Online PR and public relations: Building awareness of your company
Online PR and traditional public relations are critical to building awareness of your new business. But don’t worry, you don’t need to hire a high-dollar PR firm to take care of the basics and get your name out there.
The goal is pretty simple: you need people in your community to see and remember your brand. Ideally, a lot of these people will be potential customers. So, divide this effort into two parts: online and offline.
Online PR is not rocket science, it just takes time and organization. Make a list of bloggers and writers who post articles relevant to your industry and business. For each one, develop a story idea that might appeal to them – something you can offer to help them write, or even write for them. These story ideas are called angles. Once you’ve got an angle for each blogger, write a short “pitch” that you can send to them via email. The pitch is just like a sales pitch, but instead of selling a product or service, you’re selling the angle. Offer to give interviews and/or provide pictures.
If they turn you down, don’t give up. Put them on a list to contact every couple of months (when you return to contact them again, find a piece they recently wrote and compliment them on the piece – that way you’ve got a good reason to contact them and you can begin building a rapport). Over time, you’ll find that your relationship with these writers will probably lead to some good coverage about your business or your product.
If they do decide to take the angle and run with it, make sure they have everything they need. Provide pictures, quotes, and anything else they require. Once they post their article, make sure to read it all the way through to ensure it portrays your business or product in a positive light. If it does, share it on social media! You can even use articles like this as sales tools to help convert potential customers.
Traditional Public Relations
For traditional, offline PR, take a similar approach as you took with online PR. Take the time to research as many publications as you can — including newspapers, magazines, and industry publications. Develop angles, match each one with a specific reporter/writer, and pitch them persistently. But if a reporter tells you to back off, don’t hassle them. They’ll only respond positively if they’re really interested in your angle. If you start to annoy them, they won’t look favorably upon your business — and that’s not great for your reputation or for your chances of getting coverage in the future.
Know Your Message — Don’t be this guy:
The bottom line is that you can generate some great awareness for your company without any prior experience in public relations. If you stay organized and dedicate a specific block of time each week to your PR efforts, you’ll definitely see some success. Get in touch with us if you have any additional tips or ideas for articles you’d like for us to write on this blog.