OK, so its safe to assume that if you are a startup you don't have shed-loads of money to spend on a snazzy professional PR campaign. However, there are ways and means of getting the message out there about your business, about promoting it without spending a fortune and one of the best of those is by being astute and clever with your PR. Like everything in business, getting it right takes work and of course time. The old “Rome wasn’t built in a day” proverb comes to mind...To help you ‘get it right’, we’ve put together a few basic tips which hopefully will help...
What’s it all about? Before you even think about drafting a press release or the like, you need to think about what message you are trying to promote. Is it about your business launch, a new product, a recent award or even a new recruit to your team? Whatever the message, you have to remember that it must be newsworthy. Whilst something may be really important to you, will anybody outside your business really care?
The Message Itself If you put yourself in the shoes of a typical journalist, chances are you would probably be receiving press releases on a daily basis. And the harsh reality is that many of them will go unread or if they are read, may not really be that interesting and hence are never acted upon. As we highlighted already, always make sure your press release is newsworthy. Also, ensure that you help the journalist out a little. Include photographs or images to complement any text; summarise the key facts. A journalist won’t have the time to start researching the background to your story or to find out information that you should have included. Make your press release the definitive source of information for your message.
Target the Right People Just as you would with a marketing campaign, you need to identify exactly who your target audience is and why it is important that they hear your message. What benefits do you have to offer them? Why should your business or your ‘news’ be of interest to them? It’s important that you always ensure that any message you send out is relevant to the recipients or ‘audience’. You then need to establish where you can best reach these people. Will it be through newspapers? Local? Regional? National? Will it be through specialist magazines or journals? Will using Social Media be the best way of reaching them? There are no right or wrong ways to do this as every business will be different; however the fundamentals are the same - your efforts should be focused on targeting the people who matter and who are likely to have a positive impact on your business.
Build Relationships You may have at your disposal the most extensive database filled with details of all the people you need to target - the journalists, the bloggers, the industry influencers and you may still get nowhere. It’s not just about knowing who the people are - it’s about how you connect with them. Thanks to Social Media we now all have an amazing opportunity to establish and build relationships with ‘people who matter’ in a much easier way than ever before. That of course doesn’t mean you should simply follow them on Twitter and then bombard them about your company or hope that asking Stephen Fry for a RT is bound to win you new customers! Instead, use the social networks to engage with people, converse with them about other matters too - that way you stand a better chance of them looking more positively on you and your work.
Quality not Quantity If you embarked on a PR campaign whereby you tried to promote even the most banale update about your company, chances are it wouldn’t succeed. Journalists and influencers alike will get pretty bored of your incessant important announcements. It’s much better to think strategically - put the effort into promoting and seeking publicity on the most important news, the key issues, the stories that really warrant coverage, not every single thing that you do. It may be a cliché, but it’s true nonetheless, quality not quantity is what counts.
So there you have it - some Basic PR Tips that will hopefully help you to get your message out and in turn help your business to grow.
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