5 Must Know Tips for Handling Your Own PR

Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you KNOW how beneficial getting press for your biz can be. I mean, how many times have you seen your favorite celebrity in a pair of jeans, or a tee you just had to have? Read a magazine and took notes on products they recommended?

Yeah, the press has a HUGE impact on what consumers buy these days. Even Instagram influencers are selling the crap out of products these days. So if you have a biz that sells any type of product or services, PR should definitely be on your radar. So today I'm sharing 5 must know tips for doing your own PR.

Yeah, you heard that right. Did you know you don't have to hire a PR firm to start getting some press for your biz? Yeah, most don't. They have no idea you can do it yourself.

P.S. If you want to start getting some serious press for your brand stat, I'm hosting a live workshop this Thursday at 11am MST | 1pm EST | 6pm London, "How to Build Your Own PR Machine (without spending a dime)". It's going to be jam packed with info, so make sure to sign up HERE <------

5 Tips for handling your own PR

Okay, let's get down to it shall we? There's nothing I love more than introducing small biz owners to the PR world for the first time and today's post is everything you need to get started.

Let's go!

SET A CLEAR GOAL

Your first hurdle is figuring out WHAT you want to achieve from getting press. Do you want to grow brand awareness, reaching a larger audience than you've been able to up until this point?

Do you want to sell more products or services? Maybe you just started an Etsy shop or blog and only a handful of people have bought your products so far. You want to increase sales by pushing a particular product or service in the media.

Maybe you want to be known as the go-to brand or person in your niche. You know, build authority in your niche and become your industries leader.

Regardless of your end goal, it's important to KNOW it. This will help you figure out what kind of press you're looking, you know, so you're not wasting your time on press that isn't going to do anything for you (time is money right?).

Ain't nobody got time for that!

I've put together a list of examples for you below:

  • Goal: Brand Awareness - Working with lifestyle bloggers in your niche, collaborate with larger brands, get featured in local newspapers and news stations
  • Goal: Sell Products or Services - Gifting celebrities, get featured in magazines + blogs in your niche, TV features
  • Goal: Industry Leader - Get featured on major blogs, online media outlets like The Huffington Post, Local TV Segments

This is a small list to just help give you some ideas of what you might be looking for.

Action Item: Pick an end goal for getting press for your brand or biz, stick to it and only chase press that helps you reach your goal.

 

MAKE PR A PRIORITY

If you want to get press, you have to work for it. You can't just sit back, twiddle your thumbs and wait for the media to come to you... newsflash, it ain't gunna happen.

I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but a magazine editor in New York isn't going to just magically know about you and your brand (unless your lucky), out of nowhere. 

I don't know how many small biz owners I hear from that say they gave PR a try and never heard anything. My first questions are: "how did you try?", "how often did you reach out?", "did you follow up?", "did you set time aside every day?", etc.

The answers are usually, "well I email an editor or two", "I tried for about 3 days", "I didn't know I was supposed to follow up", "I just got really busy"...

Yeah, that sort of press strategy isn't gunna work. Sorry, but you've got to make the effort. It's important to make PR a priority and add it to your daily schedule. 

Trust me, I get it, you have a bazillion other things to do throughout the day. But when it comes down to it, getting press increases your sales, grows your biz and provides a bigger income for YOU.

So do your best to schedule at least 20-30 minutes a day to press. You can pop out 3-5 emails easily, find contact info for 3-5 editors or reporters, seek out 2-5 celebrities to work with, etc. in that time frame.

I promise if you block off some time each day to dedicate to PR, you WILL get some results. 

Below is a list of PR activities you can do during your daily time block:

  • Flip through magazines in your niche and write down 3-5 editors you'd like to connect with (you can find names at the end of an article or in the credits)
  • Research 3-5 local newspaper editors you'd like to work with
  • Google/search for the editors contact information you have on your list
  • send 3-5 email pitches each day
  • Make a list of celebrities/influencers/bloggers you'd like to work with. Make sure their target audience is your target audience
  • Read through HARO queries (don't know about this free press resource? ( Read THIS post to learn all about it)

This is just a small list to give you some ideas, but you should make a list of your own to have on hand.

Action Item: Set aside a 30 minute block in your daily schedule to focus on PR. Do this and you will see results.

 

BUILD RELATIONSHIPS

This may be one of my favorite things to do when doing my own PR. Mostly, because it's the most fun and it's so much easier than most would think.

It's like a secret that no one in the press world talks about. That you can totally connect with your favorite blogger or editor ll on your own. It's not like in junior high when you need your friend to introduce you to that cute kid in your 4th period math class. No introductions need, when done the right way.

Don't get me wrong, introductions are great! If you can get them. But not all of have a friend who's BFF's with the editor of Vogue, am I right?

So if you're just a regular Joe Shmoe like most of us, keep reading and I'll give a strategy you can start using today to make some pretty rad connections.

Now why do you need to make some relationships? There's nothing more annoying to an editor than getting a pitch in their inbox from someone they've never heard of basically saying... 'my brand xyz is so awesome, here's why... oh and by the way you should totally give me some free press strictly because I'm begging you to'. Sure, occasionally that could work, but I wouldn't count on it.

Instead, you want to build a relationship with this individual FIRST. This drastically increases your chances of them working with you. 

Here's what you should do:

  • Look closely at the credits, author credits, etc. in magazines, online media outlets and local newspapers. Make a list of the editors names (first and last).
  • Now go look them up on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
  • Start following them and regularly liking and commenting on their tweets/posts (but leave genuine comments, don't be spammy or stocker-ish)
  • Many times I've had the editor follow me in return after this. This is because my brand relates to the industry they cover.
  • If their articles are online, make sure to leave comments, thanking them for writing the post and why you did or didn't like it.

Doing this, helps get their attention. Now when you send them an email pitch, they'll mostly likely remember who you are. They have an idea about your biz or brand and be more inclined to reply back to you.

Action Item: Start making a list of editors, reporters, etc. you'd like to connect with and start following them on social media.

 

MAKE SURE YOU'RE PROVIDING VALUE!

Are you paying attention? Because this one is major!!!

No seriously, you could do everything else right, but if you fail to provide your contact any value... you're will NEVER hear back from anyone.

Editors get pitched every day, their inboxes are full of pitches from brands all over the world. But the thing that'll set you apart my friend... is giving them value.

See, most of the time biz owners are pitching these editors with emails all about them, how awesome they are, how incredible their products are, yada yada yada.

I know you're awesome, I know you deserve the press. But please, do NOT do this.

This person doesn't owe you anything. Why should they write about your brand on not the 100's of others that are asking them to? Why should they give YOU free press?

Well that's just it right? If you can give them a reason they can't say no to, then you're golden. You're in!

When pitching an editor, it's important to first think... what do THEY get out of this? 

Remember, their job is to write articles, blog posts, stories that make them look good. Gives their boss a reason to tap them on the back and say 'good job'. Create content that gets people to read their publication, share their story and help it go viral.

THAT my friend, is what they'r looking for. So serve it to them on a gold shiny platter.

For example: 

Say you're a lifestyle/mommy blogger that documents life with a toddler. On The Huffington Post, I recently saw a cover story on how Disneyland is raising their prices. Oh-no!!!! Parents every where are probably freaking out, wondering if they'll be able to afford their Disneyland trip this year.

Well, this is perfect timing for you because you just wrote a story on "9 Ways to Save Money When Going to Disneyland".

Uh, amazing. Of course HuffPost wants to get ahold of this. 

Now they not only get to blast the news of price increases, but if they picked up your story, they get to provide their readers with a solution to their problem. 

Okay, prices may be going up, but we're going to show you how it doesn't matter because you'll save so much more on your trip by following these tips.

See how that provides the publication with value?

Here's another example:

Let's say your business sells super stylish diaper bags (that mom AND dad don't mind wearing), that has enough room to fit everything you need and can be worn as a backpack to save you from the should pain.

So instead of pitching a story all about your amazing new diaper bags and their functionality, you pitch a story on how it solves a pain point of their audiences.

Maybe something like... "Hiking with a Toddler? How this one Product Can Make it a Breeze!" 

Get the idea? The point is to turn it into an actual story, not just a full on advertisement for your products.

Action Item: Provide incredible value with each and every pitch you send from here on out. Think from different angles, point of views, time sensitive topics that are currently in the news, etc.

 

PERSONALIZE THE PITCH

Have you ever copy and pasted an email to multiple people and forgot to change the name at the top?

*Slowly raises hand. Worst. feeling. ever!*

You absolutely do NOT want this to happen when sending a pitch. You'll get a straight up NO. Trust me, I've done and it was awful. 

It's super important to write a personalized pitch each and every time. Address them by name and let them know this pitch is specifically for them by referencing one of their latest pieces of work. This will really impress the pants off of them.

Not only does it impress editors, it let's them know that you're familiar with their work. That you've done your homework and you're familiar with who their audience is and why they might be interested in the story you're pitching.

No one wants to open up an email that was clearly copy/pasted and sent to 50 other people. No thanks, I'll pass.

Make them feel like they just landed a kick ass story that their audience will love AND it was sent exclusively to them. 

Action Item: Write an email specifically to each contact. Address them by name and reference their work.

Alright, now that you've got the basics down of doing your own PR ( whoop whoop!). Take it a step further and let me walk you through it step-by-step during Thursday's workshop at 11am MST | 1pm EST | 6pm MST. Just click the below to claim your spot! See you there :)