Given that we are a PR company, telling people how to do their own PR should be like shooting ourselves in the foot. However, our advice to small companies, whose budgets may be very tight, is to gently tip their toe in the water and do a little PR yourself before engaging a PR company as this way you will have defined exactly what you want from it. But make it a priority on the marketing schedule – don’t leave it until late on Friday afternoon when creative juices may have dried up.
- Define what you want from PR – don’t just think you want 5 articles in the national press in your first week because this is unlikely to happen unless you have some incredible announcement. PR is usually a slow burn and is about increasing awareness and building brand or company loyalty.
- Define your target audience – a big mistake many companies make in the early stages is thinking their audience is everyone. Think hard about who you’re aiming at and target all PR material to them.
- Set out a realistic strategy that you can commit to. So work out a plan of what you want to say, when you want to say it and what are the key messages.
- Define your key messages – what is your brand or organisation about and what is its USP.
- Select which media channels you want to use – press releases and targeting press are often the bedrock of PR and are a good place to start. But remember to make your press releases succinct, newsy and relevant – no journalist will read through pages of long winded script about how wonderful you are. Social media is a key part of PR but choose the channel or channels that works for your audience and again make it interesting and relevant.
- Get writing and start to target press, social media, events etc. Remember your audience are busy people, as are journalists, so don’t pester them – simply get the information out there in a newsworthy way.
- Monitor your progress – have you reached the goals you want and is it working? If not refine it but give yourself some months before assessing its success as it won’t come overnight unless you’re very fortunate.
So this simple guide can help you get started. We are here to help so if you feel this is beyond you or you simply don’t have time speak to us to give you a helping hand.