Emily Keogh, the founder of Palm PR, wrote an article full of tips for small businesses tips for Entrepreneur Country. While you should go and read the full post, below are the 10 Tips she highlighted.
1. The first step is to be clear about your brand’s USPs. These are the things that only your business does and what differentiates you in the marketplace. These will become the press hooks that capture the attention of the media. If you’re not clear on your USPs, invest time to think about the things that you do best and create some key points around that
2. Define what you want to achieve from PR. Are you looking to reach out to your current customer base to keep them informed of what your business is doing or are you wanting to target new audiences? Make sure the publications you are targeting and the type of articles you are trying to get published are dove-tailing and working towards securing those aims. Are you looking to drive footfall? Increase awareness? Drive up the brand value?
3. Build relationships with journalists. If there are certain publications that you need to feature in regularly then make face to face contact with the journalists that create the publication so that they understand your business and can put a face to the brand
4. Be targeted. Research your key publications thoroughly to learn what they like to feature and see how it relates to your business
5. PR isn’t advertising. The press won’t repeat your releases verbatim, so don’t worry if the finished article doesn’t exactly resemble the wording you were hoping for. If you have a good relationship with the press then you can work with them to ensure that the final feature is in keeping with the messaging you were hoping to communicate
6. Be honest in all your press materials. If you make unrealistic claims (or worse, lie), the press will see through it and will not favorably interpret the spin you are placing on your business
7. When communicating with journalists make sure you have all the materials needed for their features. Have images ready and all the relevant information laid out clearly in one document. The easier you make their life, the more likely they are to run your story
8. Make your written communications as clear as possible. Keep sentences short and to the point to ensure that your key messages are conveyed effectively.
9. Don’t forget about social media! The role of social media is getting more and more important for every business. Think about the tone of voice you want to achieve and plan interesting content that will not sound ‘salesy’ but will capture your audience’s attention so that they engage with your brand in a positive way.
10. Finally, don’t forget to monitor the media once you have released a story. One easy way of doing this is signing up to Google Alerts for online content, but you should be reading and engaging with your target media so that you can keep track of the stories they are writing and be aware of any coverage that you manage to achieve from the minute it is published.”