How to get publicity.
The biggest issue facing most organisations is being found by your customers.
Once people know who you are then you will (hopefully) get new enquiries on a regular basis. Getting to this point is difficult though.
The traditional approach to get noticed involves a combination of the following:
- Networking/ Referrals
- Website Traffic
- Social Media Traffic
- Search Engine Marketing
- Social Media Advertising
- Traditional Advertising
There is one marketing channel that many small businesses overlook, but has the potential to dramatically increase leads, and help with long term SEO.
Press and Publicity (PR)
Press and publicity is the act of reaching out to local news, the media and influential bloggers. Larger organisations get press and publicity through a publicist, however small businesses can be successful by following the following three tips.
- Establish Relationships
- Write a press release
- Send it
- Follow up
You need to find the right people to send a press release too. Before doing this, it is essential to plan for whom you wish to contact.
The first step to do this is to think about the following categories:
- YouTube Channels
For each of the categories, think of 5-20 companies who you would like to publicise your organisation.
Not all of these organisations will write about your press release. In fact, you will be lucky if even one of them writes an article about your organisation the first time you send a press release out. There is one thing that is certain about press releases. If you don't send it then no one will read it.
Once you have a list of media who you would like to target you then need to find who it is in each company that you need to get in touch with.
- Traditional Media - TV stations, Newspapers, Magazines and most blogs make this pretty easy, and will detail how they would like a press release to be sent to them.
- Organisations/ Groups - For non-media agencies, you may need to put your detective hat to find the right person. This means either stalking the company on LinkedIn (look for marketing and communications people) or simply picking up the phone and asking who to send a press release to.
Writing a Press Release
Before writing a press release, think about who you are writing it for. Regardless of if they are a journalist, an editor or the communications manager of a large organisation, there is one thing that they have in common; they are busy!
This means that your press release needs to:
- Quickly grab their attention
- Tell them what they need to know
- Help them to do their job
There are several things to be mindful of:
- Headline - Most editors are time poor and will only read the rest of your press release if they like your headline. For this reason, the headline is actually the most important part of writing a good press release. Keep it short, sharp and too the point.
- Content - Your best content should be at the top of the press release. In 15-20 words, tell the person reading it what the story is.
- Length - Your press release should be no longer than a page.
- Quotes - Quotes break up the text and humanise the story. Be sure to include who said it, and what their relationship is to the story.
- Facts and Figures - If possible, use facts and figures to quantify the story. Be creative in where these come from, but also be sure to include a source.
- Include an EPK (Electronic Press Kit) - An EPK is what the press needs to be able to create a story that fits in with their publication. This should include photographs, videos, additional quotes and anything else that would help sell the story.
- Contact Details - Make sure you include the organisation that the press release is for, as well as who to contact in the case of media enquiries, and general contact details.
I recommend that before any press release goes out, that at least two people proof it.
Sending the press release
Once you've written the press release, don't forget to send it!
Go through the list of people that you identified from earlier. Ask the following questions:
- Is my press release relevant to them? If not, take them off the list for now.
- Do they need any additional context? If yes, email them separately and explain why you are sending the press release to them.
Don't send press releases it via Mailchimp, active campaign or other email clients. There is a far greater chance of emails bouncing, or being marked as promotional and not being read if they are sent this way.
The best way is to send your press release as a plain text email (outlook, gmail or any other email program.). Include a link to a shared folder that contains any large files, and a pdf version of your press release.
Never underestimate the imporatance of following up with the people to whom you have sent your press release. Unless they have said otherwise, you shouldn't interpret their lack of response as a snub, but should treat it as something that requires further investigation. Give them a quick phone call or send them an email asking if they had a chance to read your press release. The chances are that they either:
- Never saw your email.
- Got distracted before they had a chance to do anything with it.