Arnprior Farm: Using PR to scale – The Daily Scaleup with Kim McAllister

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If you were an aspiring popstar, would you post Simon Cowell your demo, or give it to a mutual friend to pass to him?

Most companies looking to get press coverage turn to PR managers.

Like that hypothetical friend, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll get in there – but it does put you in front of the right people to be judged on merit.

Today’s case study is a little bit different.

It’s an example of how to maximize a time-sensitive opportunity.

Arnprior Farm has a pumpkin patch.

It opens to the public tomorrow and obviously they want as many visitors as possible over the next few weeks – so they employed a PR Manager.

Personally I think they made an excellent decision, not only by realising that’s what the business needed, but by choosing Palompo PR.  Lisa is a friend of mine and I have huge respect for her. I’ve watched with interest as she constructed the strategy.

I’m not going to give away all her secrets – or repeat the behind the scenes stories of negotiations – but I’m pretty confident her client is going to be delighted.

She’s arranged a press day for today – the day before opening – and while there is never any guarantee the journalists will actually show up, I think they will.

She’s got a great mix of print, broadcast and online journalists attending – making sure the client gets the hit in every arena.

A lot of hard work has gone into approaching the right people, pitching the story, explaining the logistics and juggling everyone’s needs. This is where using an experienced PR manager really can’t be beaten. The relationships Lisa already has – and the access she has based on her previous work – are her currency. She’s not just sending a press release to news@ email addresses and hoping for the best. She’s using her reputation to persuade decision makers it’s an event worth attending.

I think sometimes companies aren’t aware of this process. Someone who’s more experienced in non-marketing sides of business might assume it’s a straightforward “ask and they shall come” kind of deal. A lot of people seem to think that if you send information to a newspaper they’ll just print it verbatim. Oh if only! Journalists are under huge pressure these days and leaving the office to cover fun events is often a luxury time doesn’t allow.

So value a good PR manager as your business scales – and look out for Arnprior Farm popping up over the next few days in your news feeds…

The Daily ScaleUp is taking a week’s break, but we’ll be back on Monday 23 October.

Kim McAllister is a Journalist & Communications Consultant and director of Impact Online

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