The number one way to get results is to tell a good story. If you’re looking to successfully grow your business, you need to get working on your PR efforts. Keep reading to learn some of the methods PR experts use.
1. Identify what makes news “newsworthy.”
Not all news is newsworthy. The news cycle is incredibly competitive and to win that competition to get your story into radio, television, social media, or print. You will need to understand how to select the right stories to pitch to the media. This is the very first step in getting your brand noticed.
2. Direct outreach is better than a press release.
Definitely, a press release can help your brand obtain media attention, but if you want complete coverage, personalized pitches to a few relevant journalists will work better for your needs. You can use tools like Google News and Much Rack to find out who wants stories like yours. Gather a list of contacts and send each person a short message that explains why your story is relevant to their respective audience.
3. Use HARO: “Help A Reporter Out.”
HARO is a free tool that gives you a list of journalists who are working on stories. Writers can send HARO a description of the sources they need and HARO sends out an email. Requests are sorted by topic and are sent out three times daily.
4. Leverage guest posts and op-eds.
Guest posting can be a wonderful tool to help you with promotions. Most times, it’s easier to write an article than to find someone who will interview you. Don’t be discouraged by rejections; look at what you’re doing and try again.
5. Learn how to “newsjack.”
An easy way to get media attention is to tie your brand into a news cycle. For example, the Ben & Jerry’s company temporarily re-named one of their ice cream flavours to “I Dough, I Dough.” This was done directly after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in the United States. This “newsjack” resulted in the brand being mentioned in almost every U.S. news outlet.
6. Exploit “the fear of missing out.”
The fear of missing out, or FOMO, is a basic tactic when it comes to market messaging. There isn’t a news editor in the world who wants to be the only outlet ignoring a trending story. Say you are a relatively new start-up. If you can create ads and use social seeding to manage the start of a viral trend, a press release or judicious release to some friendly reporters can help give your brand even more value. Once a few news outlets start covering the story, others will want to jump on the viral bandwagon.
7. Think beyond the mainstream media.
Public relations is so much more than working with the press. These days, bloggers and micro-celebrities have huge and relevant audiences. If you can get smaller blogs and influencers to cover your story, you can create enough of a FOMO reaction that will make the mainstream press want to cover your brand, too.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the ways to promote your brand, but if you can do any of these things your brand will be off to a good start. Of course, if you can afford to hire a PR specialist, by all means, do so. A PR firm has a lot more tools of the trade, and relevance with the media, to get your brand noticed. If you have a smaller budget, look for a startup PR firm or a local freelancer.