Want to promote your business? Want to see the media covering your firm in the morning newspaper, on your favorite news websites during the day or on the evening TV news?
It’s achievable, but you’ll need the right approach to PR (public relations) for your efforts to pay off.
If you are ready for some Power PR, try these four approaches, which will help your business grow and thrive:
1. Be Influential
Much of what public relations can do for a company, organization or product is to create brand awareness by influencing the influencers. However, a common misconception, which begs for clarification, is that influencers are limited to the media. In reality, influencers can be anyone—CEO’s, bloggers, association executives, distributors, non-profits, employees, charitable donors—the list is almost endless.
Whatever the field, key influencers can have significant bearing on how issues, debates and grievances are revealed, countered and discussed and ultimately resolved. Make sure your voice is heard by joining your local chamber of commerce or rotary clubs, participating in charitable boards or writing an op-ed in your local newspaper.
As an exercise, identify one key influencer in your industry and offer them your product or service for free or at a significant discount. If they like it, you could have a great testimonial from an important third-party influencer.
Make sure your product is tested and ready to be evaluated before trying this technique.
2. Sometimes You Just Have to Give It Away for Free
A firm that was launching a new product two years ago sent free samples to bloggers to review. The campaign was structured to encourage blogger involvement, as the target blogs were linked to on the firm’s main site and a free coupon was provided for the bloggers’ readers.
Bloggers loved it because it gave their readers an incentive to come back to their site and the firm received great third-party endorsements to share with prospects. The result was a win-win campaign that worked to create a viral interest in the new product. That was two years ago, and that firm has since tripled their revenue and is now thriving despite the down economy.
It is important to note that you should do your homework and read posts, create messages and be extremely selective with which bloggers you choose to work with.
3. It’s Not Always About You
A wise man once said, “You will gain more friends by taking an interest in someone else than you ever would in trying to be interesting yourself.”
This is also true of good public relations. Every message you put out there should address how your service, product or solution is going to work for your target market.
Instead of touting your expertise, demonstrate it. This can be achieved in many ways, such as client success stories or research and news articles that speak to your prospects’ needs. Consider sending out success stories as tips via a newsletter on a monthly basis, or host a series of educational webinars, or help out a high-profile non-profit, or speak at a local college or association.
4. Your Story Has to be Relatable
Consider how your product, service or organization has significantly impacted your local customers. What stories do you tell over and over again that make people smile? What resonates with people about what you do?
Now, put on your PR hat and pick up your local newspaper or watch the local broadcast news. Think about why those businesses or experts are being featured? Also, think about the Five W’s of the news story: Who, What, Where, When and Why.
Here’s the fun part. Create your own news story using the following five questions:
- Do stories about your business relate to what is happening in the media right now? For instance, are your clients seeing a significant increase in revenue, despite the economic downturn? Can you prove it? If so, you could have a wonderful news story.
- What holidays are coming up? Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Fourth of July. Do you have a story that can be tied to one of these holidays?
- Does your product impact local residents in a new and interesting way?
- Has a local celebrity or well known public figure tried your product and loved it?
- Do you have interesting new data that you think the media would find surprising?
Be one of the first 100 businesses to respond to this article by sending your idea to [email protected], and Adele will evaluate your business story. Epic Media Relation’s “NEWS-O-METER” will tell you whether or not the media would consider your idea newsworthy.