Guest Blog Post by Justine McKell of McKell Media
With PR, it basically comes down to you giving people more awareness that your business actually exists and getting your brand out. Use the media to your advantage. Do whatever it takes. If you have got something that can add to people’s lives, or contribute to making it easier, imagine what could happen if you made everyone aware of it, so that they actually have the choice to choose it?
It is not about being forceful or the hard sale. It is about the awareness of having your product out there.
There is a lot you can do on your own. Here are 10 tips for what works in PR.
#1. Use social media and tailor your story to the platform. There are a whole lot of people who live their life on social media, and then there are a whole lot of people who don’t want to touch it. You need to use social media yourself and have a play around and look at the different platforms. Keep in mind, however, that social media platforms are more for storytelling. Ask yourself, how can you create compelling content for your business on Facebook, on Instagram, etc?
#2. Humanise your brand. Who are the people behind your brand? People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. It is important to be authentically you on social media; no one wants to be ‘sold at’ on Facebook. Being real and telling your story helps put the brand of your business in the spotlight in such a way that your audience will connect with you. Include what led you to create your product or service.
And, look at the different languaging across each platform and post differently for each. For example, Instagram is short copy, beautiful imagery and lots of hashtags. With Facebook, you can tell more of a story.
#3. Elaborate on everything you have done. In PR we do embellish the story a little bit, to jazz it up and make it sound more effective; so it does sound enticing. It is about how do you make your story more appealing and how do you use it to your advantage. Ask, ‘how can I write this so that it is the most effective?’
#4. Use ‘tragedy’ to your advantage. As bad as it sounds, media does look for the tragedy to triumph stories, like a health scare that set you on a different path, or going from an average person to success. Use the angle of how you turned your life around and what you learnt along the way that you can share with media and others.
#5. Make sure you have got high resolution images. It is all about imaging. Especially with Instagram. You need a good photo of your product or service. We are in a visual age and people process so much so quickly. A photo is more engaging than text. We actually remember 80% of what we see and 10% of what we read. When I add an image to my posts there is something like a 94% engagement. So make sure you’ve got images of your product and of yourself, or whoever is the face of your business. And, to be in print, they have to be high resolution images, between 1-2 megabites.
#6. Media always looks for angles. If you have hit any landmarks in your business, such as you’ve been going for 10 years, etc., it is worthy of a press release or an announcement. Also, tailor any media articles to current topics such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, the end of the tax year, or even seasonality. In winter, for example, magazines do articles like getting ready for flu season and in summer people think about weight loss and juicing and how to get fit and healthy, etc.
#7. Put together a media bio profile. Write down a media bio profile on yourself that you can use when you contact media. Media wants to hear about your credentials, your credibility and what makes you different but they are on deadlines and don’t have a lot of time. If you only had 30 seconds to tell somebody about your business, what is your story going to be? Do you have a degree, have you won any awards? And how do you say this really short and concisely?
#8. Have a really good website. Your website is your shopfront where people come to check you out. As media are time poor, however, they will just have a quick look at the front of your website, making sure it is professional and that they can trust you.
#9. Who should you approach? Local media is always a good start, because they always want to know about local stories and what their local community is up to. They also have a really big reach because they are usually free.
Create a list of the media you want to approach. Get familiar with the outlet and the writers. Google the editorial coordinator in the magazine world, who looks at all the stories and then farms it out to the appropriate outlet, or the chief of staff in the newspaper world. Get them on the phone and have your 30 second pitch ready to go and just say, ‘hey this event is coming up and I think it is going to be of interest to your local readers’.
#10. Use the tools of Access Consciousness; they really work! Working with Simone has been such a gift to me and my business. I use the tools every day and always follow the energy. I will be at a newsstand and I will get a hit such as, ‘ooh, I need to approach this person’, or ‘I haven’t spoken to this outlet in a long time’ and I will contact them and find out that they want to publish something; it really can be that easy! Pull energy too. Before you contact someone in the media, for example, pull energy through them, through your product or service and through yourself; it makes everything so much easier. And, if you haven’t pulled energy before, there is no ‘how to’; you just do it.
Justine McKell has over 20 years experience with media and is the driving force behind McKell Media. She is a fiercely passionate advocate for health, wellness and conscious living and can only be described as a well-respected dynamo. You can gain even more about PR for your business on her telecall, DIY PR. For more information visit: mckellmedia.com/diypr
To listen to the entire conversation between Justine and Simone on OM Times Radio, click HERE.