Time is an essential element for building media relationships. As a small business or a new startup, you may not have all the right relationships. Spending on big PR agencies, however, can also be prohibitive. Besides, getting them committed to your PR success can be difficult, as many suffer employee churn and tend to focus their efforts on bigger-budget clients.
You can use a PR freelancer or a small marketing PR agency. But if you do not have the resources for even this, do not despair. In the era of Internet and mobility, you can make a great start to PR-ing yourself. All it takes is a bit of learning and time. Here are a few tips to get yourself started in the right direction:
Who’s who in the media
Before you can target the right media, you need to know the people behind it. Understand their beats and preferences. Study their platforms. And be tuned in to the current trends and stories that they are most likely to cover. This will give you an idea of how to create media releases that can get traction.
Be honest with yourself
You may think you are a startup that is going to change the world. But for the media person, they would have heard your mantra countless times. Besides, they just want to know what value you bring to their story and readers. You need to be brutally honest with yourself about your strengths and your viewpoints. It is also important to understand areas that you may lack answers versus those may be able to address. This brutal analysis of your position will allow you to steer conversations and engagements in the right direction and paves the way for you to create your unique media hook. [bctt tweet=”They just want to know what value you bring to their story & readers #media” username=”@BroadPR”]
Pitch perfect matters
When pitching to the media, it always pays to do research and be systematic. Remember, the person reading it can be very impatient or extremely busy. You need to be clear, concise and attractive at the same time. Creating such a pitch takes practice. If you do not have a PR Pro on your team or someone who can be PR-savvy, reach out to one for advice. The Internet is another great resource as well. There are plenty of blogs that can help you create the proper pitch.
Stop thinking only about CNN and The New York Times. They are global and national media who have a very wide audience that may not be interested in local story ideas and trends. Instead, begin working with the local media. It gives you traction and buzz. And once that buzz gets bigger, you can be sure that larger media will take notice.
Social media offers one of the best mediums to gain media notice. It is interesting that many small businesses tend to ignore this area. If you are unfamiliar, it is time to familiarize. Also, ensure you select the right social media platform(s) to spend your valuable time with. HINT: Media personalities tend to prefer Twitter to follow story ideas.
Socialize (in the real world)
Being a social media expert will only get you so far. Media personalities are real people, and they often attend conferences and seminars. Spend time attending these. They offer valuable platforms to engage and build real relationships with real media. It is also how PR Pros do it. Makes sure you have polished your elevator pitch for them, but don’t be a stalker.
Say thank you
If you get mentioned, say thank you. Your gratitude goes a long way with media. It also offers you a channel to re-engage and strengthen the relationship. They will remember you when they need an opinion or viewpoint on a similar subject matter.
The above advice may sound simple, but they will provide a great foundation with which to begin your PR campaign. Yes, it does take time to build high PR awareness, but in today’s connected, social media and mobile world, getting noticed is far from an impossible task.