By Becs Miller
For many entrepreneurs, the thought of having your business featured in top magazines and blogs is extremely appealing, but also somewhat daunting. You know that PR is a powerful tool for raising your profile and boosting your brand, but you likely have no idea where to start when it comes to writing press releases and pitching to editors and journalists.
Not only does PR enable you to reach more of your dream clients, it’s also a fantastic way to boost your credibility, and unlike traditional advertising, it’s free! Getting featured in the press is like someone endorsing your product or service, and makes consumers far more likely to trust you, and so much more likely to buy. Think of it this way, if you pick up your favourite magazine and see a fabulous pair of shoes on the front cover, there’s a strong possibility you’re going to want them even more. Likewise, if you log on to have a read of your favourite blog, and there’s an article about the owner of a business which really chimes with you, you are much more likely to visit their website and check out what they have to offer.
So, we can see the benefits of publicity for your business, but how do you go about getting yourself featured without forking out for an expensive PR agency? With a bit of research, and a dash of perseverance, it’s totally possible to do it yourself, and here are my top 5 tips to get you started.
1. Choose your publication
Start the process by thinking about which publications your ideal clients read, and make sure you read them yourself! There is nothing worse for an editor than receiving an ill-thought-out pitch for something which is totally irrelevant.
2. Put yourselves in the shoes of the reader
Come at your campaign from a place of giving and you will be far more likely to get some fabulous coverage. Think about ideas for articles which their readers will find useful or fascinating, and how you can provide value. Take the ‘So What?’ test. Be honest with yourself, is your story idea really of interest to people outside of your organisation? If the answer is yes, then you’re on to a winner!
3. Think of newsworthy ‘hooks’
A hook is something which will get the journalists’ attention. Are you holding an event, or launching something amazing? Have you got some top tips to share or have you helped someone? If you’re stuck for ideas, start with your business story. Many of the entrepreneurs I work with at Write and Reach have fascinating stories about why and how they started their businesses, and people love to read about others who are out there and living their dreams.
4. Prepare your pitch
When you’re ready to pitch your story, prepare a short email outlining who you are and why you think their readers will love this topic. You can also prepare a press release to send along with the pitch email, but whatever you do, don’t blanket bomb journalists with press releases, it’s a sure fire way to get blacklisted!
5. Prepare a media pack
So, now you’ve got your story and made the pitch, you want to make sure you’re ready when the editor comes knocking. Your media pack should contain high resolution images of your product, yourself and success stories of clients you have worked with. It should also contain some general details and background about your business, along with key stats. Include links to all of your social media profiles too.
And that’s it, you’re good to go! Remember that it can take time and perseverance to get publicity. Be patient, but don’t give up, it will be so worth it in the end. If you haven’t had a reply after a week or two, then drop the editor a friendly email asking if they will be covering your story, or if not then ask for feedback. This is a great way to build relationships and to find out exactly what editors are looking for, so that you can tailor your pitch even more next time.
Becs Miller is founder of Write & Reach, working with inspired entrepreneurs to help them promote their business in a way that feels easy, creative and fun! Having spent 15 years working for UK based and international charities, she took the leap and started her own business in 2013. Her signature package, The Publicity Program™ teaches her tried and tested techniques to get your business featured in top magazines and blogs. Becs is passionate about helping entrepreneurs build the business of their dreams, and is on a quest to inspire creativity in everything we do. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Top photo credit: Death to the Stock Photo