Although the idea of PR is intriguing to many business owners it is rarely found at the top of their to-do list. This is often due to the fact they have very little time to take on the task. However, when planned properly, PR can become a task which fits easily into the running of a business. So with the pain of 2020 behind you, why don’t you make PR your businesses New Year Resolution? To help you get started we’ve created some pointers below.
Understand Your Audience
The main reason for doing PR as a small business is to create brand awareness and engage with customers. To do this you need to understand your audience and how to reach them.
If your business is B2B, research trade publications in your sector. Be aware of industry specific columns and sections in national press as well. You can also read our article about how to create a PR strategy for a B2B business.
If your business is B2C, talk to your existing customer base and think about the customer demographic. What gender, age and location are your customers? Do they read print or online? Do they follow and engage with bloggers? Find publications and outlets which match and target the same audience, use a targeting tool, or buy in a list of likely target journalists and bloggers.
Build relationships is the key for a successful PR strategy
Understanding the right journalist or blogger for your business story is very important in PR. You need to find people who have showed interest in your industry and similar businesses before. The best way to do this is by reading relevant publications, whether this is when travelling in-between meetings or with your afternoon cup of tea. Keep an eye out for regular features, style of writing, interviews and byline articles.
Follow key journalists on social media, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, engage with their content and start to build a relationship so when you’re ready to send your first press release you won’t be contacting them out of the blue. Reference previous articles they’ve written or comments on social, this will show that you’ve done your research and have made an effort to know what you have to say is relevant to them.
If you want more ideas and tips to build relationships with journalists, read our previous article on the subject.
Create a PR Content Calendar
When contacting a journalist you need to make sure you have a good and newsworthy story, albeit that trying to think of regular ideas can often be time consuming. Creating a content calendar can be a big help. For example, at the start of the year, note down relevant awareness days, as well as business developments and product launches.
By having all this mapped out beforehand it is easy to understand and plan your PR in advance, meaning when it comes around you won’t be panicking that you haven’t started your campaign.
In addition, you won’t miss journalist deadlines. For example, if a consumer based business wants to target glossy magazines, highlight that Christmas starts in July for long lead publications. This way you can contact them before the features have been finalised.
Use Online PR Tools
Remembering to constantly post on social media and email journalists, as well as everything above may seem a bit daunting and a lot of work. However, it is necessary if you want to get coverage. To save time, online PR tools are available. Here is a short list of them that could help:
- Social media platforms Meet Edgar and Hootsuite let you schedule social media posts weeks in advance. Meaning you can carry on running your business day to day knowing your social media is creating engaging content.
- Websites such as daysoftheyear.comand awarenessdays.co.uk let you know of upcoming events and awareness days which you can add to your content calendar. The JournoLink events calendar picks out the key ones, as well as forecast government data releases and award programme timings. Can we link the calendar in here??
- And finally JournoLink, (we couldn’t avoid that one) lets you schedule press releases in advance and send it to relevant journalists. In addition, JournoLink provides you with a business calendar to help you find newsworthy stories.
If you would like to find out more about what JournoLink can offer take a look at our demo video here.
PR can seem difficult and is often put at the end of the to-do list. However, by following those simple tips, you can start implementing it in your daily routine. You will soon realise that PR is finally pretty easy if you focus on relevancy and timing.
Why right now is the time to do it
Driven by the Covid pandemic we have all got used to buying online, and research from the US reminds us that more than 19 out of 20 of us now make our buying decisions based on customer reviews and recommendations. Consumers put much more belief in what trusted third parties say, than what we say about our own businesses through adverts. There are no better believed reviewers than trusted journalists and bloggers. Which leaves any businesses now not making the most of PR as a key part of their marketing plan for the year, as seriously missing out on probably the most important profile building action they should be focused on.
Leaving today’s priority for tomorrow may meant that tomorrow never arrives.