Rules for Great PR
Getting that hardly needed attention from various media is a goal everyone in business is trying to achieve, especially those that just started doing their business. Unless you had a groundbreaking idea with investors already waiting in the line to fund your business, then chances are pretty high that you have a quite limited budget for marketing and PR. With that idea in mind, we decided to write this article covering some guidelines you can follow to ensure you maximize your public relations strategy with limited funds you may have.
In order to develop the most effective PR strategy, you need to know your market audience first. Who are those potential clients that would be interested in your product or service? What are their habits and what kind of media do they follow? And, if possible, what is the exact TV or radio station, website, magazine or any other media stream your targeted audience follows? Once you have these facts in front of yourself, with any additional info you could gather about your potential audience, you are good to go.
Another important piece of information you must have prior to approaching any website owner or editor, newspaper reporter or TV/radio host is the difference between your product and all your competitors. What are those things that make your business unique when compared to others in your niche industry? Why should someone choose your product or service over your competitors? Once you have those values and features written down and highlighted, then you can consider yourself well prepared for any type of questions in order to present your business in the best possible way.
Furthermore, having a clearly defined list of benefits your clients would get by purchasing your service or your product is a good thing to have. Once you interact with your targeted media, they will definitely want to hear about those values and what kind of info would best represent your business. Having such information ready to be used is a plus for any future communication with any kind of media representatives.
Use real client testimonials to prove the value of your product to a wider audience. Keep in mind that people are generally a bit skeptical toward any business they haven’t dealt with before and may need some re-assurance that they are making the right choice when selecting your product. Make those testimonials easily visible on your website or in your actual store, and what’s even more important, try to include such testimonials whenever possible in your interaction with media representatives.
Once you are well prepared with all this info, you are ready to approach the targeted media representatives with a story about your service or product. By now, you know who your audience is, what kind of media is the most attractive for them (e.g. some specific website, magazine, newspapers, TV station, etc). What you have to remember is not to be pushy. Make contact and wait for them to return a call, email, or use any other communication tool that you used to reach out (e.g. social media communication, the website contact form submission, etc).
When communicating with media representatives, make sure to ask for permission to follow-up. With such permission in mind, which you hopefully won’t abuse by contacting them too often, try to have a couple of meaningful phone calls or write a few emails to ensure they have all the relevant information they need in order to publish an article or blog post about your business and whether or not they intend to do that. By following up you will ensure that everything is still on the right path.
Whenever available, try to use any kind of visuals. If you are trying to reach out to a newspaper reporter or a website owner/editor, try to include some appealing photo of your product. Keep in mind that general audience likes to see something visual along the line of the text presented whereas media representatives like to see what they are actually writing and telling people about. In case you are communicating with a TV station or a video blog owner, try to include some video material, if possible. Whatever material you decide to include, make it look good!
None of these rules guarantees success in your PR strategy. However, following these basic rules increases the chance of getting some positive PR exposure for your startup business. Depending on the level of your success, make sure to re-assess on a recurring basis, re-adjust, if needed, and keep powering through.