Public relations management is an essential part of marketing your business. A great PR strategy can help you to earn the attention of a wide audience. However, many people struggle to get started with effective public relations. Fortunately, with a few tips, you can find PR success in the new year. Give the following techniques a try:
1. Know your audience and relevant publications
One of the most important aspects of public relations is knowing your audience. This is, of course, always true in marketing. If you don’t know who you are trying to reach, you will have a hard time. For example, if you have a local store, you should only be targeting publications with significant readership in the area. Similarly, if you are trying to attract customers who are very technology-focused, you will need to find publications that they are likely to read. Knowing your audience will help you to ensure that your message is reaching your audience.
2. Have a working list of media contacts
Using your audience definition, start working on getting the contact information of journalists you want to contact. It can be helpful to create a list of people then start searching for their contact details. Typically, journalists are happy to work with people who can deliver serious stories. It may be helpful to gather and organize the information using CRM apps. While a journalist is not strictly a customer, you can usually tag them accordingly in your CRM system. Plus, this is much more organized than just having a spreadsheet of names.
3. Make your story strong and always know your hook
As mentioned above, many journalists will be happy to hear from you if you have a good story. However, this is only if you have a strong story that their readers will want to read. In other words, the existence of your business is probably not enough. Major events such as product launches are sometimes good enough. This is especially true if you are doing something unique that the writer’s audience may be interested in. Regardless of what your hook could be, put yourself in the shoes of the audience and writer.
4. Provide all the relevant information
When you send someone information about your business or product, try to make writing the story as easy as possible. Send over all the information and resources that you can. Ideally, put them in an organized kit. This should include specific details and any images that you think may be helpful. However, remember that you are not writing the story. Just provide facts that you believe are useful. Don’t expect to send over the story the way you want it written.
5. Connect first, pitch later
It is a good idea to make some connections before you reach out about a possible story. While working with journalists can be a symbiotic relationship, there is no reason to only reach out when you need something. It can be helpful to meet people at events. It is also a good idea to present yourself as a possible source for stories. In short, try to avoid coming out of the blue with a story pitch. Instead, work on building the connection first.
In essence, try to be helpful when you can. As mentioned above, you can offer to be a source for stories. This should include things that aren’t directly about your business. Journalists are always looking for knowledgeable experts that they can tap into. Offering to be helpful will earn you some good favor for the future. Don’t expect to have some sort of quid pro quo. However, this is a good way to build up your familiarity with journalists. Plus, they may be more than happy to give you advice on what you need to get stories about your business published.
6. Measure your results
Finally, like any other form of marketing, PR should be measured. This can be challenging because you don’t have as much control over how people connect with your brand in the PR channel. However, you can look at metrics such as the increase in website views over the normal number. Measuring will help you to make well-informed decisions about using PR going forward. You can also make more subjective measurements such as tone and positivity. Also, look at the mentions and tone for your competitors.
Discover more about public relations. When you have a good strategy, you can harness the full power of publicity in the next year.