If you want your business to be noticed you need a strategy!
So how do you go about developing a PR strategy to gain media exposure?
Begin with a positioning statement. This should be a few sentences which sums up what makes your business different from the competition.
Next, make a list of objectives you hope to achieve for your company. For example, if you own a restaurant, you may want to tell the public about the launch of your new menu, boost your profile, increase the number of patrons, and ultimately increase revenue.
Identify your target customers (are they male or female, what age, what are their lifestyles and incomes?) and then identify your target media. Make a list of the appropriate newspapers, magazines, websites, and TV and radio stations.
Research the best person to target your story to. For example, a restaurant owner could call their local newspaper to find out who the food editor is. You can also sometimes find this information through the ‘contact’ section of a media organisation’s page.
Have a brainstorming session and develop newsworthy story angles. For example, your restaurant is going to be the first one in your city to serve all non-fat, gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free desserts?
If you own a clothing store, you could let the media know that flares are flying off the shelf and fashion is returning to the 70s. Maybe your ice cream shop held a fundraising day and donated the proceeds to the local children’s hospital?
Put your thoughts down in writing, and send your “pitch” to the relevant reporter in an email. Make your pitch a couple of paragraphs only and include your phone number so you are easily contactable. If appropriate, include a press release (more about press releases in a few chapters). You can also make your pitch over the phone.
If the reporter is immediately interested, well done. If not, then follow up with a phone call a few days later. But don’t continue to hassle journalists – nothing will turn them off more.
A PR strategy doesn’t have to be limited to a story, however. Other options can include writing opinion pieces or columns, public speaking at relevant events, email newsletters to customers, social media campaigns, blogging on your website and sending letters to the editor.
Good PR is the telling of a good story. If you do it properly, prepare to watch your brand grow as well as your profits.
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