Getting PR for a Complementary Practice
Public relations (PR) is an effective way of marketing your business. It’s a great option as it’s effectively free advertising and if you do your own, costs just your time. PR done well will provide you with credibility and help to build trust in your brand. This description from Janet Murray summarises it perfectly, “PR is about raising awareness of who you are, what you do and what you stand for.”
The world of media is changing fast. A few years ago, when you tried to get PR for your practice, it was about getting featured in newspapers, magazines, on radio or TV. Being featured in the traditional press is still a powerful marketing strategy but there are other options available now.
Today there are a host of other media opportunities which include blogs, online magazines, video channels, social media and podcasts to name a few. Businesses are becoming their own media companies. You can become one yourself or share your stories with other aligned media platforms.
Whichever route you decide to take, here are a few pointers to get you started.
Have your house in order
Before you start doing anything, make sure your own website and social media profiles are all up to date. When you get any PR, the journalist or media owner will want to check you out and you want to give a good and consistent impression.
You can comment on anything where you have an opinion or experience. Even if it is not directly related to your business, it will all help to raise your profile. Have a list of the topics you can speak about that work with your personal brand so there is consistency in what you share.
You do need to be able to clearly articulate what you do in your business so having a clear marketing message will help. Find out how to create yours here.
Do your research
Spend time researching the publications and content your ideal client consumes. What magazines or websites do they read? What videos or podcasts do they subscribe to? Do they listen to the radio or watch TV?
Make a list of your client’s favourites and decide which you are interested in getting featured in. Buy copies, watch or read the content they produce and get to know them and the type of stories they share. Find out about the schedules they work to as many, especially traditional media, are planned and compiled months ahead of publication.
Invest time in creating relationships
Find out who writes or creates the media and follow them on social media. Journalists are known for spending time on Twitter and sending out requests for articles they are writing. Follow #journorequest to find out who is looking for a topic you can talk about.
Get on their radar by being helpful, sharing their information, commenting and basically connecting with them. Then, when you decide to send them an email pitch, they will have some idea of who you are.
When you do get published, make sure you show your appreciation and share their content with your audiences.
Whilst you want to raise awareness of your business, getting featured in the media is not all about you. Journalists and media contacts are busy people and they want to know the benefit to them. They want stories that are different, and their audience will want to know about and will connect with. Why is it important for their people to know about this story?
Keep your pitch simple
Rather than trying to be clever, keep your pitch to the journalist or media owner clear and simple. Don’t make the reader work hard to understand the story you are sharing as it will have the opposite effect and get deleted. Instead, give them the necessary information in a few lines and show you know why you are a good fit for their audience.
Results require consistency
As with all marketing, PR is a game of consistency and getting featured once is not enough to have clients flooding through your door. You need to see it as a marathon and not a sprint and consistently find ways of being featured.
Plan out your PR in advance using a diary or wall planner. Get an overview of your year including any special dates or celebrations you can create PR around. This way it won’t suddenly creep up on you and you’ll miss out on a great opportunity.
Book recommendation: “Your Press Release is Breaking my Heart” by Janet Murray
Janet is a PR expert and former journalist and walks you through the process of getting press coverage for your business. Having spent years being bombarded by terrible pitches, she took on the challenge of teaching small businesses how to stand out in a sea of bland pitches and to get their story noticed.
If you need help figuring how to include PR in your marketing, contact me for a chat.
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