Starting your very first PR campaign can seem very daunting, so this article breaks it into five easy to follow steps to get you set for coverage and success. And, just like any task that you’re unsure of or worried about, the very best thing you can do is make a start on your campaign.
- Set yourself some SMART goals
SMART stands for:
- Specific - if you’re too vague then you won’t be helping yourself at all
- Measurable - do you want to get one piece of print coverage and three digital per month
- Achievable - if you are a one-man-band then a PR campaign that takes up several days of your time every week just won’t work
- Realistic - yes, it would be lovely to have positive coverage featured in The Times newspaper, The Field magazine and BBC news website every week but that just isn’t realistic
- Time-bound - you need to set yourself a certain amount of time to work on your PR campaign and then review it, so that you can work out if you are successful or not
- Plan where you would like to get coverage
Making a list of the publications you can see your product or service featured in. Try to see your product or service through the lens of someone who has never heard of you before and think where you might realistically get coverage. Thoroughly research the publications you want to target and the features you see yourself in. For example, are you running a glamping site? You could look for features on the best places to stay in the area, making a note of the journalists who are writing them to ensure you send your press release to exactly the right person.
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- Write a press release and get some really strong imagery of your product
A press release might seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be – it’s just a piece of writing that tells people about the latest news from your brand. Think about the five ‘W’s - who, what, why, where and when, and the ‘how’. That means including the following information - who are you, what are you promoting, why is it newsworthy, where can people see or buy it, when is it available and how can they buy it or find out more? Make sure you proof-read the release and consider asking someone else to read it too. You know your business inside out, and outside perspective is helpful to make sure someone who doesn’t know anything about you can get all the information they need. Clear, attractive high-resolution images are incredibly important, and I can’t emphasise enough how much I advise you to invest in some professional shots.
See also: How to write a press release
- Align all your other marketing efforts so that your messaging is consistent across every channel you use
That means your website, your social media, any posters or leaflets you have and any adverts you are running. If you are promoting a new product range, then ensure you have added the details and images on your website in case the journalist decides to take a look, and you want to be ready in case you do suddenly get coverage and therefore lots of interest in the business.
- Finally, be patient
Good PR takes time. Make sure you are consistent and genuine, and the results will come. It can take three to six months to see any return on investment in PR, so don’t give up if you don’t get coverage placed straight away. It is incredibly rewarding when you do get results, and the impact on your business will be noticeable, so stick with it.
If you need any advice on starting a PR campaign or want to talk to an expert about outsourcing PR, I’m very happy to have a chat on the telephone. I also run a 3-day PR challenge for businesses, helping deliver the skills you need to get coverage and raise your profile on social media. All you need to do is drop me a line.
Tara is our traditional marketing and PR partner, keep checking back here for more or get in touch with her if you need some PR advice.