I’ve worked in PR for about 18 years and my family still don’t quite get what I do. So, to clear up any confusion I thought this was a great opportunity to set out my stall when it comes to PR and explain, generally, how it works.
PR is about getting someone whose opinion is respected to tell your story, mention you, your business or your product/services and essentially give you the rubber stamp that they think you’re good and worth talking about. It’s about independent endorsement from people who matter and who, in the case of the media, have a platform to reach hundreds, thousands and even millions of people.
But how does it work?
Journalists, and influencers, are busy people. They do not have time to trawl countless sources of information for what’s hot and what’s not, and that’s where PR, in the form of media relations, comes in.
You need to get the information about you and your brand to them in a way that makes it as easy as possible for them to do their job.
Forget waffle – you need to nail the who, what, where, when and why of your business, team it with some great photography and make it topical – it needs to pass the ‘why now’ test. Why should a journalist or influencer cover your story right now? If your story doesn’t pass this test then, let’s be honest, you’ll fall at the first hurdle.
What makes the news?
With news, it’s obvious – is your story newsworthy enough to make it into the news pages i.e. new? And does it impact, or interest, enough people? For national news, does this story interest/impact the nation? And for regional, is the story of interest in your locality? Or does it provide a new angle on something that’s happening nationally or regionally, for example Brexit vs the Tour de Yorkshire? So you are ‘piggy-backing’ onto an event or phenomenon that affects people other than just you.
There are different types of news as well – property news, business news, technology news, Royal baby news, fashion news, the list goes on – if you have something new, or can comment on something topical, then news is your best friend.
But what if you don’t have news?
What if it’s a story about you that lots of people would be able to identify with, or be inspired by? Or buy, if it’s a product. Or use, if it’s a service. What if you could offer tips to help others to do what you’ve done or supply valuable insight to a common challenge? Then features are for you.
Again, some features are topical and timely – this could mean they link to the season or awareness days. Or some are inspired by a theme the editorial team are focusing on this week or month.
Where should I start?
In truth, all businesses have stories, small businesses are bursting with them! If you’re a solopreneur then your story in how you came to set up your business is a great starting point. Why and how you do what you do is also fascinating. It’s news when you’re launching, winning a big contract, giving a keynote speech, taking on staff, supporting a charity or winning awards. You can comment on news stories and trends as well and offer tips pieces related to your areas of expertise. The story of how you can to be in business can make a great feature. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
I want to help you share your story and get the recognition and success you deserve for the great work you’re doing. PR helps you stand out from the crowd. I work with passion-led business owners who want to be seen and heard for all the right reasons so they can reach more people and make an even bigger impact.
For more PR insights, tips and support come and join my free Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/prforpassionategogetters