24 Oct The Real Truth About PR for Small Businesses and Personal Brands
At WMA we typically find that those who have a do-it-yourself attitude when it comes to public relations often find themselves in a pickle. It’s one thing to watch the evening news or read the city newspaper, but what do you do to get in front of that producer or editor? How do you start a personal brand campaign or small business PR strategy?
Creating and executing your own public relations strategy can be time-consuming. Writing press releases, sending them to media, calling and following up on story ideas takes many hours. But, if you are determined to do it in-house and you are starting from scratch, here are a few outlets to add to your PR list aside from the traditional radio and TV:
**Before you get started, create a spreadsheet for your list. You can segment by media outlets like radio, social media or television. If you are keeping one master spreadsheet, make sure to have a column that identifies the media type. It will come in handy if you want to do a data sort by type of media or by geographical area.
These can be pricey for a yearly subscription but if you can find it online or pick up a printed version, it will list the editors, what areas or topics they cover and provide contact information. Think outside the box on what type of publications you should list. For example, if you own a pizza parlor, there are several trade publications for pizza restaurants but that type of restaurant could also fall under “quick service” which also has its own trade publication.
This is another publication that can be costly but you can probably find a website that lists all of the editors you need. If you are just starting your public relations activities and your business in one geographical area, approach local business publications like your city’s Business Journal or the business section of the local paper.
Bloggers and Vloggers
Never underestimate the power of the internet and what platforms it can provide for PR. Bloggers and vloggers are influential in many areas. Find the ones that would be most in line with your client or customer base, could be interested in your idea and who have a loyal following. Sometimes it’s not just about the number of followers but how well the blogger or vlogger can get their audience to engage and react to their content.
Find the podcasts that cover or talk about your industry, that talk about your desired market or are subscribed to by the type of clients or customers you want. You could even start your own podcast as a public relations tool.
National coverage from traditional media like television and radio is best left to a professional agency since those outlets are difficult to engage and likely would want story ideas that are more regional or national. However, the Internet-based and digital media forms are more accessible.
Note that media personnel change often as people move on to different positions and different markets. Update your list once a year by calling or looking up each contact and confirming their title and responsibilities.