PR: Your Most Underrated, Effective and Ignored Business Resource
Public Relations is an art form. When performed by a master, the results are often inspired and impactful, and every once in a great while, it is even life changing. However, it is interesting to note that even when PR is done by a novice or even a hack, the results can still be exciting and explosive. The point is, stop ignoring PR. In fact, let us explore how you can set up and execute your own PR strategy!
Write Your Story.
This is not a sales pitch, and this is not the time for superfluous creative writing. You are sharing information that is newsworthy. Use short, strong sentences that paint a clear picture for the reader. The piece must include:
- Who – Who is the news about / Who is the news impacting
- What – What is the purpose to the news / What is the result of the news
- When – When is the news happening / When did the news happen
- Where – Where will the news take place / Where did the news happen
- How – How will the news happen / How did the news happen
- Why – Why is this news important to someone / Why should people care about this news
Prepare the Release.
There are unwritten rules for preparing a press release and there are preferred formats and stylings that will attract the right sources. Here is a suggested standard format:
- Craft an eye-catching headline that is bold and sharp. It should summarize the news that you are sharing
- Include two to three paragraphs that flesh out the supporting details. Think of an inverted pyramid – the most important information goes at the top and the details fill out the bottom
- List and bullet facts and figures. Make everything easy to read and understand
- Include images and video when you can
- Include a company description towards the end
- Include contact information at the bottom
- Include “For Immediate Release” at the top
- Include “###” at the end. This indicates that there is no more information coming
** Important note: Check, recheck and the check again for typos, errors, capitalization, and grammar. Seriously – this gets missed all the time and it can be devastating if there are glaring mistakes.
Distribute the Release.
Yes, you will need to spend money. No, it does not have to cost a lot. Here are some great services that can help you today:
It sounds so simple and yet hardly anyone does it! Did someone clickthrough on your release? Send them an email. Did someone call you with a few questions? Call them back! Is there a news outlet that consistently picks up your release? Reach out to them!! That is what public relations is all about.
The press release is public. Now what? Well, the fun begins of course! Reach out to influencers, bloggers, niche content creators, and more to network your news. Do your homework first and find out how this news might be interesting for them and their audience. Review your analytics and find out who is most interested in your content. Then target and retarget those audiences with the appropriate content.
Utilize Social Media.
Social media and public relations go together like peanut butter and jelly. Take full advantage of the audience, reach and targeting that social media affords you when it comes to maximizing your press release’s punch. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn all have unique and incredibly effective ways to market your press release to the right person at the right time. And of course, use social media analytics to your advantage.
Repeat as Necessary.
One press release rarely changes much. As with any business and brand development strategy, consistency is key. To be as successful as possible, you must put yourself out there as much as possible. Once journalists, newsrooms, influencers, and the public are regularly seeing your name and news fall into their lap, then they will begin to trust you and then engage with you. Learn more about the different phases of a public relations campaign on our website. And that my friends, is exactly what public relations is all about!