Both marketing and public relations importance is growing at an outstanding rate and entrepreneurs know this. In order for your business to grow and become sustainable and profitable in the long run, you need to pay attention to them. Not using either one of them can easily spell disaster from a public consciousness point of view, while your sales and profits can decline.
But what if you don’t have the money to hire a PR firm? Yes, unfortunately, not everyone is able to afford doing this. Still, don’t lose hope because this does not mean that you won’t be able to create solid relationships with important social media influencers in order to create awareness about your business. The fact of the matter is that you can do this and it won’t cost you a fortune.
1. First of all, you need to determine what makes your story interesting. Stories with a remarkable and interesting subject are far more likely to help you catch people’s attention. Thus, you need to identify what aspect regarding your business is more likely to appeal to journalistic instincts. For example, if you have an unusual story about how you launched your company, or if your products or services are actually innovative, people will start talking about your brand. Ask yourself how you fit into the larger market environment and determine what you are doing different from everyone else and then focus on that.
2. Have your own brand voice. Before actually launching your PR and social media campaigns, choose a voice and a tune for your brand. In this case, in some respects, your business is like a person. Is it funny, friendly, irreverent or formal? Choose the voice and stick to it no matter what because this is the voice customers and fans will be expecting. By clearly defining a voice for your brand, people will understand what your company actually stands for – beyond your services and products. Moreover, they will actually be able to develop a meaningful and real connection with you and your brand.
3. Ask your clients to join the party. There is a huge difference between saying that your business has managed to create value for customers and having customers say this about your brand. Thus, give your all to make your clients happy and transform them into brand advocates. The moment customers are happy and willing to talk to media outlets, you’re all set for PR success.
4. Hi, *insert brand name*. I’m “data” and I want to be your best friend. Sorry for the poor humor, but you probably understand the point I’m trying to make. Being best friends with data could benefit your company beyond belief. Both influencers and reporters simply love data, especially if it makes a surprising or counterintuitive point. For example, you could use data or statistics to present a market shift, an emerging trend and so on. Once the data is gathered, create an infographic or any other visual content, which usually receives high social shares.
5. Focus all your efforts and attention on reporters that matter. Quite a lot of business owners state that if one is able to influence 9 out of the 10 top voices in a given market, they will influence everybody else. Find the bloggers or reporters that could make a difference for your enterprise. Read their articles, follow them on Twitter, become Facebook friends and remember that it is imperative to understand what content they believe is newsworthy. Reach out to them and start a meaningful and interesting conversation.
Related: Great PR Tips for Your Startup
6. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Similarly, spending an hour a day on social media, will keep you away from ending up in the vortex of irrelevance. If you are looking to engage customers, bloggers or prospects on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or any other social media platform, you should probably spend at least an hour a day on these platforms if you aren’t doing this already. Remember to post meaningful and timely content, respond to questions and acknowledge comments. Instead of just posting your thoughts and opinions, try to start engaging conversations.
7. Direct Message and follow bloggers and reporters on Twitter. Let’s face it, all of us are “assaulted” with emails and there are only 24 hours in the day. Rarely do we have the luxury of checking voice mails. In some instances, the best way of reaching a blogger or reporter is by DM-ing him or her on Twitter. Actually, many bloggers and reporters constantly check their Twitter accounts searching for newsworthy content and breaking news. If you have an active Twitter profile, go ahead and start a conversation.
8. Another great thing you should consider is creating a Clout list. Whenever you are trying to spread the word around about your brand, remember that the main goal is to market to individuals who are able to let others (potential clients) know about your company. Although the words of veteran bloggers and journalists may weigh more, you shouldn’t focus all your efforts on them. Thus, creating relationships with up-and-coming individuals could potentially bring you long-term benefits.
9. Learn how to create an amazing press release. The main reason companies write press releases is to let journalists and bloggers know what is going on with the company’s products, services and why people will find this interesting. Usually, press releases should be concise, include direct links to images and even relevant video content. Also, drafting and sending follow up emails is something you should take into account. Regardless of how innovative, fresh and interesting your company may be, avoid using words such as “astonishing”, “best” and “unbelievable” because they just sound spammy.
10. Last but not least, remember that a successful PR strategy is more than just creating press releases, even if they are great. Yes, creating press releases is an important and integral part of any PR campaign, but it is just a part of the campaign. Often, the success of a PR campaign is determined by the ability of the PR team to foster relationships with bloggers and journalists.
What other affordable PR tips and tricks would you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.