How to make PR work for you
The digital era has transformed global business needs and many PR agencies have been forced to dust off their cobwebs and adapt to the complicated world of online content. So is traditional PR still relevant I hear you cry? The short answer is yes!
Getting your story heard in the digital age may seem daunting but the same rules still apply; good old-fashioned PR and the practices that made it so effective in the first place still at the very core of it all.
Understanding exactly what media and messaging an audience wants to engage with is what matters most and all you really need to do is give things a digital twist to ensure your message is actually heard.
But doesn’t PR cost a lot of money? The good news is that PR doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. You don’t need to appoint a flashy high-priced agency that delights in racking up big bills and bombarding journalists with countless emails that will probably go straight to spam.
Here are five tips to get you started.
1- Do your homework:
Understand what subjects are topical and which journalist writes about what topic. You will find that journalists are always up against it, have specific areas that they cover, and are looking to inform their readers of the latest trends and explain their meaning. They are crying out for experts just like you but cultivating a relationship with a journalist takes time and patience.
2- Focus on the needs of the journalist, not yours:
No one cares about your product or business. Every call, email or text a journalist receives throughout the day is roughly the same –“Please write about this amazing thing! There’s nothing else like it I promise!” Be smart and think before you make your pitch. Keep it simple and relevant to the publication and the journalist.
3- Don’t ignore small or regional publications:
You may want to be on the front page of The National every day, but it is not likely to cover you until you have built great credibility. You’re best starting point is small, industry-orientated publications. They are a lot easier to approach and will likely be interested in breaking your story.
4- Make yourself available 24/7:
Journalists on tight deadlines need sources to quote as fast as they can get them and if you happen to be the one they thought of when a big story breaks, you better be ready to deliver. The first to respond usually get featured.
5- Don’t embellish:
You will find that most journalists know how to tell when something just isn’t true and they may well call you out on it. If you mislead them even once, not only will they never write about you in a positive way; you’re likely to burn your bridges very quickly. But don’t forget, nothing is off the record, so only say what you are prepared to see in print the next day.