FREE PR Tips guarenteed to bag your business valuable Press Coverage
A public relations campaign can be relatively easy, assuming you’ve got a huge budget, an army of staff and the budget to wine and dine media moguls. But what of those businesses that haven’t got the staff or the income to do so?
Generally speaking, this is the dilemma which most start-ups are faced within the first year of trading. You’ve got the passion, the drive and the product but these ‘strengths’ are somewhat dwarfed by the lack of monetary resources available to truly push your product and “tell people about it”.
That said, you should always remember, marketing your product is potentially as important as the product itself. You can have the best product in the world but if the right people don’t know about it, it’s pretty useless and can be costly. The goal is to ‘genuinely’ target/persuade your customers, investors, stakeholders etc and have them trust and pledge themselves to your product in a long term capacity. The (realistic) options There is little point in discussing what PR options are available for a business in general (there are so many), instead let’s focus on what can be realistically achieved given you have just started-up. Time to put your public relations hat on; from now on you will be wearing it wherever you go.
Network like a pro!
Plain and simple, you need to do the leg work. Get involved with as many events as possible, as often as possible. This not only helps you build up contacts but also puts your brand out there. Best of all, there are loads of free events, meet-ups, networking groups and conferences whatever your sector. Start Googling now! These don’t have to be sector specific either. As a start-up you’re very likely to need an accountant, suppliers, investors etc. Working with these entities is far more beneficial when you know them personally.
Everyone you meet is a potential client (or knows someone who could be a potential client) so be sure to hand out as many business cards as possible and stay in contact. By far the easiest way to do this is through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc.
Keeping in contact does not mean emailing them when you need them! Keep up regular dialogue, even if it’s not always related to your sector or product. This helps build up a rapport for when you do need coverage.
Love thy brand!
This is your product and your future, if you don’t resolutely believe in it then don’t expect others to. The way you speak, both verbal and written, your attitude and your love for your product should clearly shine through when communicating with the media. Show genuine enthusiasm and excitement. Journalists and bloggers see straight through the fake stuff.
Know who you are targeting. Sending out your press release about ‘a new mobile app which helps children learn faster’ would pretty useless to a sports journalist. Instead, research your contacts carefully. Choosing those who have already covered similar stories/topics in the past. In this case target sectors may include consumer technology, education and the health sector.
Any PR distribution service worth its salt, will also allow you to specify what sector you wish to target when creating a press release.
Agency VS Manual
It’s worth mentioning this even if it is briefly, PR Agencies equate to convenience, nothing more! Although they can be great, they do not necessarily guarantee tangible results either.
As a startup keeping costs to a minimum is crucial so if you are willing to put in the work creating/researching your news then there is no reason why you cannot achieve the same results at a fraction of the price. The only downside to not using an agency is the media contact lists. However, these contact list services can be accessed through press release distribution websites like Pressat.co.uk.
Trending a good idea when creating your press release is trending and associative writing. Limited Funds and reach means your story has to hit home first time. A good way to make sure this happens is by linking your story into a ‘current popular topic’. If your product can somehow either positively (or negatively if you're brave enough) impact a topic which is widely being covered then it is more likely to be picked up as you know both the public and the media are interested in it.