For new business owners, public relations strategies can seem too time consuming, and even a little intimidating. When to start? Where to start? Who to contact? What to say? Yet the value of public relations for a young company is exponential as it translates to people talking about your product, service or business with real authenticity. At the most basic level, it helps you get out the message that you exist and are offering products or services that consumers need. Good public relations will boost your credibility and play an important role in growing your reach.
So what about early stage companies – where should they begin? At this point, your business is likely still changing a lot and so is your story, meaning this isn’t an ideal time to sign on a big public relations firm. It is however a great time for you to learn the fundamentals of public relations yourself.
In a world saturated by content, here are five tips to help you stand apart and achieve DIY PR success:
- Leverage your elevator pitch: Use your brand’s background story and kick off your own media outreach slowly. Use your LinkedIn network to see what connections to editors you may already have. See what works, what doesn’t and bring on professional PR when your business has grown to a steady point.
- Build a media list: Do this by reading what journalists are covering and finding those that are talking about your industry and competitors. Before you pitch anything make sure that what you’re sending is relevant to what they write about, their publication and their interests.
- Customize all pitches: Don’t create a generic press release. Instead work on highly personalized, short email pitches. If you don’t hear back, don’t take it personally. Journalists are busy and sometimes it will take a few different tries before you get that first bite. If one pitch doesn’t work, be patient, wait and try a new angle when you have something truly newsworthy to share again.
- Build relationships with journalists: It’s important to build a rapport with journalists, so that when they see an email from you, they open it! Building relationships takes time. Be patient and be fast to respond to any requests from journalists. Offer them timely and personalized information and don’t over pester them with follow-ups and you’ll be on the right track!
- Be patient: The road to PR glory doesn’t always happen overnight, so stay patient and keep your eye on the prize. Building relationships takes time just like landing that feature story in the publication you’ve always dreamed of being in. Success is often seen by the most persistent! If one pitch doesn’t work, try a new angle, brainstorm new tactics, expand your media list and keep going.
Need some extra help along the way? Check out PressReady’s workbooks, kits, guides, tools and downloadables to set you up for DIY PR success!