If you’ve ever seen a competitor quoted in a magazine and thought “I should have been interviewed for that,” it’s time to start generating your own publicity. Here are some DIY PR tips to help you get started.
Don’t be the best-kept secret in your industry! With these four simple tips used by the public relations (PR) pros, you can stop communicating one-to-some and start sending your message to thousands.
1. Accept that getting publicity isn’t rocket science
Publicity involves getting journalists to write or talk about your products, services or business without paying them to do it. And the best way to achieve that is to ask them to write about you! Sure, the way that you ask can be an art in itself, but really, that’s all you’re doing. Hardly rocket science.
2. Journalists prefer hearing from business owners, not PR reps
Reporters love getting stories straight from the horse’s mouth, and in many cases that means they’d rather deal directly with you than with a PR agency. Which is not to say that working with a PR agency won’t be of great benefit for formulating your message and helping to get it in front of the journalist, but if PR agency fees are beyond your reach, don’t let it stop you getting publicity for your business. Do it yourself.
Just a single email or phone call with the right pitch to the right reporter could be all it takes for your product to get written about or for you to be interviewed. Voila! Instant status as an expert in your industry, with all the associated sales credibility.
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3. Tailor your pitch to the audience, not to your own agenda
If you want to get publicity, you need to stop thinking like a business owner and start thinking like a reporter.
Before you make contact, research the media outlet to understand its audience and to identify the best reporter to approach. The number one pet peeve of journalists is being contacted by people who have no idea what they cover, so this point can’t be stressed highly enough!
Next, make sure you understand what you have to offer the journalist that’s of story value. Only then should you get in touch, making your expertise as accessible as possible.
4. Use a hook to hang your story on
Using a hook gives your story a framework for the journalist to work with. Here are a few examples of tried and tested media hooks:
New product / service / book
The media is always interested in something new, so if you’re launching a unique up-to-the-minute product or service, you have a ready-made angle.
Tie-in with a current trend
Keep up to date with the media and be on the lookout for ways to tie your story to topical issues. For example, after the economic upheaval of last September, the media ran plenty of stories on saving money and budgeting.
Time your message to coincide with the holidays
Connecting your message to key calendar events can be very effective. For example, an up market restaurant could gain valuable publicity with a story about their annual donation of Christmas dinner to needy families.
The public is always looking for information to make their lives easier or better so sharing your expertise on health tips, financial planning and similar issues often works well.
Have you ever tried running your own PR campaign? Please share your DIY PR tips with us below.