Is public relations really all that hard? Lately, I’ve been asking people why they aren’t doing public relations in their business. I mean, after all, a third-party endorsement from the media gives you:
– Instant Expert Status
– Increased Visibility
– Higher Perceived Value, which means higher fees
– More People Calling You Wanting To Do Business With YOU
– More Paid Speaking Engagements
– More Word of Mouth and Referrals
– More Freedom – you’ll spend less time cold calling
So then what stops you from getting publicity?
There’s two obvious answers why people aren’t doing public relations.
- The cost of hiring a PR agency. Not everyone has a $20,000 budget to put towards PR, right?
- Time. When you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, chances are you’re already doing everything yourself in your business. You don’t need to add another layer of tasks to your to do list.
But what if I could convince you that you don’t need to spend a cent and you could have publicity for your business within 48 hours. Don’t believe me?
Try these simple eight steps to quick press coverage.
Right now. Click off all those 15 tabs you have open in your browser (yes, I know you were in for some blog reading, but just stop it already. You need to ACT).
Open up the one media site or media publication you love. The one where you go to get all your industry or local news from. It might be the daily newspaper or maybe it’s a niche news website you frequent. (Stop procrastinating about which one – just pick one! We’re moving fast, remember?).
Do a search on the site (even traditional media outlets have websites nowadays) to see what stories have been done previously around your expertise or niche. Note which reporter did the story.
Look on the front page of the site to see what the latest trends or hot news items are.
Hook into one of the hot news items you read. The news item could be a trend that’s emerged that you have an opinion on (particularly great if you have an opposing opinion, opposing data or can share a case study), an expert giving a strong opinion (give your opposing opinion) or a national story that affects your business (give the local media a local angle on a national topic). Feel free to be a bit creative here if you can see other opportunities. They key here is to make sure the topic is 1. of interest to the journalist you found in your previous search, 2. of interest to your ideal client and 3. ties into your business in some way.
Write 3-4 sentences in an email explaining who you are (ie why you’re an expert), what your story idea is and why their readers would be interested. Often, journalists are looking for a way to further a hot topic, so you’re doing them a favour if you can take the conversation (or story) to the next level. Then, ensure you have all your contact details included so they can contact you to quote you. Write a subject line that’s “clickable’’ but still on topic. Try gaining some inspiration from Blog Boost Traffic’s 52 Headline Hacks if you struggle with headline writing.
Do a site search or Google search for the journalist’s email address. Failing that, ring the front desk of the media outlet and ask for the journalist’s email address. Most will be happy to give it to you.
Send the email.
That’s it. Eight rather simple steps that should take you less than half an hour to do.
And what’s the worst that could happen? They don’t respond and you don’t get any press? Well, you’re no worse off than you are now (because I know you still haven’t followed through on these steps. Am I right?).
But just imagine if they do call back, they quote you, you get featured in that media outlet – your name and business name staring back at you. Imagine your ideal client reads that article. They have instant trust in you and your brand because of that media exposure and they pick up the phone or email you asking how you can work together.
Why not give it a shot. And no, the press release isn’t dead, but sometimes you just don’t need a press release.
Let me know in the comments: What story angle are you going to pitch? And if you found this valuable, I’d love if you could share it with a friend.
PS. Want to dive deeper into this work and find out even more about how to build your business with publicity? My Publicity Alchemy program is open until July 1 and then the doors close until September. The program will guide you through the exact system I use in my own business to gain publicity and build trust, expert status and clients. Click here to find out more and sign up!