogger relations is often more successful when the company being pitched has its own blog to point to.

Search and social media monitoring

Producing quality digital content is only half the battle and with all this additional content out there, there is more chance for both positive and negative brand mentions to occur. As with traditional PR, monitoring the result of your digital activity is essential in refining and improving your strategy and there are plenty of tools available to help digital PR practitioners keep on top of the online conversations around their brand. Companies can set up free alerts using tools like Google Alerts, Social Mention or Twitter to watch for mentions of their brand name, competitors’ names, industry news and can respond accordingly. Being seen to respond quickly and positively to negative mentions can give your brand a real boost as well as nip any potential crisis in the bud.


Download the ‘TMPR Guide to Digital PR’ here.