In the past, consumer public relations successes were often directly tied to big budgets and big agencies. And while both of these are still “biggies” that can produce results, we are lucky to now have both the skills and access to tools to position our brands, products and stories to earn coveted media coverage without the backing of a “big agency.” If consumer PR is something that you want to utilize but have not yet figured out how to make it work for your brand, these 7 tips will give you a starting point to position your brand and company as a resource to the media.
- Watch/Read/Listen – become a regular consumer of the media within which you would like to be featured. Learn what types of stories your target media platforms are sharing and tailor your pitch to fit.
- Speaking of Pitch – Personalize it. Mass emails with a press release in the body may still work for trade media, but it is most definitely a thing of the past for many consumer publications, and it probably won’t work. If you’ve done your homework (see #1 above), you’ll know who the appropriate media contacts are to send your content to.
- Be Present – We say this a lot when talking about digital marketing, but it definitely goes for public relations, as well. Comment on blog posts and articles and you’ll begin building an online relationship with those bloggers and authors. Once you’ve established a relationship, they’ll be much more willing to engage with you about the stories you have to share.
- Brevity Works – Be succinct in your communications with the media. Short, sweet and to the point is a much appreciated time-saver for journalists, etc. and will increase the odds of them responding.
- Be Social – We say this a lot, too. Beyond consuming their content and commenting on their posts/articles, connect with your target media personalities via social media. We suggest adding them to a Twitter list to keep tabs on all they’re tweeting and be on the lookout for projects that they’re working on in which your story(ies) would be a perfect fit.
- Snail Mail Hits the Nail on the Head – Send a small, useful favor on behalf of your brand or simply a handwritten note. With all of the digital and e-conversations that happen these days (including in our suggestions above), a tangible, hold-it-in-your-hands experience makes a big impact.
- Be a Helpful Resource – Even in slow-news times for you and your company, being readily available to provide quotable insights on or comments about an area of your expertise is very valuable to the media. Now, I’m not fluent in Latin, but I think this is one of those situations when, if you “quid” as often as possible, they’ll “pro quo” you back in a big way.
The list above requires neither a big budget nor a big agency, however implementing the tips requires time and commitment. Don’t be scared away by a seemingly daunting list – bite off what you can chew and begin to expose your stories to the media in increasingly effective ways!