While this was not about the practice of public relations as a job but for the promotion of one’s company, it was still happily read at She Takes on the World:
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As business owners, we know that publicity is worth its weight in gold because it is a more credible form of marketing in contrast to advertising. Since publicity isn’t paid for directly by the company or person and advertising space is, PR specialists can’t control the size of a write up the way advertisers can.
When your product, service, name, or company is in ink or featured on TV or the radio, it can generate great attention, which is why billions of dollars are spent using PR firms every year.
Follow these steps to create a strong list of media contacts to get the attention you deserve:
- When targeting different publications, sending out mass email pitches and press releases is a no-no because it is considered “PR spamming.” Each pitch sent out needs to be tailored to meet the audience of the publication.
- Email pitches and press releases should have subject lines relevant to the pitch because you want to make sure the email gets opened. The pitch or press release is one of the most cost efficient ways to generating publicity when you have a targeted media list. Keep it short and concise. Don’t use flowery language unless completely necessary. Media professionals want news; not to read the greatest piece of literature since Tolstoy.
- Make sure press releases follow the correct format.
- Contact one reporter/journalist at a time. In your pitch, reference an article the journalist/reporter wrote. Recently, I was putting a publicity campaign for one of my new products. I sent out four pitches to four different publications and landed three feature story interviews.
- Make your media contact’s job easier by telling them how your company can help their audience or why your company is relevant to a certain trend. If the contact doesn’t use it right away, they may call on you in the future, when a certain trend becomes popular.
- Ask clients how your product or service has helped them. Ask for testimonials. Incorporate case studies and testimonials. This will make your release more believable and newsworthy.
- Never send a pitch or press release as an attachment, unless the journalist or reporter asks for it. Send all text in a plain text email.
- Make sure you follow up in a timely manner.
- If possible, address the editor by his or her first and last name
Remember, journalists find many of their stories from regular people and businesses, so it is your job to pitch them accordingly. Just don’t make your news self-serving.