Public relations (PR) is a cost-effective and efficient tool to raise the profile and reputation of your business.

The most common form of PR is media relations, which usually involves sending a press release to one or more media outlets, including online.

Having an article appear as a result of PR activity gives it extra credibility because it is carried alongside other news of the day.

There are no guarantees that an editor will use your release, but there are actionable steps you can take when submitting it for consideration.

Take a look at the stories in today’s Daily Post. The copy is written in short, sharp sentences and avoids the use of jargon.

The first step is to identify the news angle. Contract wins, new appointments and company milestones are just three examples. Again, review the media you are targeting for what types of stories are covered.

Get the basics in: the who, where, what, why, when and how of the story are crucial. Open the release answering these questions.

Whether a story is being used in print, such as a newspaper or trade magazine, or on TV or radio, it is told in a similar way. Producers of broadcast media also look for the above points when they receive a press release.

It’s important not to neglect securing online coverage, too. Online media consumption is on the rise and showing no signs of abating. As well as print media widening its reach with websites and apps, online-only channels are also an important place to target your release.

Your PR activity also plays a crucial role with your search engine optimisation (SEO) and getting your website found in Google.

The search engine giant looks for fresh, unique content on your website. A press release about your business certainly ticks that box.

A well-written, interesting article will get picked up by relevant online sites, and if they provide a link back to your website it will boost your SEO.  Natural link building plays a key role within Google determining how valuable a website is. PR is the best way to accomplish this.

PR provides you with a multi-faceted approach if you wish to increase awareness and/or change the perception of your brand.  Whether offline or online, tell the story in a structured and appealing way.