Media Public Relations Tips
Here are a few media public relations tips if you are a small business wanting to get your story in the local press or on the radio but don’t want to pay the price of a PR professional.
What reputation do you want?
PR is all about building your reputation so whilst some might claim that ‘no publicity is bad publicity’ this isn’t entirely true and there may be some newsworthy stories you can put out there which may raise your profile but might do more damage than good.
Also be clear on the image and reputation you want to portray and what you want to gain from your campaign. Look for media public relations opportunities which will enable you to achieve this objective.
Know your media
As well as understanding your own target market and what you want to achieve you need to understand the target market of the different media so your story appears with the right one. Do you want to reach the general public, other businesses or a particular sector? Is local radio more appropriate or a trade magazine?
What is your story?
What story do you have that will be of interest to others? If a newspaper or magazine is going to run a story about you it will have to be interesting so think what angle you might have that will help and what makes your story different from others? E.g. is your story about triumph over adversity, or is it about being a pioneer in your field?
Write your own copy…and make it interesting
Whilst journalists are trained to write a story if you do it yourself you will save the journalist time and therefore more likely to be published. And don’t forget the attention-grabbing headline.
One of the most important public relations tips for newspaper article. A picture paints a thousand words so include photos and images which will bring your story alive.
Network, network, network
If you are going to do your own media public relations then you need to make your own contacts within the media. Develop relationships with editors of papers, magazines and radio stations so they can get to know you and your area of expertise as well as like and trust you. The media are always looking for a good story to fill their spaces and air time.
What is your expertise?
The media will have databases of experts who will be called in to talk about and give their opinion on this are if a related news story arises. Find out how you can get onto these databases.
Keep to deadlines
This is one of the classic public relations tips that's so easily missed failure to meet deadlines will cost you. Find out what deadlines the publication is working to and meet it!
Getting involved in charity events can be a great way of getting good PR. Think about the following:
- What fund raising activities can you do and what can you do to make them stand out from the crowd to make a newsworthy story? For one event I had to find my way back to the city from an undisclosed location in the country without any money…we managed to hitch a ride on a helicopter and were back to the start point before the bus that took us and in the process raised more money than anyone else for a local charity…what local newspaper isn’t going to publish that story?
- Consider how you will make a relevant link between the fund raising activity to your business e.g. In the above example I explained how my network of contacts gained through my local networking groups (which I was promoting) had enabled us to win the challenge.
- Promote your business at the same time e.g. wear clothing with your business logo on which will be noticed at the event and in the photos that are published
Recommended Further Reading For More Public Relations Tips:
The PR Buzz Factor: How Using Public Relations Can Boost Your Business
by Russell Lawson (Paperback - 3 Mar 2006)
DIY PR: The Small Business Guide to Free Publicity
by Penny Haywood (Paperback - 30 April 1998)
Small Business Marketing
Small Business Advertising
Constructing An Advertisement
Small Business Advertising Tips
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