One of the main objectives of press relations is to increase media coverage of your business. But what strategies should be put in place to achieve such results?
To answer it, we went to meet Tarak Aoufi, Communication Manager of Ankama, an independent French digital creation group, specialized in the field of entertainment and video games, behind world famous licenses like Dofus and Wakfu .
Since being in charge of group communications and PR, Tarak has successfully increase the group’s media coverage by 261% in less than a year.
Here are the main tips that emerged from our interview today.
1. Watch to discover new opportunities
Watch over their brands:
Sometimes your brand can be talked about without your work being the cause. It’s important to keep a close watch on your brand name and products to stay on top of these new PR opportunities.
Ankama uses the day before to reassemble all that is said about the different brands of the group in the international press and social media. “I can easily call back the journalists who talk about us naturally, say thank you and discuss with them the next subjects they will discuss,” said Tarak Aoufi.
“Recently, the youtuber Squeezie talked about our Dofus game in a video that made more than 6 million views. We were able to react quickly thanks to our monitoring, by contacting him to thank him and by analyzing all the discussions generated by this video. ”
Competitive and sectoral watch:
Keeping up with the news of your competitors will allow you toidentify effective strategies for your market. Which journalists and influencers talk about them? What type of news do they highlight? In which media?
“If an influencer talks about one of our competitors and not us, we can contact him to introduce ourselves and imagine ways to collaborate with him. ”
Monitoring by subjects:
You can also watch what is said around the subject of your next campaign. You will be able to detect angles relevant to the press right now and the actors talking about it.
“When our Wakfu series hit Netflix, research allowed us to see who was talking about Netflix at the time. We were able to enrich our base with these contacts with whom I am in contact on a daily basis. ”
2. Prepare your mailing lists
Depending on its nature, your information will not interest all journalists, even those with whom you are used to being in contact.
For each campaign, it is important to create a new list of journalists to target, making sure your news is really interesting for them.
Tarak issues an average of two press releases per week. It may sound like a lot, but it can be explained by the diversity of brands in the Ankama group, each of which implies a different type of media to target. Between animation, board games, video games and editing, he must address a multitude of different media.
But for the same subject, it is also necessary target according to typology and country targeted media.
“We don’t deal with the video game specialist press in the same way as we do with video game teams in the general press.”
When it sends out press releases, Tarak targets both journalists in its address book, and searches for new journalists through the Meltwater base.
“Generally, we carry out a rather coarse initial filtering. I search journalists by country and by interest with the filters corresponding to video games. It happens that we have up to 400 journalists who meet our criteria. So we’ll do a second filtering, where we’ll look at each journalist in detail to add the most relevant to our lists. With this type of targeted mailing, we have an opening rate rather close to 40%. ”
“Sometimes we don’t have time to do this filtering. If a news item has just fallen, we must send press releases to journalists filtered only by interests. When we send out these types of mailings, which are less targeted, we could expect relatively low opening rates, when in fact it is quite the opposite. We get to have open rates that are around 20 to 28%. ”
3. Target your reminders by analyzing the performance of your shipments
To ensure qualified press coverage, reminders are essential.
But effective reminders take time: research each journalist to personalize the approach, find added value that will be interesting for everyone, take the time to call or write to them again.
This is why it is recommended to focus primarily on journalists who have expressed interest the first time you send a press release: those who have spent time reading your email or who have clicked on your links, for example.
After each sending, Tarak analyzes the performance of its messages. “I’m still analyzing our opening rates. If a journalist has spent time reading our press releases, I add them to my list of more qualified contacts. ”
These analyzes then allow him to optimize his reminders. “If I send a press release to 100 journalists and 30 of them have spent more than 20 seconds in front of my email, I call them first, or I contact them on Twitter or by email. ”
“The press release should be seen as a start to the relationship with journalists. It allows us to see who is interested, in terms of reading time, and it is with reminders that we can really start to create something. ”
4. Maintain your lists of journalists
Your relationships with journalists are evolving and so is their interest in you.
Maintaining your journalist lists is an important step in optimizing your press relations. Do it regularly, after each campaign or every month.
Journalists with whom your relationship is developing positively can be integrated into a more qualified list journalists to whom you will offer exclusives or privileged experiences (product dispatch, visit to the premises, interviews, etc.)
Finally, if a journalist tells you about their preferences regarding the subject or making contact, this is a good time to update this information in your list.
“Every time, we try to requalify and segment our bases, so that they do not age. So our opening rates are increasing day by day. ”
5. Measure your success
Measuring the success of your campaigns is essential to enhance your work, identify the resonance of your messages and detect new opportunities to optimize your next campaigns.
It’s important to choose the performance indicators that define the success of your campaign depending on your objective: number of spinoffs, potential audience, geographic reach, traffic generated…
Once the indicators are selected, equip yourself with the necessary tools to follow them. So, after each campaign, you will be able to measure, but also analyze its success.
To measure its press impact, Tarak uses Meltwater’s dashboards.
“I can follow the media evolution of our brands week after week, and compare it with that of our competitors. After each press release, I see who are the top journalists who picked it up and in which media. ”
Analyzing these results also allows him to identify new opportunities for his future campaigns.
“We can see if there is interest in our products in countries with which we are not yet working. We optimize our shipments every time. ”
6. Set up a press review
Success stories are made to be shared!
Communication professionals are often challenged on the impact and return on investment of their actions and must constantly demonstrate their added value to their management and their colleagues.
For this, there is another effective tool: internal press review.
In the form of a monthly or weekly newsletter, this press review brings together all your press coverage, or only the most qualitative if you have too much, in order to share them with your teams. This will demonstrate the scope of your work and generate enthusiasm for your campaigns.
You can even integrate sharing buttons in your newsletter to encourage your colleagues to share your benefits on social networks.
Tarak has set up a monthly press review, where he shares Ankama’s impact on the press with his team, divided into different categories according to the brands and the most impactful social media posts.
To go further, find our full case study on Ankama’s strategy or request a free demo of Meltwater’s PR tool.
Article written in collaboration with Meltwater