Public relations creates positive buzz around you or your brand. Basically, PR is all about maintaining and growing your relationship with the world. Your public relations efforts should convince your audience why they should love, write about, speak on and promote your brand. While it may not be top of mind when building and maintaining your business, it is a very important step in getting your brand out there.
If you’re an established brand, it’s important to work with an agent or agency who has the right relationships in your industry. After all, PR comes down to connections and convincing others to tell your story. If you’re a new brand, though, you will likely need to handle your own PR for a while. It sounds daunting, but it’s doable with these four steps.
Sometimes PR requires you to spread your pitch around and see where it sticks, but most of the time you’ll have better luck getting coverage if you do your research up front. This is where a media list comes in handy. Your media list will be the place where you will put all potential publications and/or resources that you want to be featured on, along with the relevant contacts. Aside from gathering big news sources like TODAY or the Los Angeles Times, find some sources that are more in your niche. For example, if you are an organic children’s clothing brand, you might think of gathering publications geared towards parents or environmentalists.
As a female-founded marketing agency, we look for sources where we can share marketing and entrepreneurial advice. If you’re looking to be featured in a more well-known publication, it’s a good idea to request their blog calendar and see where you can contribute. If you already know what editors are working on, you’ll already have a leg up. HARO (Help A Reporter Out) is a great site where editors post queries looking for expert quotes. If you don’t already have an account with HARO, I highly recommend it!
Whether you’re pitching yourself or your brand, it’s essential to highlight your expertise in that field. Laurel Mintz, for example, is the head of a WBENC certified marketing agency, so when researching her PR opportunities, I always include her detailed biography highlighting her experience, awards, etc. This is the time to sell yourself, so don’t skimp out. Also, while it’s important to reach out to people and publications, don’t forget to pursue opportunities to add to your bio. If everything on your electronic press kit is from two years ago, then you won’t look very much like an expert. Always pursue speaking engagements and write new blog posts and share new social content. Stay relevant!
PR placement could be a one-and-done thing, but if you’re smart, you’ll try to push it as far as you can. Once you’ve made a connection with an editor or a media director, use that to your advantage and see what other opportunities there may be for your brand. Create a quid pro quo relationship and try to establish a strategic partnership. Creating mutually beneficial relationships is a great way to build your audience and get your name out there. Don’t be afraid to say, “If you liked this, then you’re going to love what else I have to share.” Try to turn a one-time webinar into a full speaking series.
Everyone is swamped with emails, especially editors. This is why it’s crucial to follow up on your original email. Following up on your pitch in a more personal way shows the editor or director that you are not just another spam pitcher. To get a better response rate, try adding the words “Follow Up” in your subject line. It’s amazing what these two little words could do to your PR game. As a reminder, PR is primarily about making and maintaining those relationships, so don’t only follow up on your email. Follow up on the recipient. Find out more about them so you can find commonalities and connect with them deeper when the time comes.
Need help getting your name out there but don’t know where to start? Give us a call today!
Carly Steinberg, Public Relations Coordinator
Elevate My Brand