People often assume that to do PR successfully, you have to enlist the support of a super-duper agency (have we met?!) to do the hard work for you. Although we’re not in the business of making ourselves redundant, there are plenty of things you can be doing in-house.
Securing coverage for your brand isn’t always about investing in fancy technology, media databases or adding a dedicated PR bod to your team – as a business owner, you already have so many resources at your fingertips.
Intrigued? Let us enlighten you on the three PR tools you already have at your disposal, without even realising it.
- Content from within your network
More often than not, great PR stories come from the people within your brand. Simply put, people buy people and it’s the human-interest stories which tend to catch the eye of busy journalists. Your colleagues and employees won’t assume their charity initiatives or personal achievements will be of interest to the world at large, so make sure you’re encouraging an atmosphere of sharing with your team. Whilst we’re not suggesting contacting your local press with news of Karen from accounts 50th birthday BBQ celebration, it’s crucial you know what’s going on in your own back yard (just not Karen’s!)
- Internet access and a phone
Now you’ve established the stories, it’s time to get the content out there. We’re all guilty of being glued to our phones – the average Brit checks theirs every 12 minutes – so put the bad habit to good use by setting aside time for the all-important PR activity. Determining a point of contact at a newspaper or magazine isn’t about knowing the right people, it’s simply about doing some ground-work before picking up the phone. Research the publication – read previous features and articles online, paying particular attention to the writer – before calling with the story. This whole process requires just one handy tool – a smart-phone.
- Knowledge of your own business
The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term expert as ‘a person who is very knowledgeable about or skilful in a particular area’. Hi there, expert. As someone operating or managing a business, count yourself as an expert – you’ve obviously done something right to get the business to where it is today. Approaching your target media with knowledgeable insight is a sure-fire way to pique the interest of editors and journalists (especially if you operate in a niche sector). Knowing your stuff is an exceptional business tool but it’s also a crucial factor of building relationships with news titles – to be heard, you must know your stuff.
Capitalise on this knowledge by offering comments or research findings to editors who write the stories you want to read or respond to articles in the title by penning a letter to the editor. Just make sure what you have to say adds value to their content – no one likes a time-waster.
The bottom line is the media are looking for stories that are engaging, timely and factual – you’re able to offer all three! Using the resources available to you isn’t about exploiting your people or services – it’s just good PR sense.