Posted: Mon 8th Jul 2013
If you want to build your profile and get noticed, then press and media relations can be very effective,Â writes Debbie (left).The key is to invest your time and effort in the right places and to have a plan from the start so you are clear about what you want to achieve, who you want to target and the key messages you want to get across.
So, here are five top tips to help you on your way with your media relations to get profile for your business with the audiences that matter.
You need to do some thorough research to identify the press and media relevant for your target audiences. Then, dig deeper and analyse the publication or website for tone, style, structure and content as well as any specific guidelines on sending in material or pitching an idea. One of the biggest gripes journalists have is that they receive email approaches and press releases that are not relevant. Research will help you to avoid falling into that.
Next, you need to identify the news stories you have - for example, a new product or service, an award, staff appointments or promotions, expansion to premises, collaboration with other businesses, working with the local community or supporting a charity. Your news needs to focus on human interest because that is what will interest a journalist. So, always keep that in mind. If you don't have an obvious news story then you can 'create' one. That means 'creating' a reason for a story, called a 'hook'. You can use milestones or anniversaries in this way - your 100th customer, five years in business, and so on.
Look at how you can get greater coverage for your news story by packaging it for your different press and media targets. For local, regional, specialist or national press and media, you should seek to do tailored versions of your story, where relevant.
You don't need to have news to get profile in the press and media. You can position yourself as an expert, offer case studies, comment on other people's news via letters to the editor or comments posted online. You can approach key journalists with ideas for feature articles or blogs that you could write or contribute to.
A calendar helps to keep you on track with your PR and maintain momentum. A simple word table or Excel spreadsheet works well split out by different activities - press releases for news stories, promoting yourself as an expert and making approaches to journalists with ideas for feature articles or blogs. Journalists need stories and experts for comment and they want to hear from you.Â So, what are you waiting for? Debbie Leven runs PR Coach and works with small businesses to guide them on how to do their own media relations. You can follow Debbie on Twitter.
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