When starting a business, the best way to get your name out there is to build your social media and brand name, and the way to do that is through PR or public relations. Many believe that you should hire someone to do it for you, or that you should limit yourself to certain types of PR, but they’re definitely misguided. Getting positive PR isn’t too difficult, especially when you branch out and do more than just press releases and media pitches. Below is a how to guide on being your own businesses PR team, as well as some of the different kinds of PR that your business should be doing.
1. Getting Ready
This might be the most time consuming step because in order for you to have good PR campaigns, you need to have all of the materials ready to begin. Depending upon what kind of publicity campaign you’re going for, whether it’s a physical one or an online one, you need to gather everything you need including:
- Photos (shots of employees/founder, products or services, good stock photos, etc.)
- Company Logo (typically it will need to be lo res in order to put onto documents or into social media profile pictures)
- If you’re doing a physical campaign: products, samples, signage, T-shirts, banners, flyers, etc.
- Press releases ready to go or already released
- Research to back up your story, campaign, or companies claims (such as: We’re the Best! How do you know you’re the best, do you have statistics to prove it?)
- Contact details or business cards on hand to pass out
Each of these items is necessary when it comes to setting up your entire PR campaign, or the smaller campaigns that you want to run throughout the year. Make sure that if you are trying to do PR for your company, you need to make sure that you are targeting the correct groups and age brackets in order to get optimum attendance or interaction, that’s where a lot of the research will come in.
2. Make It Easy: Make It Interesting
A lot of PR campaigns are convoluted and difficult for audiences to engage with, making a lot of them feel put off by certain campaigns. When it comes to businesses, press coverage can make or break your company, so it’s best to make sure that information about your business is easily accessible to anyone that wants to see it, but make it interesting. There’s nothing worse than boring your targeted audience and losing potential conversions. Sales messages and media stories are two very different types of writing, so your PR campaign shouldn’t sound too sales-y, but it needs to have a ‘hook’ of some kind, something to draw them in. When you’re doing it on your own, at first campaigns will be a matter of trial and error, but once you’ve done enough of them it will be easy to tell what works and what doesn’t.
3. Make Social Media Work for You
One of the best ways to get in touch with your target audience is social media. Millions of people these days have social media accounts whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more. Make sure you actually think like your target audience. The major goal of PR is to communicate with your audience, and with social media you can do that on a regular basis, as well as interact and develop relationships with them. Just as the photo from Ohio University illustrates, you will not always have positive interactions with individuals on social media. So as long as you make sure that you approach the situation with a clear head, do everything you can to fix it, and learn from what happened, your business will be okay.
4. Stay Motivated
Now that you have your initial or side PR campaigns underway and running smoothly, you are ready for social interaction with your potential clients, you have media and flyer releases, and you have other great photos or materials ready, now what? Barring that nothing goes wrong with the campaign, it will probably be hard to stay motivated now that your company is hopefully getting attention. But, it’s good to start looking to the future. Start coming up with and planning other campaigns, media releases, and events. Continue to look back and check in with your other campaign, especially social media, but in order to keep motivated and on top of PR you can:
- Break down goals into smaller goals
- Have a strategy for current/future PR campaigns
- Get help from other employees if you need it
- See the big picture
That last bullet, seeing the big picture, is key to staying motivated and happy with what you are doing. Knowing and always remembering the reasons why you are doing PR for your business, can help keep things in perspective as well as maintaining your motivation and campaigns.
See Also: How to Get PR for Your Business Start-up
Overall, being your own business PR is pretty straightforward, especially if you stay motivated, do your research, interact with your audience, and make sure that you have something interesting to say. Once you start doing all of these activities, PR will be able to start generating interaction on its own to support the campaigns you run. Also, instead of paying thousands of dollars to have someone else do your businesses PR, you can easily do it yourself with the right research and motivation.