By Natalie Trice, Career and Confidence Coach for PR and Media Professionals
2020, where do we even start?
While it hasn’t been the best and curve balls keep coming at us that are hard to dodge, I can feel a nip of optimism in the autumn air and am seeing this as a fresh start and time to look for new beginnings.
While there might be chaos going on all around us, hiding away under that comfort blanket with a flat white and piece of banana bread (is anyone still making that?) might feel safe, but it won’t help people find you. Now isn’t the time to stay in the shadows my friend, it is time to show up and shine.
Using PR is a great way to let the world know who you are and what you can do and if you are front of mind now, you will most certainly be a go to once things are, dare I say it, back to normal.
Think of PR as a personal recommendation by someone else to their audience and let’s face it, what others say about us can be more powerful than what we say about ourselves.
My first piece of advice for you, is to start now, today even. Whether you make amazing masks, are a great graphic designer or your niche is natural beauty products, it’s never too early to start putting yourself out there so you can get in the spotlight.
What is your USP?
Journalists and influencers receive hundreds, even thousands, of press releases a week and you need to stand-out from the crowd and get your pitch right if you want them to cover your business.
Take a step back and think about what makes you and what you do unique? Maybe you have used totally new research, you’re an expert in your field on dating or you make stunning sunglasses from recycled bottles? Whatever that key element is, make sure that message is highlighted in all your PR efforts.
Who are you talking to?
When it comes to PR, you need to clearly identify your target audience because they are the people who are going to follow you and buy from you. This is where a plan can come into play as you can get the detail out of your head and down on paper so you can really see who you want to talk to. If you have a subscription box for cats, you need to be seen by cat owners. A wedding photographer, yes it’s tricky times, but make sure that those brides and grooms ‘to be’ know you’re there to help them when the time comes. Make great cakes and deliver locally…..yup, that’s local residents who need to know just what they are missing out on.
Know the media
Once you know your target audience, you then need to find out what media they consume. For example, Cast Life, my first book, was aimed at parents and carers of children with DDH as well as health professionals. Yes, it was a niche area but once I started pulling it apart there were a lot of relevant outlets from parenting magazines and health blogs, to my local newspapers and the nursing press where there was a natural fit and coverage was secured.
Once you have identified the outlets, get to know them inside and out. Supermarkets and shops like WHSmiths have a great selection of newspapers and magazines, as do many libraries. Get a feel for what they cover, what regular features and opportunities are available as well as seeing who writes for each title. Contact details are often found in the ‘masthead’ at the front of publications or you can do some research online to find the information you need.
Twitter is a fantastic PR resource as it allows you to engage with other writers as well as bloggers, journalists and reviewers, so make sure you are following them. Remember, this is social media, and it isn’t about the hard sell from your first Tweet. It is more about building relationships and raising awareness over time so that when you do pitch an idea, they are familiar with who you are and what you write about. You can find me at @natalietrice
Don’t give up
One of the key things to remember about PR is that it takes time and you can’t expect to be on the front of The Guardian on day one. Do your research, take your time, get your angles right and it will happen.