There is no doubt about it, if you want to get real PR coverage when running a small business, the quickest and most efficient is to engage a professional. They have the contacts and the tricks to help you get coverage. However, you will be lucky to get anyone to work for you for less than £500 per month. That price is for just a few hours and even with that there is no guarantee. As you will see when you start to work on it yourself the costs come in because it is very time consuming work. Companies who are winning at PR have several people working on this full-time and it costs them big.
As a freelancer, running a small business or start-up do you just forget the idea of PR or can you “do-it-yourself?
The answer to this is “yes” you can do quite a lot of work yourself but remember nothing is free and your time is money when you are running a small business. Doing your own PR is going to cost you if you look at time spent. The up-side is it can be fun, and it is amazing when you get coverage.
We asked some of our media friends what they would recommend when you are running a small business.
Think about who you are trying to engage.
This person is a journalist and will get press releases day in and day out that don’t relate to their publication or the subjects they write about. Make sure you have researched the journalists who you want to attract to your small business and the ones who write about your subject.
Keep it short
You have about 4 lines to attract their interest and don’t write more than one page for an initial press release or story. Many journalists are on the move and will probably read your story on a phone. Writing loads loses them and is hard work.
Get to know your journalists
Follow them on social media, interact with them subtly to get your name known. Don’t stalk them however as this will just be creepy! Forming relationships is the best way forward and this can take months so don’t rush it.
Make it professional
Invest in making sure you are writing good releases well. Journalists are very busy so if they read a story that they can easily transfer to their own copy they will love you making life easy for them.
Get to the point quickly
Make your writing to the point, fun and interesting as once you have captured the journalist the end goal is to capture your wider audience. You want your tone of voice and personality transferred to any PR piece about you and your company.
Write your own blogs and share these on social media and with journalist you know are interested in your subject. You want to be the voice of your industry. Making sure the journalists know you have an opinion and have something to say may get them to call you for a well-articulated opinion or view.
Don’t give up
You are playing the long game and it can be a long game. If you want to speed up PR when running a small business hire and pay for a professional. This is going to be something that you must build and repeatedly work on.
Do make bold and brave statements and claims about running a small business but make sure that you can back them up as true. You must make this true and original – the worlds best, ground breaking and state of the art are neither believable or interesting.
If you get a journalist contact you, be there quickly and be present. They are working to a deadline and if they can’t get hold of you or must wait for information they have no choice but to move on.
Having stuff written about your small business in the press can help your success in so many ways. It is defiantly worth working on, but it is by no means the easy way to free marketing. Think carefully about what you want to achieve through your PR and have a good plan. Most importantly have fun with it, make you and your business intriguing and help journalists to be intrigues enough to want to know more.
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