The PR Guru

March 4, 2011

10 Reasons to use PR, #4

And now for Part Four in our run down of the biggest reasons to use PR to promote your business.

This one will be attractive to anyone who runs a b2c business, targeting consumers, for example retailers. It’s why the well-known celebrities, multi-national brands, and public sector organisations like local authorities and Government departments all like PR.


You’ve probably heard me mention before how a PR campaign can get you into loads of different media titles, including newspapers, magazines, websites and radio and TV stations. If not, we talked about it in our blog on how PR helps you spread your investment.

The main benefit of PR is you can get into numerous titles for one flat fee – or free if you’re doing it yourself. Exactly how many depends how many you are targeting and how good you/your PR agent is. (Normally we would operate on a target of at least one in ten, although we usually do much better than that.)

So, if you’re targeting 100 titles you can probably expect to get into at least 10. And by doing that, you’ve saved yourself thousands of pounds worth of advertising (because otherwise you’d have to pay for each one you advertised in).

But it gets better! If you combine all of their readerships (not circulations, which are just their sales figures – most papers and magazines are read by more than one person), number of hits, and their listener/viewer numbers, that gives you the size of your potential audience.

In Stoke-on-Trent, for example, there are 14 media titles to aim for: The Sentinel, The Advertiser, Radio Stoke, Signal Radio, Staffordshire Life, The North Staffordshire Magazine, Cross Rhythms Radio, 6 Towns Radio, Focus Magazine, Staffordshire in Business, This is Staffordshire, This is Business Staffordshire, Midlands Today and Central News.

Let’s say your story got into (a not unrealistic) five of them: The Sentinel, Radio Stoke, Signal One, Staffordshire Life, and This is Staffordshire.

Their daily circulation/listener/visitor figures are:
The Sentinel: 53228
Radio Stoke: 22286 (based on weekly audience of 156000)
Signal One: 37714 (based on weekly audience of 264000)
Staffordshire Life: 11000
This is Staffordshire: 13429 (based on monthly visits of 376228)

That would give you a combined potential audience of 137657! And they’re all right on your doorstep! That’s a bigger audience than most businesses can afford to contact through advertising or any other type of promotion.

The print/web coverage alone would probably cost you at least £600.

And as for radio, it’s fairly safe to say advertising on Signal Radio would probably be at least £1000 (including the cost of producing the ad), and it’s obviously difficult to price up the Radio Stoke coverage because they don’t sell advertising. In that case we would tend to use the advertising rates of a commercial station with a similar audience, for example XFM Manchester (min £2000).

So in other words one story which generates coverage in those five places would save you at least £3600!

Your only challenge is to make sure your story is interesting enough to catch their eye or ear…


February 8, 2011

Revealed: the cost of advertising in the North Staffordshire media

Following on from our piece last week about the cost-effectiveness of PR compared to advertising, we’ve put together some info on what it costs to advertise in the North Staffordshire media.

These prices are for colour ads, so you may be able to get a cheaper deal for a black and white one. A black and white ad would not have the impact of a colour one so probably wouldn’t be as successful.

These prices are also exclusive of VAT.

The minimum price is £150 for a quarter page ad in The North Staffordshire Magazine, a lifestyle publication produced by Staffordshire Sentinel News and Media (the same people who do The Sentinel).

This rises to an incredible £9040 for a full page ad in the Express and Star, which has a circulation of over 120000 and covers a massive area from South Staffordshire to the Black Country and North Worcestershire.

Here’s the full list of rates.

The Sentinel
Full page: £3398.40
Half page: £1699.20
Quarter page: £849.60
Eighth page: £424.80

Express & Star
Full page: £9040
Half page: £4630
Quarter page: £2200
Eighth page: £550

Staffordshire Newsletter
Full page: £600
Half page: £400
Quarter page: £325
Eighth page: POA

Stafford Post
Full page: £2672
Half page: £1336
Quarter page: £668
Eighth page: £304

The Advertiser
Full page: £2448
Half page: £1224
Quarter page: £612
Eighth page: £306

Staffordshire Life
Full page: £1350
Half page: £760
Quarter page: £480
Eighth page: £275

The North Staffordshire Magazine
Full page: £450
Half page: £250
Quarter page: £150
Eighth page: POA

Focus Magazine
Full page: £900
Half page: £550
Quarter page: £350
Eighth page: POA
(£50 discount is available for Chamber members)

Please note these are the published advertising rates, and you may be able to negotiate a better deal if you speak to the relevant advertising departments.

When you consider these are the prices for just one ad, it brings into perspective one of the major benefits of using PR.

July 20, 2010

Lifestyle magazines & business coverage

Well we’ve focussed on specialist business magazines and the global phenomenon that is social networking in our last two coaching programme sessions, so it’s time to bring things a little closer to home.

On August 23rd, we’ll be talking about local lifestyle magazines, like Staffordshire Life, and The North Staffordshire Magazine. There are hundreds of county mags like this around the country, and they can all represent great avenues for your PR stories. However they have to be approached differently to many other publications.

While many do run news articles, that’s not their major focus, because they are aimed at affluent homeowners – particularly the female ones. And because they are read by a largely female audience, they don’t like dry business stories about increased turnover, or product launches, or anything like that.

They want more human interest stories, which talk about the person behind the business and what makes them different. In our case, we’ve had most success with stories about:

  • a former policeman who quit life on the beat to set up his own photography business
  • two friends who used their business expertise to help each other recover from a broken back and IBS respectively
  • an aspiring painter whose unusual, unique approach to his work had attracted the attention of Prince Charles

First we’ll focus on Staffordshire Life, which is the largest and longest-running county magazine in Staffordshire, boasting an 11000 circulation and dating back to 1982. Then later in the year we’ll cover The North Staffordshire Magazine, which has a 6000 circulation.

These are both viable targets for your stories, because they are read by affluent individuals in rural areas, and by creating the right story and writing it properly could generate coverage worth thousands of pounds.

The session takes place on August 23rd, between 12 and 2, at the Lymedale Business Centre in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Give us a shout on 01782 472035/07880 733138, or for more information.

July 9, 2010

Coaching Programme developments

The Be Your Own PR Person coaching programme has come on leaps and bounds over the past few weeks!

For a start, we now have a confirmed* list of speakers and dates!

Here you go:

19th July: Karen Cotton, on how to use LinkedIn to develop your business

23rd August: Philip Thurlow-Craig, on how to get into Staffordshire Life

20th September: Jo Bailey, on how to write a winning award application

18th October: David Johnson, on how to get your business into The Sentinel’s Business section

22nd November: Andy Coyne, on getting your business into Midlands Business Insider

20th December: Jenny Amphlett, on how to get into The North Staffordshire Magazine

17th January: Karen Cotton, on how to use Facebook in your business

21st February: Jo Bailey, on how to organise an event on a budget

21st March: Jodie Looker, on putting together a radio phone-in

18th April: Karen Cotton, on how to use Twitter to bring in enquiries

16th May: Nigel Pye, on getting your business into the national media

20th June: Kurt Jacobs, on using business magazines to raise your profile

We’ll go into more detail on our speakers as the events approach.

Give us a call if you would like more information: 01782 472035 or 07880 733138. Or you can email

 (*Please note speakers, subjects and dates are subject to change)

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