7 WAYS TO PR THE SHIT OUT OF YOUR BUSINESS
Public relations and media coverage can often seem like an out of reach achievement but we have a few tips to get your started on your PR journey.
Firstly, understand what PR is and what it can do for your business is really important. In a nutshell, PR can amplify your messages through strong, trusted publications with already large followings or networks. It’s often better to have other people talk about your brand to build advocacy.
So to get yourself started on your PR journey:
1. Start reading relevant news articles and follow writers, journalists and influencers you really like. Reading their content will get you up to speed with what’s on trend, what’s topical and what seems to cut through all the noise of possible things you could want to read. You have to remember these journos get pitched to hundreds of times a day, and they have to choose content they feel will be most relevant to their audiences. Content that really adds value.
2. Sign up for free tools like Sourcebottle where people are actively looking for contributors, talent and features. Sourcebottle is essentially a place for callouts where brands and talent connect with each other to create amazing content. Over the years, I’ve gained loads of PR opportunities from connections on Sourcebottle. They send daily emails where you can see what people are looking for, you login, fill out the form to say why you match the brief and Bob’s your uncle. Large publications also use Sourcebottle, I once for coverage on The Guardian and in CEO magazine through this channel!
3. Reactively pitch stories and content that have clear angles that journalists are interested in. So if you’ve been good and reading all the content from point 1, this is where you can tailor your pitches to the journalists to make sure you’re relevant for them and their readers. Being topical, and not always overtly pitching your brand can be a good way to get a mention or be seen as a thought leader. Getting your voice in the conversation is the aim of the game. Big features are obviously amazing but it’s not always easy to gain coverage like that without building up a suite of smaller features that put you and your business on the map.
4. Treat journos and influencers as you would your customers because they are your customers. Keep in mind that these people are potential buyers of your brand or product and when you are offering them something, it must be of immense value to them. They need to be able to see this fit into their lives and lifestyle. It’s a sale’s pitch in a way, but it’s more than that, it’s a relationship that can be built on long term, because when you offer relevant, amazing content to them for their audiences, they see a deeper value in you.
5. While writing media releases for every pitch isn’t necessary, it is essential to know how to write and structure a media release. Here’s a good read on how to write effective media releases.
6. Offer an exclusive opportunity. Like most people, we all love to feel a bit special. If you know a writer loves a certain topic or their readers seem to really engage in this kind of conversation, then you could offer them an opportunity to interview and write about your business or news piece exclusively. Don’t take this lightly though, it’s an exchange that could make or break your campaign. Their reach has to be extensive and they have to be willing to write about your brand in a somewhat favourable tone. Keeping in mind, that most often journalists are neutral and wouldn’t take a side necessarily, they’d just present facts. When offering an exclusive the content has to be juicy, filled with amazing facts, new things that no one has heard before, it’s not just about your new brand campaign, it’s about a cutting edge new message that breaks barriers and you want this person to break this into the media first. You can also offer an exclusive for the first 48 hours as an example, so you won’t take any interviews during that time but will do, after that time.
7. Consider signing up for low cost media databases like Social Diary. It’s not super expensive but it gives you access to thousands of media contacts, event information and keeps you up to date with media call outs so that you stay in the know. AND, it’s owned and run by Tiffany Farrington, an amazing entrepreneur who we really admire for what she’s created.
We hope these tips are a little helpful in getting you started with public relations. Just remember that PR can really amplify your messages and tell your story through strong media channels builds advocacy.