Amidst your planning for the year ahead, no doubt you’ve already thought about your marketing and PR. But just continuing with social media will not cut it – PR is so much more than that. Get ahead of the game by incorporating these points into your planning.
- Get a grip of your online presence.
Do you know all of the social media platforms you’re on? Did you set any accounts up when you first started out but haven’t done anything with since? Online reputation management is crucial, it’s better to have one or two fantastic social media accounts than spread yourself thinly across many and simply tread water. Stay on top of all comments posted and don’t ignore or block those negative ones – it’s how you deal with them that can turn the situation and your reputation around.
- Build your local media contacts and industry-specific ones.
Then network with them online. Journalists all use social media and blogging these days as part of their job so make yourself known to them. Make relevant comments on their posts, send links publicly to them where others will also see and get chatting to them as much as you can. It’s all about building relationships so when you do have that news story you want to push, they’ll trust the source it’s coming from (you!).
- Compose or review your press kit.
This isn’t something flash just for big businesses. A simple portfolio will do the trick: photos – suitable for both web and print as well as facts about your business – your mission, achievements to date, key personnel, a great back story about how you got started always goes down well. If you’re promoting a product, especially if it’s a new launch, try to include some samples. Maybe offer them to journalists as a competition prize. You can publish your press kit on your website or just keep it ready for when you do receive those probing journalist’s questions.
- Develop your writing skills.
It’s all very well knowing in your head what a great new service or product you have but you need to communicate the ‘why’. Why should people buy yours? Why is yours different to the next? Why should journalists give over precious free PR coverage to you? Making your press release stand out from the masses that reporters receive is your hurdle but you can get over it, with persistence and experience. Don’t give up on the first rejection, rethink your angle. If this is an area that really isn’t your bag then consider outsourcing to a PR professional. With their fresh eyes and experience, sometimes we just have to accept where our strengths lie and it’ll save you time and money in the long run.
- In the news?
Great stuff. Now spread the word everywhere! Create a news section on your website to record mentions and publish links to the articles on your social media, tag in the journalists who wrote them if you can, they’ll appreciate the acknowledgement and this feeds back to point number 2!
If all this sounds a little bewildering or simply too time consuming then maybe your business plan this year should include outsourcing your marketing and PR. You can’t afford to overlook this vital side to your business. Get in touch today to see how I could help you.