Ediale Kingsley is an experienced PR and Media Strategy specialist, working within business, products and personal brands space. He’s worked with international agencies like London Based PR firm, The MCernest Company, and many African based companies and personal brands.
I was excited to get the chance to put my questions to Ediale as it’s evident that the PR efforts that a any individual or business organization is able to invest will clearly have a beneficial impact on their overall growth either in visibility, market acceptance, popularity or even increase sales and demands – which is something it seems we’re all striving towards!
To give a brief summary of your role as a media specialist, i’d be interested to know in which way are you able to help persons, brands and businesses, and through what kind of methods do you tend to work? is it mainly about “putting out fires” – i’m guessing it’s a bit more constructive than that?
My background since graduation in Accountancy has been within the press and media industry working with creative heads, news heads, content making heads & media management. So about 2 years ago I finally started offering persons, brands and businesses both advice and help on media strategies – i.e. what is working for them, what isn’t and recommendations on best practices. On the pr side since setting up on my own, I work with persons, especially business or project owners to help them both position their brand slash business and raise their profile through the use of public relations. it’s about 90% positive and maybe maximum 10% ‘putting out fires’ but even then the ‘putting out fires’ is usually minor. I help entrepreneurs get access to the right journalists and the appropriate media channel through my own contacts, built up over 15 years experience. i also have a leg in the movie/video-content industry – which has also helped me enormously build a department called Creator Ediale Films. CEF creat films, series and skits that also help with the core PR and Media Strategy goals.
For your typical client, what kind of events or news are worthy of something like a press release? obviously there’s lots taking place within your client’s day to day life as they fulfil their goals within communities – from your experience what type of news tends to get the most beneficial coverage – could it be something as simple as a rebrand, reinventing/company space renovation?
At times is less about the event than the strategy. Other times it’s the level of noise that you are creating. If you create a national press conference and invite 100 journalists from all the media outfits, that’s from blogs to TVs, to radios, to even social media influencers over a thing as simple as the launch of a website renovation. The buzz becomes the magic. Se thing with syndicating a press release to that gigantic number of media outlets. It means that when someone opens the Punch, they will see that story. When they pass their regular route to work they see that bill board of the Website. When they are returning from work, they hear discussion of the same website on their popular radio station. And someone on their Facebook timeline with 50k followers is saying something as well about the website. Then the job is done. And the result will happen. So it’s always less about the kind of events or news. It’s more about the strategy and level of buzz. And although I have made an example of buzz that depends on volumes of outlets. It’s important to know that there are alsoany ways to achieve the right buzz other than volumes of media outlets.
Continuing from the above – have you ever had to advise a client against creating a press release, as it’s wasn’t likely to gain them much traction? or is there nearly always a way of creating a newsworthy story/event?
As I mentioned above, it’s often more about spicing the event or product in a way it actually does justice to the number of attention you attract and also more about the strategy and press release creation than the story or event. Stories are always subject to editing just as events are subject to scripting and plotting. Journalists are very busy people and I will not jeopardize my relationship with them by sending them releases that are of no interest. And I won’t also want to make their jobs hard. My job is to make them happy even as I make my clients happy too. I practiced as a journalist for at least 10 years, I still wear that hat from time to time. So I know what journalists want and also care to balance it with the result my clients want.
For a client to grow its direct website traffic and revenue, getting featured in the press is one of the fastest ways to see growth – whether it’s from referral traffic from an online article, or a rise in branded web searches as a result of this exposure. how hard is it for a client to get featured in the likes of a Forbes or CNN piece? or is it best to aim low and start with local news outlets?
Aim low and start with the local news, niche websites. Or do top dailies like Guardian, Vanguard, Business Day, Thisday, Punch and others. And quite frankly I won’t consider these names as aiming low. I’d say you are even being effectively focused on the right media.
For many entrepreneurs, getting coverage in such top publications seems impossible. They never believe they can get published on Punch or Guardian. But I and my team at Sabistation Media have helped hundreds of such stories get published.
Forbes and CNN or any international media platform is also not out of reach. But I don’t always encourage entrepreneurs to start from there. However we have had clients who’s reputation demands they appear on Forbes and it was easy to help them attain that.
If you’re happy to share this, what would you say has been your biggest success to date in terms of press coverage for a client – and why do you think it worked so well?
i can’t go into too much detail, both for confidentiality reasons and to also respect the policies of some top newspapers that don’t usually want to be seen as a tool for PR functions. So I managed to get a feature interview and front cover mention with a client in one of the top 3 Newspapers in Nigeria. I also went on Live TV to talk about the same client on a major news broadcast. Why I see it as a success is the strategy and the result. How my team and I were able to rely on a well thought out plan that enabled us gain prime time access to platforms that were delighted to have us do what ordinarily they’d charge an arm and a leg for or simply send us to the marketing department. But here they were happy to help us do justice to the PR. And it was for a great cause.
We’ve seen that the quality, consistency and quantity of reviews on some sites can really make a huge impact on a business in terms of visibility growth and increase in sales. Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs seeking to improve their rankings?
It starts with knowing your industry we enough and using the right niche platforms to promote your businesses. It’s also about having a great media relations with your industry’s journalists and media. That’s why tech companies should do enough to ensure that they are at least a household name to media outlets like techpoint. That’s why politicians should have frequent engagements on Channels TV. It’s about knowing your media and the media platforms your industry follows. As a publicist I help my clients with this every now and then.
Looking at brands reputation management, what’s the best way a client can deal with a prominent negative review on the likes of tripadvisor or cinemapointer? i’ve often seen 1 star reviews shown as very visible organic search results when carrying out a branded hotel search (first 5 results in google). is there any way a hotel or movie producer can try to bury these type of coverage?
Reviews are usually personal but when they are on professional sites they become pro thoughts and opinions. And the only way to beat such coverage is to not bury them. Rather use the negative review. And there are a lot of strategic ways we have done it for clients and I really don’t want to reveal the trade secret here. But usually the best advice to give is never bury or ignore the rated or official professionals. And then understanding the angles to the negative reviews or the total subject of the review will help you solve the problem. For example, a film critic once destroyed a client’s job. And our careful understanding of this film critic’s anger was the mqgic that saved the day. He said “only market women should see this film”. We used that line. And we were so good with that line that he went to reedit it. But we already had a screenshot. The producer made top newspaper interviews saying she wrote and made this film for market women. In honour of her late mum. That emotional angle which wasn’t far from the truth. Helped the project even getore famous and successful.
Traditionally, pr coverage has meant getting featured offline – in tv shows, newspaper articles, or even radio shows. this has always been pretty tricky to calculate an exact roi on – obviously a positive appearance for a client on am appropriate show on tv viewed by millions is likely to have an impact on their revenue (online and offline), it’s just hard to give an exact return on. this is especially true when compared to digital pr where online coverage can be measured quite precisely. do you think this is still the case – and are there any ways in which you can calculate the return from getting a business offline coverage?
Offline pr, for smaller businesses can actually be relatively easier to manage the roi. Entrepreneurs need to be asking all their patronizers “how did you hear about us?” if it’s their first time. I know this can be seem difficult to ask every customer, but as I said above, these entrepreneurs have the potential to be more nimble and entrepreneurial to actually ask the guests this. it’s also important to know that building a profile takes time and most clients need to understand that offline coverage, while may be difficult to calculate an exact roi, it should be viewed in the medium and long term – it’s a long term game and takes time to build a profile and brand. online coverage can be measured very quickly and precisely, but like offline, it needs consistent work across the long term for a long term roi / business growth. And one thing you may never be able to measure instantly is the registered perception that coverage has earned for your product and business. These are usually long term assets. That you will always keep benefiting from. That’s why I tell and most times train my clients what to do after press coverage. Because most times the real milking of that opportunity is something that serves you forever.
Outside of helping clients with their pr and marketing efforts, what else are you passionate about? what do you do to switch off from work?
I never switch off! As a football and entertainment journalists. I don’t see Football the same way most people do. It’s at times work for me. Either to be used as a subject for social commentary or a piece of one of the many news platforms I write for. Then as a film maker. I write and make films. I have an ebook on selar.co/PhoneShop that teaches people how to make money on their phone. I have my phone almost 247 and what I have written in that book I practice too. So I am constantly working. But at time rare times I pause to go see a movie. And also enjoy drawing unique nose characters on my drawing books. But I am always having a plan to disrupt my lifestyle. And one day I will inculcate a switch off agenda to my life but for now I am Ediale Kingsley a writer, journalist, filmmaker, publicist, publisher & founder of One Room Reality, Creator Ediale Films, InstaLetters, University Of Do and Sabistation Media and PR firm.