The beginning of the New Year can be a pivotal time for a small business and their PR. A chance to assess which aspects are working well, indicate which areas need improvement, and highlight where new ideas need to be introduced. To help you on your way, here's a ‘PR Health Check’ to get you started this January…
1. Do you have good stories coming up next year?
The first and most important step to PR is having a good story; leaving the reader curious and inspired to tell others about you and your business. However, it is often hard to distinguish between what people want to know, rather than what you want people to hear. Although it may be important to your business when a new partnership was formed or promotions were launched, but these topics may not be of interest to your target audience.
The best way to tackle this problem is to step away from the story you want to tell and read the stories that are currently being told. Note down the content that catches your eye and what you find interesting. Do you read stories that will ultimately affect you or that have a personal angle? Think to yourself, if this story was related to another business, would you want to hear it?
2. Are you aware of key dates?
Another way to ensure a good story is to be aware of upcoming news dates, awareness days and key events in your industry. Think about how these relate to your business and how you can take advantage of what will already have been trending in the media.
Be prepared to comment on how the latest government announcement will affect your business or how your business may help those affected. Create a PR campaign around an awareness day or week. Develop a content calendar and plan in advance which dates you see as possible coverage opportunities.
To help you with that, a business calendar is necessary. Find out why and 4 powerful ways to use it in our blog post here.
3. Have you done your research?
When you have a story you know people will want to hear, you need to find a journalist who will want to write about it. Think about the publications you’d like your article to be featured in, for example, what are your target audience reading? Where would you receive the most traction? Don’t discard trade and local publications just because you want to see your name in a national.
Do your research, which journalists write about your industry and which publications do they write for? Read their previous articles and make sure it is relevant to them, if it's not relevant then the journalist won't be interested.
4. Do you have a social media presence?
Social media platforms, such as Twitter, are a great way to interact with relevant journalists. By following them you can understand their particular interests and the type of content they prefer to write about. Engaging with journalists on social can make them aware of your brand’s presence, meaning they may recognise your name and business name when it comes to getting in touch. Finally, you’ll see any editorial requests they put out looking for comments or content.
You can also read our blog about the evolution of social media in Public Relations.
5. Are you prepared?
The time it takes between contacting a journalist and having your story featured in a publication can vary depending on the outlet; print publications can take over a month, whereas online can be the same day. Due to this, you need to be prepared to act fast if a journalist contacts you. Be prepared with high-resolution images, further quotes from a spokesperson and additional information, this way you can reply to the journalist as soon as possible, meaning they won’t lose interest in your story and you have shown your enthusiasm.
Written By: Camilla Holroyd