I was chatting to a business owner last month who said she’d tried PR and it hadn’t worked for her. Delving a little deeper, I learnt she’d pitched the media once, with one press release, and determined that as a failure.
What you need to know about public relations is it’s a marathon, not a sprint. It’s rarely about pitching one story and waiting for the phone to ring. If you’ve seen your competition consistently being featured in the media, it’s because they’re consistently pitching good stories. Here’s:
How to run a PR campaign
Create a plan
There are a few things your PR plan needs to include. These are:
- The purpose of the plan
- Situation Analysis (ie strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats)
- Who your ideal client is and what they need to know
- Objectives of the plan
- Key messages
- Lastly, you can break out each strategy and activity that needs to be undertaken.
If you want to dive deeper into each of these steps and have a professional communications plan to use for your next campaign, you can download the 90-minute Create Your Own PR Campaign workshop for only $47.
The result will be a PR agency-quality campaign ready to roll out by the end of the 90 minutes that will set you up for success from the beginning.
Experiment with story angles
Aim to put out a press release or media pitch at least every two months. You’ll soon start to learn what angles work with which media. If you’ve done your research on the media outlet and the types of stories it runs, this will also improve your chances of being picked up. Keep asking yourself “so what?” when creating story angles – ie, why should the media care?
If you’re regularly pitching stories to the media, you’re also aiding in building relationships with journalists and editors. Don’t always pitch your own stories either. Be a resource for the media and give them the tip when something hot happens within your niche – even if you’re not set to gain from it directly. This builds trust with journalists and, next time a story breaks that fits with what you do, you’re who they’ll likely think of first.
Make the pitch
Earn yourself some trust by offering the story to only one media outlet at a time. You can re-pitch it elsewhere, of course, if they’re not interested. I’m not a fan of the shot-gun approach. As a business, you lose credibility and it really annoys journalists.
Be a great interview
Speaking to many entrepreneurs and small business owners, one of the areas they really struggle with is the media interview. Much of it comes down to being prepared. You’ll be amazed at the confidence you’ll gain by having your key messages and sound bites, also known as golden quotes, organised before launching into an interview. A bit of preparation can go a long way.
Leverage your publicity
Among the reasons for gaining publicity is for that third party endorsement. It builds credibility with your audience and gives people more confidence in buying from you. However, people aren’t going to know you gained publicity if you don’t tell them. Make sure to share PR wins via social media, on your blog and via your newsletter. It also pays to use this publicity to attract more PR for your business.
Rinse and repeat
Track what sort of response you got from your campaign so you can tweak it if needed for the next cycle. Then go back to your plan and start again. Consistency really is the key to good PR.
NOTE: This post is the only places I offer the 90-minute Create Your Own PR Campaign workshop for purchase. If you’re struggling with how to even create a PR campaign, then this workshop takes away the overwhelm, steps you through each piece critical for a successful media campaign, and is based on what PR experts use for clients.