You know that you need public relations. Without this machine for promoting the good and softening the bad, your company would find itself on rocky waters in a leaky boat.
However, the real question is, can you do your own PR? It depends on your company, how much work you want to take on, and the level of PR that you need.
Let’s see if you want to add this to your plate.
Getting All Your PR Ducks In a Row First
In his Inc. article “Fuel Your PR with These 8 Pro Tips,” Brian O’Connor covers some essential public relations tips for all small business organizations – whether you are working in tandem with an agency or going completely solo.
First and foremost, it’s important to remember that as with everything in the business world, PR continues to change. While many small business owners still rely on public relations to strengthen brand awareness or to tackle event-based happenings, SBOs today are hungry for eyes. They want to see website traffic, social media engagement, and sales.
While there is never any one-size-fits-all solution for advertising or PR, consider these tips summarized and generalized below:
Define how PR fits into your goal-based marketing strategy: Ask your agency (if you have one) or think about a plan for increasing site traffic (as opposed to just tracking hits), and use this answer as a foundation for your online strategy. For instance, there may be a couple of Instagram people that are key to your visibility that you need to be targeting.
Know where you stand: You need to know yourself before you go into the world of PR. What is your company mission? What is your philosophy? What specific industry trends and topics apply to you that you should or should not speak about? Choose a few areas that are the most relevant to your customers and it will help you narrow down the subjects you can speak to in the most engaging and effective way.
Integrate your social content and PR strategies: If you have a big piece of news, reach all of your audience members across all of your channels in an individual and unique way. Instead of saying the exact same thing in all of your places, mix it up for all your social media channels to get the most traction.
Think about value-driven longer features: Quantity is not always the most important goal post. If you want to stand out, secure a longer profile that truly details your company and why you matter.
Optimize your press releases: These things already take a ton of work, so make sure you get your mileage out of them. Your goal is site traffic. Make sure you have website links and ranking keywords.
Measure your social shares: Many people today, especially Millennials, get their news on social media. So if they are flocking to sites with high social shares (Buzzfeed, Business Insider, Huffington Post), make sure those are on your targeting list.
Use third-party content: If someone is talking about you, whether it’s bloggers, reporters, or someone else, use it! Leverage these articles to the fullest potential to get your name out there.
Consider distribution services: If you have money in the budget to use wire distribution services like PR Newswire, know that your content may have a better chance to be picked up by bigger news outlets. However, make sure your news is actually newsworthy. People won’t care about the promotional stuff that only applies to a couple people in your organization. Make it count.
PR = Patience Required?
The other huge lesson of public relations is to be patient. PR doesn’t always work, and it certainly can’t fix things that need real fixing. Shiny media veneers will only go so far. Make sure you stay up to date with latest PR metrics, too. What mattered yesterday may be insignificant today.
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