3 Critical Secrets for Successful PR

Three Critical PR Secrets

3 Critical Secrets for Successful PR

One of the most frequently asked questions I hear is, “How do I get the press to write an article about me or my business?” Or “How do I get people to pay attention to a press release I’ve written?

While there is no magic bullet, there are a few secrets I can reveal from my experience (whew, it has been over 20 years!) promoting businesses and great causes.  These are three critical, effective secrets to getting noticed.

Think of the scene in “The Wizard of Oz” when they rip the curtain back to reveal the Wizard. Of course, he is not nearly as imposing, mighty or untouchable as we are led to believe all through the movie. In a similar way, the digital age has pulled back the curtain to show you how PR strategies can promote your business. These secrets are used by PR professionals worldwide and you can put them to work to promote anything you sell, any event you are promoting or anytime you are presenting yourself as an industry expert!

Secret #1 –  Journalists and Bloggers need you: cultivate personal relationships with your target journalists

Are you surprised? Hundreds of clients have looked at me in disbelief when I shared this secret.  Writers around the world need fresh content… and that’s you!

  • Fact:  Journalists need new, interesting, compelling stories consistently
  • Fact:  A 24-hour news cycle and more digital content than ever makes this challenging
  • Fact:  You can be newsworthy

What this means for you: Action Plan

  1. List the publications and sources you see and read (online and print).
  2. Make a target list of 30-50 Journalists that speak to your target audience.
  3. Make sure they are from a mix of local papers, trade organizations, print publications and industry websites.

Bonus: You can find the contact information of your target journalists (name, phone and email) 99% of the time on the digital version of articles or on publication websites. Google it!

Secret #2 – You can be newsworthy (with a little help)

  • Fact: A product launch or new business ALONE is not newsworthy
  • Fact: Your reason for being in business or how it benefits others is newsworthy
  • Fact: The most compelling and interesting facets of business are often left untold

What this means for you: Action Plan

  1. Brainstorm all the REALLY interesting parts of your business, product or service.
  2. Ask yourself and others close to you the difficult question, “Who will care?”
  3. Select the top three “angles” for your press release. For example, I wanted to prevent others from suffering as I do with embarrassing dandruff, so I made my own shampoo. My company offers only items made in the USA and my product helps solve this problem.

Bonus: An effective way to become newsworthy is to partner with a charity or describe how your product or service serves mankind.  A special event can be just the key!

Secret #3 – You can create and distribute your own press releases

The third most common mystery of Public Relations is how to get a press release distributed.  In reality, you can contact your target journalists with your newsworthy, professional press release and a personal note via email.

  • Fact:  Being sincere, professional and newsworthy is your goal
  • Fact:  There is no shame in telling your story
  • Fact:  A simple follow up call to a journalist to confirm they received your press release and offering to answer any questions tremendously increases your chance of PR coverage.

What this means for you: Action Plan

  1. Find a good press release template online (Here’s one link to download a template from Hubspot).
  2. Write a draft and edit it, then have someone else edit it (for professionalism, not perfection).
  3. Email the press release to your target journalists and follow up with a phone call to confirm they received it and ask if they have any questions.
  4. Respond as quickly as possible when contacted. Journalists have tight deadlines and cannot chase you. Make it easy to interview you and you will build valuable relationships.

BONUS: 

  • Post the press release on your website, then make copies and email your loyal customers.
  • If you have a budget, invest in distribution service: PR Web, PR Newswire, eReleases.

I hope this helps!

Light your fire,

– Theo

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