Media today looks very different to when I first started my career, where coverage only happened on the evening news or in the paper. Nowadays we have 24/7 news channels and newspapers have websites full of content that didn’t make it into print.
PR can be a really useful way to raise brand awareness, but I thought I would share a couple of tips of my own to help before you dive in.
- Pull together a list of places to approach and include why they made the list (is it audience demo, publication goes out at the right time for your campaign, you have a biz crush on them). Be really honest about it as this will help you tailor any release you write.
- Be open to coverage outside of the evening news/local paper – maybe there is a blogger who has the perfect audience for your work or an independent radio station that has a broad audience. The media landscape is ever evolving, and potential consumers are in all sorts of places.
- Journalists are busy so make things simple for them. Get a reputation for being prompt, efficient and easy to work with, and people will come back to you for comments on all sorts of things.
- Releases shouldn’t be any longer than the equivalent of an A4 piece of paper. To be fair, this isn’t the law but unless you are writing a complicated medical research release for a medical journal it’s unnecessary. Make your point succinctly and if you need to include links back to your website for more info on a topic then do that, don’t try and squish it into the release.
- There are many ways to get in touch with people – check websites for submission forms, tweet, email or even LinkedIn – try many of them but watch out you don’t get into stalker territory 🙂
- It’s not always about you – when you contact a publication understand that they have objectives, deadlines and rules within which to operate which may not align with your own, so their response to you isn’t about you. Many will give you reasons if your idea isn’t right for them at the time, learn from them and come back later. If you hear nothing that doesn’t automatically mean they’ve ignored you – if you have thought out your list of places to approach it’s worth trying again especially as journalists get a lot of releases and my simply not have seen it.
PR is a powerful tool when it forms a strategic part of your marketing plan. It should always be a part of a bigger plan, not the whole plan itself. Of course, nothing is guaranteed and you have to be willing to be turned down if you put yourself out there.
Have you approached media in your business? What are some of the tips you would give to fellow entrepreneurs?