PR can often be a daunting experience, especially for those of you who are new entrepreneurs. The prospect of announcing your new business or product to the world is exciting yet nerve-wracking. Here are the seven most important things I’ve learnt about PR.
PR moves in mysterious ways
Publicity for your business doesn’t necessarily come from the place you’d expect, nor as a direct result of a particular PR action you’ve taken. I’ve had clients come to me after seeing me or my business mentioned in publications as diverse as “The Richmond Magazine”, “Shropshire Evening Star” and “Weightwatchers Magazine”, none of which I’ve ever seen a copy of, let alone sent a press release to!
How has this happened? The ripple effect of me taking action, being seen by other journalists and “borrowed” for their own articles. The media is a small and interconnected world. So… just take action and don’t expect immediate or obvious results.
Do PR the Nike way
If you’re scared of calling a journalist, of sending something out, of organising an event, the only way to defeat your fear is by doing the thing you’re scared of. What’s the worst that could happen? You won’t die! And what’s the best that could happen? The best that happened for me was that one journalist comes back to me several times a year for quotes and contributions. The worst?.. A polite “no thank you”. So….Take it from Nike – JUST DO IT.
“All the world’s a stage…”
“…And all the men and women merely players” as the great bard said. So get up there and play your part, tell your story. No matter how insignificant you might think your story is, to someone it might be of interest. My story is one shared by many thousands of mothers – I was a professional who found that my job would not support motherhood, so I started my own business. It’s not unique, but it is interesting because people like to empathise. So…Use your story for your PR campaign.
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king
In other words, if you know even a little bit more about your product/service/industry than the majority, then you are an expert. The more PR you do an expert, the more clear-sighted you will become – making you the expert. Like many people, I started out thinking I was a fraud, but the more I learnt, the more I knew. So… start acting the part and you’ll become the part.
Get over the jargon
Press Release… 2 scary words that make hearts beat faster and fuels procrastination. What is a press release? It’s just a story for journalists – a one page story. That’s it, nothing more to it. You can write a one page story about your business can’t you? So… just get a clean sheet of paper out and write the first sentence
Become a PR junkie and feel the high baby!
PR can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of your business, and seeing your business in print or hearing it mentioned on the radio for the first time will give you a super-charged serotonin high with no adverse physical side affects. And even better, after this your confidence rating will go up a notch. Do it a 2nd and a 3rd and a 4th time and guess what happens? More confidence, more ability. I never thought I’d have any press… and now I’m so blasé that I forget to buy magazines that I’m going to be published in. So…Give yourself that confidence boost!
It’s no biggie
Get the help of someone who’s been there, done that, read the PR book, got the t-shirt etc, and is oh so terribly blasé about it. That’s what I did back in 2003 when I signed up for Paula’s PR Academy and every time I spoke to her she was so matter-of-fact about PR that I very quickly wondered what I was fretting about. Now I’m terribly matter-of-fact and do the same thing as Paula to help all you PR newcomers! So… get support that motivates you to take action