One down, 11 to go…months that is. Did you end last year telling yourself, 2015 will be different?
I will be more organised. I will do more to promote my business. I will get clear on my purpose and goals. I will. I will. I will…
How’s that going for you?
There are lots of traditional marketing strategies that work really well. Chances are you are probably using some of them – word of mouth, networking, advertising, flyers. Yes? If they are working for you, that is fantastic. But what if they are not? What do you do then especially if you marketing budget is non-existent.
I have spoken to a few business people in the last month who are ready to invest their time and energy into using PR as profile raising strategy. They have got great businesses but want to get more exposure, more clients and make more money. When I ask them what their marketing budget it…I hear crickets!
That’s ok but it is not sustainable. Like any strategy, PR is one you have to work on and plan for. The beauty is that getting media coverage is FREE…ZERO COST…NO MONEY DOWN. Well, it does cost you some time but if it can give you three times the results of traditional marketing and advertising, do you not think it is worth slotting into your plan?
So how do you get started if you do not have a profile, the media has no idea who you are, you are not sure what makes a good story and you do not know how to get started. It does not have to be painful or overly time consuming.
Here are a few tips that will help you skyrocket your profile and business using the power of PR.
AARGGH Factor – How is your head space? Your mindset? It is really important to get clear on what you want out of PR and out of your business (and life). If you have a knowledge gap for this area, go do a course. If you are troubled by events from the past, reach out for help from a counselor, mentor or friend.
You’ve got no profile and the media don’t know you exist. You’ve got a strong story to tell and it’s downright frustrating when you see your competitors in the media spotlight. Small business PR sounds great but if you don’t know how to get started then it could all just turn into a huge headache.
WIIFT – What problem are you solving for your clients/customers and the media. Step back from your role as business owner and look at your business from your client’s perspective – how can you help them (you will find many stories will surface during this process). Brainstorm all the ways you make life easy. Then start researching the media you want to target. What type of stories do they run – do they like ‘how to’ articles, or human interest or opinion pieces. Follow the journalist who writes in your industry. This will help you work out what is newsworthy.
Rejection hurts – no one likes being told no (go back to mindset – why does it hurt so much?). If you have pitched a story to journalist and they are not interested, this is not the end of your PR ride. There are many reasons a journalist says no to story:
• Your story is not a fit with the media outlet
• No human element
• Bad timing
• No news value
• It has been covered recently (tip – read back issues of any publication to see what they have run in the past six months)
• You saying nothing new (tip – look for new and interesting angles to everyday stories/problems)
Scattergun approach – How would your life be if you had to keep up with 50 close friends? Know their birthdays, what they like to eat, their favourite movie genre…You couldn’t – there is not enough time to focus on so many people. The same goes when crating your media contact list. By focusing on fewer journalist, you can build better relationships, get to know their style, the publications style, what they consider newsworthy. The key here is it is all about relationships – Jennie Gorman has a great book about relationships Awesome Authenticity.