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So often I have clients tell me that they don’t know where to start when it comes to public relations for their business.
Below are nine tips to get you started with PR.
The number one factor for SMEs to remember is to personalise your news pitch.
Unlike bigger business and government organisations who will get regular coverage, many SMEs have only one shot to get it right. Media outlets won’t cover everything you do, as generally it won’t be relevant to a wide audience. This means if you issue a blanket press release you are generally going to have a smaller chance of success.
It’s an oldie but a goodie – make sure you place the most important information at the top of your press release.
Generally the person writing the press release isn’t the spokesperson to be quoted, so identify who the ‘quotable’ person is and be sure they are available for any follow up questions!
Whilst you know about your organisation, the journalist may not, so at the end of the press release it is a good idea to include some relevant background information.
Whilst bigger outlets may use their own photographers, community based media outlets and blog sites welcome high quality images. Try to provide both a portrait and landscape aspect image, and make sure it’s not too promotional (with your logo plastered across the entire image!)
Many publications run regular features, focusing on an industry or sector, or something topical such as a local event. If you have a connection to a feature you are much more likely to have your content used.
If you are pitching to radio media, don’t call when they’re on air or when the news is being delivered. You can make an educated guess as to when a more appropriate time is and pitch your press release when they’re more likely to be open to reviewing it.
If there is somewhere in particular you want to be featured, get to the person who can make it happen! This way you’ll be building your creditability, but in addition the more you know, the better your pitch will be.
It would be remiss of me if I didn’t provide you with a ‘get out of jail’ tip – if you haven’t seen success or don’t have the time to use the above tips, hire a PR practitioner to work with you.
You can make this a one-off relationship, but the most successful strategy is to develop an ongoing relationship with your PR consultant.
If you would like to learn more about PR for your business, my Marketing Maven 6-week online workshop provides some great guidance!