What is PR

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Public relations [noun] The professional maintenance of a favorable public image by a company, organization, or person. Getting press attention is one of the best ways to build your brand and get the word out about your company. Unfortunately, sparking media interest can be hard. Like everything else in business, it requires planning, relationship building, and outreach to the right people.

Not only does PR have the ability to shape the story told about your brand but it also can change public perception and build momentum for your business.

Just like Rome, however, good media attention cannot be built in a day. It takes a long time, and the onus is on you to convince members of the media why your story is relevant.

Before you start trying to get PR, spend some time answering the following questions:

  • What is your brand’s story?
  • Who will be interested?
  • Why is it important?
  • How is it unique?

Think you have all of the above covered? Here is everything you need to know about PR to do the basics yourself:

Know what’s news. One of the mistakes companies make is pitching their brand without thinking about what makes something newsworthy. News needs to be about something “new.” Make sure you’ve considered this before pitching.

Not sure you know what is newsworthy? These are some of the main reasons to pitch the media:

  • Company or product launch
  • Response to a news event
  • Funding or investment
  • An upcoming event

Members of the media are always on the lookout for good stories, but they won’t cover something that’s not newsworthy. Be ready to provide a reporter the angle or hook that makes your story unique.

Be concise. Don’t waste a media contact’s time with paragraph upon paragraph in the form of an announcement. Initially reach out with a short email introducing yourself and explaining the news you have to share. If they are interested, offer to follow up with more details.

Contact the right person. Sending blanket emails or pitching a media contact who doesn’t cover your industry is not cool. A reporter that covers politics is never going to cover the launch of your skincare line. Don’t pitch that reporter. Instead find a journalist who who covers your industry.

Have the right assets. Create an easily-shared digital media kit with all the relevant information in Dropbox or Google Drive. As a rule of thumb, include items such as:

  • Media release
  • High-resolution images
  • Logos
  • One-page fact sheets

Think carefully about the image you want to convey to the public. The more information you can provide a media outlet, the easier it will be for that media outlet to cover your news.

Be unique. There isn’t a single media outlet on Earth that wants to cover the same exact story as another publication. As such, think about offering different story angles to different media outlets. Better yet, offer an exclusive to one publication that you think would be the most interested to cover your story. Make sure to include details no other media outlets have been provided.

Think long-term. Not every media contact you reach out to on day one will immediately cover your news. Expect that some media outlets will take time to come around and keep all of them in the loop.

It’s simple, treat PR like any other business relationship. Invest your energy and time in getting to know different media contacts. Do your best to respond quickly with relevant information when asked, and never be pushy. No one likes being harassed, and every time you speak to a journalist you are adding to their impression of you. Make sure you’re creating a good one.

What steps are you taking to share your business and brand with the world? 

Want more helpful tips like the ones above plus more? Check out The Buzz: A Media Darling’s Guide to Press Coverage, get on the wait list for Hearsay’s PR mastermind group (launching in February), or email me directly to schedule a Mini PR or Mini PR Plus session today!