DIY PR: How to build brand recognition

DIY PR: How to build brand recognition
Julia Tsavellas
Julia TsavellasJulia Maria PR

Posted: Fri 1st Sep 2023

Are you a small business or female founder struggling to get your brand noticed? Are limited resources and tight budgets holding you back?

Fear not! This is where a PR strategy comes in – a cost-effective way of increasing your visibility and in turn, credibility, irrespective of your business offering or budget.

Believe it or not – it is totally feasible to leverage DIY PR to promote your brand without breaking the bank. Here’s how:

1. The prep work: Know your audience

Before embarking into the world of PR, it’s crucial to do the following:

  • Identify your target audience so you can tailor your messaging and outreach efforts in line with customers' interests and preferred platforms. Be specific with demographics and psychographics (when you group customers based on things like social status, interests and opinions).

    • Top tip: Feeling stuck? Invite ideal clients for a brief interview to inform your messaging.

  • Reflect on your brand message, its unique selling points and niche. How does your business or service uniquely meet the needs of your target market?

  • Conduct a competitor analysis. Review their strengths and weaknesses so you can identify opportunities and PR tactics that will differentiate your brand from their socials and press coverage.

Not only should your messaging be clear, concise and consistent, but make it distinctive both in terms of visual style and tone of voice!

The next task will be to make sure you're incorporating your messaging into all your communications and marketing materials.

2. Embrace your inner socialite: Build relationships with journalists

It goes without saying that coverage – whether on social media or in the press – is a sure-fire method of increasing visibility. Once you've established your target audience, so too can you start listing the media you'll target.

Use media databases to browse various publications (including local media for an easy win), and take a look at their media kits for specific breakdowns of reader demographics.

Keep an eye out for those that best match your target audience. Cover as many types of outlet as possible, from glossy magazines and trade publications to podcasts and suppliers. Then research specific journalists at these publications using online directories.

Top tip: Try a features or digital editor if in doubt as to who to approach.

Building a relationship with a journalist will take time but is undoubtedly worth the upfront legwork. Follow them on social media, engage with their posts and share their content. Don’t forget to repeat the process with influencers and bloggers!


Watch this webinar for insight into how journalists think and how they plan business stories:


3. Pitch like your life depends on it: Make it timely and relevant

How? Use a topical news hook, world day, celebrity or trend. Check out search listening tools such as Answer the Public for an idea of what’s trending, and link this to your pitch to answer the inevitable ‘why now?’ question.

Tailor your pitch to each journalist, referring to a previous article or area of interest. Keep it visual with relevant imagery.

4. Refine your owned channels: Creating valuable content

When it comes to owned social channels, it’s worth crafting valuable content that educates, informs or entertains your target audience to build brand awareness and, moreover, establish credibility. Add a downloadable to your website for an easy win.

Play around and test different balances of channels to assess which combination works best for your business.

5. Participate and collaborate: Establishing yourself as a thought leader

Establish yourself as an industry thought leader by attending networking socials, speaking at conferences and hosting workshops.

Networking can also give way to collaboration with other complementary businesses with whom you might consider partnering on marketing campaigns or events. Take a look at Enterprise Nation for inspiration.

Final thoughts

Don’t shy away from DIY PR – embrace it and watch your business thrive! Do it well, and you’ll notice increased brand awareness as well as a surge in website traffic and sales. Wait and see – you absolutely do not need to enlist an enormous PR agency to spot your business in the papers.

Relevant resources

Julia Tsavellas
Julia TsavellasJulia Maria PR

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