Over the past few weeks I have taken you through a step by step process of how to start doing your own PR in order to stop the overwhelm of knowing where to start and what to do. In week 1 of this series, we covered how to identify your ideal client, in week 2 we covered how to uncover your story, in week 3 we covered how to find journalists and start your own media list and in week 4 we covered how to use #journorequest on Twitter to get PR coverage. Phew! We’ve covered A LOT!
Today we are going to talk about how to get consistent when doing your own PR – the million dollar question once you are up and running with your PR strategy!
In many ways, this step is the most crucial as consistency is key to getting PR cut-through (or cut-through for any marketing activity to be fair). You can do all the other things I advise from previous weeks, but if you do not become consistent with it, then you will not get the momentum you need to get noticed.
Here are my top tips on how to stay consistent when doing your own PR.
How do you feel about planning in general? It is one of those things that we have to do in order to achieve our goals in business and in life. Sometimes it feels great and you feel so motivated – but sometimes it can be a little more challenging.
BUT we all know that when we have a written goal and a plan, we are more likely to make things happen and make it a reality! A 2015 study by psychologist Gail Matthews showed when people wrote down their goals, they were 33% more successful in achieving them than those who ‘planned’ in their heads.
Planning is a massive part of PR, so you know what you want to share and when, so you can be prepared in advance and deliver what you need, when you need to.
This is super important as PR stories are very timely and within a context. I always say that with PR you have to pass the “why now?” test. When you are sending a story to a journalist, you are trying to convince them that this is something they need to cover right now. Remember it’s not just about what is happening in your business at that time – you need to be looking at ways to hook into current events in the wider world.
Planning is the perfect way to do this so you can know what you need to do PR-wise on any given month and so you can align to journalist’s deadlines.
2. ‘On Diary’ Stories
One of the first ways to approach this is thinking about ‘on diary stories’ – this is very much related to the calendar and things that happen every year e.g. Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Mother’s Day. Think also about ‘National Awareness’ days and weeks that may be relevant to you or your business. You can check these out here. https://www.awarenessdays.com/
For example, if you are a product-based business then the gifting periods in the calendar will be very appropriate for you.
*Remember to think of opportunities outside your business, that you as a person could also contribute to. Things that happened in your life.*
As well as these being opportunities for you to share stories to journalists, these are also things that you can use in your own business to create content with context – so this research will help in multiple ways!
Once you have everything mapped out on paper, it’s time to think about deadlines. When it comes to your own content and social media, you can get away with preparing for it quite near the date and releasing it at the relevant time (although planning this in advance helps too).
But Journalists do tend to work to longer deadlines than that, especially when linked to diary-based events. So it’s best to work backwards and contact them with your story as early as possible so you are mindful of their deadlines.
Average timescales in the media:
• Glossy magazines: 6 months (Christmas products/stories will be sought in July!)
• National supplements (e.g. You magazine): 3 months
• Regional media supplements (e.g. Yorkshire Post): 6-8 weeks
3. ‘Off Diary’ Stories
The other type of media available that you cannot plan for, is ‘off diary’ news which is where people need comment and reaction fairly quickly, as the news story is released or is building. You will often see these on #journorequest (find out more HERE) or you may see things in the press where you have a strong viewpoint or case study that you could share.
This is where your media list comes in very useful as you can make contact with the appropriate team and suggest your comments/case study on the subject.
TOP TIP: Now this reactive response may be quite daunting when you first start out with your own PR – so if you feel unsure you can always talk about these subject matters on your own social media to start getting your story out there.
So how do you get started with a PR plan?
• Grab yourself a large piece of paper and note the months of the year along the top.
• Get yourself some post it notes and work out what is coming up in the next year that you can link your work to based on your research (if this is too daunting to start then go for the next 1-2 months).
• Tag the dates with potential story ideas on a post it note and stick it to your PR planner.
If you are more tech-savvy you can always create an electronic version (suggested tools: Excel, Trello, Asana) so you can start tracking your progress and actions. Just find whatever works for you whether it be paper based or digital that will help you take action and move things forward!
So there you have it! Follow these tips to get started with making your PR plan. Let me know if you have any questions.
You can catch the replay now: https://www.facebook.com/CheerleaderPR/videos/291521125356905/
I’m offering some spots for 2 hour 1:1 Strategy Calls to help you to get clear on where you focus your PR efforts going forwards. To book your Strategy Call click here.