Nicola Millington from FP Comms provides her tips on how to balance the conflict between authenticity, business and PR
Business can be a rocky road.
In a day where job security is not assured and entrepreneurship is on the rise, the need in business to follow your vision, passion and goal, is a mantra that the 21st century man and woman embraces, like a mother swaddles their child.
However business is also a place where ethics, personal beliefs and morality are often challenged, none more so than in the world of PR.
Many small business-owners, struggle with embracing PR, for numerous reasons. Fear, time, patience, knowing what to say and knowing how to respond, are some of the contributing factors that restrict businesses from embracing the power of PR. Yet, PR needs to be part of your marketing strategy. Have a look at our previous blog explaining why.
However, there are two key fears for new and small business owners’:
· Being misquoted or misunderstood. This is especially the case in a society where political correctness means that sensitivities are heightened and your truth can often offend.
· Becoming the victim of Spin (Spin is terminology used to make a headline and story seem like something it is not, to attract attention).
As real as these instances are for celebrities and the well-known, they are seldom a reality for the small business owner. The agenda for many of the small business press is mainly focused on promoting new, exciting and local talent. Whereas, popular national and international business press focus on showcasing national and international business growth, expertise and standout talent.
The fear of being misunderstood and misquoted can often stifle and restrict business owners from really promoting themselves effectively and confidently.
Ironically it often means that when you do decide to DIY your PR you will get it wrong because your fears restrict your focus and will ultimately impact on your message.
So, what can you do to effectively promote your business through PR without compromising your ethics?
1. Stay focused on one message: Too many small businesses try to sell several services and products in one press release or interview. This can often lead to confusion and miscommunication, not to mention a very long press release or interview.
2. Keep it succinct: Keep your press release to the point. Journalists receive hundreds of releases. So make it easy for them to tell your story. Press releases should not be more than two pages, in size 11/12 font, line spacing 1.5.
3. Send good images: High Res, relevant images that reinforce your message, can help sell your story and increase your potential of securing coverage.
4. Build a relationship: Journalists are people too. Respect their time and craft. Appreciate that they work to deadlines and are often as pressured as you to hit targets. The more you help them, the more they’ll help you.
5. Preparation and Patience: Often when you connect with a journalist, depending on the type of publication or media you are connecting with there can be a delay between the time you connect with them and the time they are ready to cover your story. Do not always expect an immediate response. However, be prepared to move quickly when they do connect with you.
Finally, the 21st century media is more than the traditional press. It also includes bloggers and vloggers (influencers), many of whom are or have been journalists themselves. Never underestimate the power of influencers to help you increase your business profile.
If you have found these tips helpful, please share with us a link to your most recent release or article, so we too can learn about your amazing business. You never know who is reading it.
Written by:Nicola Millington, founder of FP Comms.
FP Comms is a marketing company dedicated to helping people communicate about their business confidently and effectively.
Nicola’s company has helped emerging brands build their profiles on a national and international level, and continues to work with clients across sectors including the beauty, health and fitness, skincare, travel and film industry.