At the heart of any business is a story, and when you unpack your tale, you’ll start to see self-promotion in a new light and embrace the media like never before.
This masterclass in publicity is aimed at small business owners, freelancers and entrepreneurs who have always wanted to understand, and use PR, but never quite got around to it.
If you think you can do better and want to up your game, Natalie has some ideas that can help you to shine long after the Christmas tree lights are taken down.
Read the papers and scroll through social media
You might be clear on who you are talking to day to day, but do you know which publications, blogs or social media platforms your target audience read and use?
PR is a great way to build your profile and reach people, but unless you are reaching the right people, you will be wasting your time and simply securing vanity coverage.
Use the next few weeks to get familiar with newspapers, magazines and websites your tribe use, look at where you ‘could’ fit on the pages, find contact details and add all of this to your plans. Create a media vision board with all the places you want to be seen, put it on the wall as a reminder of your PR goals, and if you work at it, you can get there.
Slot in some training
Now is the perfect time for a little professional development and there is no reason why this can’t be for PR. If you don’t have someone to do the job for you, there are some fantastic courses, workshops and mentors out there who can fill the gaps and give you the confidence to go out there and do it yourself.
Be social media savvy
If you’re behind on social media for your business, use these late winter weeks to catch up. Check which accounts you have (it’s amazing how many people don’t know), ensure they are branded correctly with up to date links and start using them to communicate with the outside world – not everyone is at the office party!
Twitter can be a fantastic PR tool and it isn’t an easy way to find media outlets and communicate with journalists and influencers – just don’t stalk them.
Liking and commenting on your connections’ content helps to start conversations, nurture relationships and in the long-term, you will hopefully be on their radar and they will come to you when they need help for a feature or news piece.
Again, think about what media your target audience consume and if you know they read Grazia and Stella, follow those magazines and their writers. If it’s more about business, look at Forbes and HRZone to get a feeling for who writes what and what they are looking for.
Plan your content
The great thing about PR in the digital age is that you can be your own media maker. Yes, you want to be seen on the pages of magazines and feeds of influencers, but you don’t need anyone’s permission to be visible.
Start to plan content for your website and think about piggy backing new year’s resolutions, eating well, fitting exercise into your day, as well as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, Father’s Day, Halloween, Christmas, as these are all topical subjects that lend themselves to PR.
Get things ready
Have clear product descriptions, a list of your services and prices and a biography prepared so that when you reply to requests, or are asked for comments and quotes, you are ready to go!
Be snap happy
They say a picture paints a thousand words, and this is so true when it comes to PR. Set aside sometime to see what images you have right now, what is missing and make sure that is rectified, and fast. Go for clean, clear product images and bright, fresh, creative headshots (no red eye or white backgrounds) and if you can, hire a pro to do the job for you. A good photo can make the difference between a yes or a no from Red magazine, so have them ready and you’ll be more likely to make the grade.
PR isn’t ER but it can be powerful, so use the end of the year to get things in place and you never know where you might be shining come January.
About the author
Natalie Trice is a PR Director based in Devon. From CEOs of international TV channels and Finance Directors of IT companies, to entrepreneurs at the forefront of their industry and ambitious start-ups, Natalie has worked with them all, and many more.
Today, as well as retained clients, Natalie teaches women the fundamentals of PR and gives them the skills and confidence to go out and talk to the press. With her ideas, contacts and cheerleading approach, her clients secure the column inches and airwaves that will help them to stand out from the crowd, and shine.
Cast Life – A Parent’s Guide to DDH was Natalie’s first book and sits alongside her charity, DDH UK, which supports thousands of people around the world dealing with hip dysplasia, a condition one of her sons has been treated for over the past decade.