PR is a fantastic way to boost your business. Done well, you’ll get seen by more of your ideal clients, boost sales and build your credibility. Getting featured in the press is like someone endorsing your product or service, and makes consumers far more likely to trust you, and so much more likely to buy. If you pick up a magazine or log on to have a read of your favourite blog, and there’s an article about the owner of a business which really resonates with you, you’re much more likely to visit their website and check out what they have to offer.
But for many entrepreneurs starting out, getting featured in top blogs and magazines can feel like an unobtainable dream. Traditional PR agencies charge through the roof, but the thought of going it alone and giving PR a try for yourself can seem pretty daunting.
So, we can see the benefits of publicity for your business, but how do you go about getting yourself featured without forking out for an expensive PR agency? Luckily, there is a way, and I’m living proof that it works.
When I was just starting out in PR I didn’t have a fancy book of contacts and a degree in the subject. I taught myself everything there was to know, tried numerous tactics and found a system that WORKS. My clients have been featured in everything for international news sites like Bloomberg Business, to local papers and glossy magazines.
Now I’m not telling you this to blow my own trumpet, but rather to prove that with the right systems and support in place, it’s totally possible for you to get some fantastic publicity for YOUR business too. With a bit of research, and a dash of perseverance, it’s totally possible to do it yourself, and here are my top 5 tips to get you started.
- Choose your publication
Start the process by thinking about which publications your ideal clients read, and make sure you read them yourself! There is nothing worse for an editor than receiving an ill-thought-out pitch for something which is totally irrelevant. The more in tune you are with the ethos and values of a publication, the more likely you are to get coverage, again and again.
- Put yourselves in the shoes of the reader
It’s always best to start your campaign from a place of giving. Editors hate to receive blatant sales pitches, because readers are not likely to enjoy them and can see through them a mile off. Think about ideas for articles which their readers will find useful or fascinating, and how you can provide value. Take the ‘So What?’ test. Be honest with yourself, is your story idea really of interest to people outside of your organisation? If the answer is yes, then you’re on to a winner!
- Think of newsworthy ‘hooks’
A hook is something which will get the journalists’ attention. Are you holding an event, or launching something amazing? Have you got some top tips to share or have you helped someone out? If you’re stuck for ideas, start with your business story. As entrepreneurs we have fascinating stories to tell, and this is one of the best starting points for my clients at Write and Reach. Don’t be scared of sharing your story, it’s a great way to build rapport and confidence in your offerings.
- Prepare you pitch
When you’re ready to pitch your story, prepare a short email outlining who you are and why you think their readers will love your chosen topic. It’s also worth preparing a press release to send too, but whatever you do, don’t blanket bomb journalists with press releases, it’s a sure fire way to get blacklisted!
- Prepare a media pack
Now you’ve got your story and made the pitch, you need to make sure you’re ready when editors come knocking at your door. A media pack should contain high resolution images, your business bio, and success stories of clients you have worked with. It should also contain some general details and background about your business, along with key stats. Include links to all of your social media profiles too and make sure your contact details are clear and up to date.
You’re ready to go! It can take time and perseverance to get publicity. Be patient, but don’t give up, it will be so worth it in the end.
More about Becs:
Rebecca Miller works with inspiring entrepreneurs to help them grow their business through soulful marketing and creative PR. She founded her business, Write & Reach, in 2013, and has created The Publicity Programme ™ where she shows entrepreneurs step-by-step how to make their business famous and get featured in top magazines and blogs.