Yes, of course you can do PR, but can you do it well?
Unfortunately, small businesses sometimes shy away from it because they don’t know who to contact or how and they get hung up on all sorts of ‘myths’ surrounding PR. So, let’s stamp on those Myths right now – here are 7 top PR Myths Busted.
Top 7 PR myths busted
1. It’s all about contacts
No, you don’t have to have contacts to do PR. In this day and age ‘all day’ lunches with Journalists just do not happen. A journalist is interested in a story if it meets their requirements and is of interest, and relevant, to their audience. If you can establish, and build, a relationship then all well and good but the news value and relevance of what you have to offer is what is key. And, there are many resources online to find contact details for journalists.
2. You have to be able to write
Many people discount themselves from doing PR because they don’t believe their writing skills are up to it. Writing can be helpful but it shouldn’t prevent you from making the most of PR opportunities. If you are not confident about your writing then there are ways to work around that. You don’t have to rely on a Press release to announce your news. Funny, but true, the phone is still quite handy on that front. And, you can give the top line of a news story in an email without slaving away for days on a press release.
3. You have to have lots of news stories to get coverage
News is helpful but you can also raise your profile, and get noticed, using other ways. Establishing yourself as an expert (and commenting on other people’s news) as well as contributing to feature articles, are just some of the ways you can get profile without having any news to shout about.
4. PR is all about press and media
Press and Media relations is just one part of PR. It’s an important part but it’s useful too to think more widely about your business objectives and how your PR objectives can support them, ask the questions: what do we want to achieve, who do we want to communicate with, what do we want to say? Press and media relations is one way of reaching your target audiences but not the only way so it’s useful to keep that in mind.
5. Journalists won’t be interested
If you can package the news and ideas you have to offer, in the right way, then journalists will be interested. A little bit of research goes a long way and it is worthwhile taking time to identify a few key journalists to target. Get to know what interests them and how you can take advantage of that. You then need to pitch them in the right way – for more on that, check out this blog post: How to pitch journalists.
6. PR is free and easy
Yes, you aren’t paying directly to have your messages printed or broadcast but then that’s the value of PR, because of the third party endorsement you get. But, you will still need to invest the time and the effort or have someone help on that front. And, you need to be prepared to keep at it. You won’t get a response from lots of your email pitches and that can be disheartening. But, keep in mind that the idea or story you suggested might just not have been right at that particular time. So, you just have to keep plugging away.
7. Press releases don’t work anymore
The PR landscape has changed and there is still a need, and hunger, for good stories. The issue is that many businesses fall into the trap of thinking that anything they have to say is news when it isn’t. And, some press release distribution services take any copy and pump it out which is hugely damaging and not at all helpful. The key is to use a press release in the right way. It’s about finding your news story first and foremost and then packaging it in the right way for the right journalists. Press releases do work and are a great way to get you news out there but use them in the right way when you actually do have a great news story to shout about.
If you want to get started on getting your business featured in the press and media then check out this blog post: 7 steps to getting your business featured in the media.
In a nutshell: You can get featured in the press and media but get help from someone to accelerate the process or be prepared to put in the time and effort, and be patient, to get results.
What has held you back from being featured in the press and media?
Debbie Leven is a PR coach. To see how she can help you get featured in the press and media, and build your list, reputation and credibility through guest blogging, click here.
Image credit: Debbie Leven
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