Effective PR is a good way to gain editorial exposure for your company and product, to build a brand and generate more leads.
Why is PR so powerful? Because it gives credibility.
People often see through advertisements, but a story or a product associated with a context gives a third party endorsement and credibility that advertising fails to buy.
A feature story or a news report is more likely to get people to take action than traditional marketing. A good public relations strategy is the way to reach out to the media.
As a new player in the market, how would you gain PR for your start-up?
Listen up to these four pro-PR tips every start-up could use.
#1 Think Like a Journalist
Journalists get hundreds of pitches every day. Don’t even bother to send a press release listing the features of your product. Your pitch will never be opened.
Before hitting the send button, think for a moment if the journalist would care about your story.
Dear start-ups, entrepreneurs and PR managers, in 2017, press releases glorifying your brand would take you nowhere.
Here are some of the tips that have helped us win over a typical journalist:
- Don’t just throw up company news, be a storyteller. Pick out different angles that would interest the readers along with learnings and takeaways.
- Is your pitch newsworthy? If it doesn’t look so, then go back and find a way to make it so.
- Remove the jargon, spelling mistakes and juvenile writing errors (five exclamation points in a row, using too much of CAPS LOCK) that the journalist will instantly delete.
#2. Take the Help of Influencers
Here’s a worrisome set of statistics — 78 per cent brand managers increased their content production last year, yet saw a 60 per cent decrease in engagement. This means, the more content brands put out there, the harder it is for you to stand out.
What’s the solution?
Over 92 per cent customers trust endorsements from individuals over brands.
In terms of PR, this means, there are people who contribute to a publication who are not the staff writers but have mutual agreements with the media house — to either use the platform to share their expertise, write a particular number of articles every month or cover topics within a specific industry.
What could you do here?
Find the publications where you want to get yourself covered. Find the writers who cover those topics.
Share your expertise with the contributors in bite-sized pieces the writer can digest. Simultaneously, highlight your unique expertise.
Share in-depth information about your business, which only you know. The impact of this content should be so strong and it will make the readers hooked on to it. With such high quality useful content, the writer will keep coming back to you for nuggets of such advice.
#3. Build Genuine Relations
Can you win the writer you’re pitching to if you don’t understand them? You need to have a finely tuned understanding of the writer’s attitude and preference if you want to score placements in high quality media.
Most entrepreneurs and PR managers underutilize social media to build relations with journalists.
Journalists and writers are on social media. In fact, they tend to be on social media more frequently than the rest.
Engage with the writer by reading with their stuff, commenting on it, sharing it on social media, and so forth. As a contributor myself, I would rather talk to someone who engages with my content than random strangers sending me messages.
Once you build the relationship, offer help. Provide insights on the topics they would be interested in covering. Even experts prefer outside insights to validate their claims. If the writer is writing about your industry, connect her to subject experts who would be able to share their insights.
Keep helping and build relations to get noticed. Although it requires putting efforts from your end, there’s no shortcut to build genuine and long lasting relations. Be the writer’s go-to source for obtaining information about your industry.
#4. PR is Not a Cost Center, but a Profit Center
The returns on investment that one gets from PR are off the charts. Think about all the places your story goes and all the people who will read this story. You simply cannot afford to not invest in public relations. Just because this discipline requires tremendous patience to get payoffs and cannot be hacked, some companies look at it as an overhead expense.
In reality, PR serves as a profit center. From recruitment, SEO to business development, PR acts as a catalyst to bring your brand in front of the right people as you scale your business.
These four tips will improve your PR strategy. Which of these four are you using right now?