Updated: Dec 28, 2020
Are you ready to dive into PR for your small business?
You might be thinking that media coverage is the answer for your small business, but before you jump in, think about what you need to do beforehand.
Preparing in advance will give you a head start and lays the foundations of a successful media strategy that you can use and adapt as your business grows.
Be open to learning and ready to take on a new experience
This might sound obvious, but how much do you know about the media? Are you aware of the different types of coverage that might be open to you, and how to get involved?
· Check out public relations examples featuring businesses similar to yours, and note the angle and topic used.
· In addition to thinking about the media you want to feature in (print, TV, radio, online) you need to consider how you’ll make your small business appeal to them and why you are relevant.
· Find out what type of news the media outlet you want to feature in covers. For example, if you’re approaching local news, magazines, TV or radio you will need a local angle. Industry publications and websites might have a different angle. Research recent stories and see if you can find an angle that’s likely to appeal to readers/listeners/viewers.
· Find out who you need to contact – is there a media contact form? If not, call and ask who to send pitches, press releases or news items to.
Put energy and time into PR
· Build up a solid profile before you get started. Do you have a thriving social media presence? If not, put some work into building up your social feeds and interaction.
· If you have a blog (and you should) make sure that it’s up to date: there’s nothing worse than an out of date website or blog news page. Anyone who wants to feature your brand will be looking for as much information as possible so make sure it’s available to them.
· If you have customer reviews and local coverage, even better. Feature them where they can be seen. If you don’t have reviews already, ask for them. Most satisfied customers are quite happy to help a business they like with a short review.
· Have you won any awards, received certification by any professional or industry bodies, or are you a member of any relevant professional organisations? Again, make this clear. It all adds to your authenticity and trustworthiness as a brand.
Keep a collection of great customer stories and case studies
If you are serious about PR, case studies are a must, either for your website or to give to media outlets who have shown an interest in your company. Collect case studies and testimonials from happy clients and make sure that you can show journalists – and potential clients - what you’ve done. Any evidence of your success, impact and expertise will go a long way towards helping you get noticed, and journalists love a good news story.
Collate a library of hi-res images
This is so important; especially if you want to be featured in online/print media. One of the things that journalists will always ask for is images, so be prepared with digital images that you can send out as soon as you’re asked. Some can be from your website (although you need to make sure that they are high resolution versions (1 MB minimum) if you’re going to be featured in print media) but it’s always good to keep a few back that aren’t available online so that you can give the editors something a bit different to use.
Always be prepared for journalists’ questions
Contrary to popular belief, journalists aren’t trying to trip you up, but they will want to get to know you and your company, in order to make a good story.
Think ahead; if you were a media outlet, what would you want to know? Find other articles about similar businesses and see how they have answered, it will give you an idea of the sort of questions you are likely to be asked. Have a brand story ready too, to give a flavour of your business, it’s background, values and aims.
For more guidance in handling the media spotlight, why not book a coaching session with me?