Advice for Handling Your Own PR

pr, pr agent, do your own prFollow these tips to get noticed by the press and expand your marketing reach

Next time you watch television or read a news story online about small business owners like you, remember that those pieces and interviews did not just happen out of the blue. They happened because someone at those businesses caught the attention of the media.?

Hiring a public relations firm can certainly help raise your profile, but if it is not in your budget, you can make PR an effective part of your overall marketing strategy. And if you care about your business ? you will.?

Follow these tips to get noticed by the press and expand your marketing reach:

Set a Solid Goal?

Define your PR strategy by knowing the type of publicity you are after. If you just want to boost sales of your services or products, aim to expand your marketing reach to new consumers using regional or local media. If attracting the funding of investors is your main goal, target the financial press with your PR efforts. If you want to be recognized as a thought leader, focus on reaching reporters and bloggers who have a say in your specific industry.?

Make PR a Top Priority?

As a small business owner, your to-do list is likely already long, but PR needs to be a top priority if you want to build brand awareness and therefore land more customers. Schedule at least 30 minutes each day for PR tasks and you will soon start to see your business activities in a different light. Making that small change can help you focus on finding the best opportunities for media exposure.?

Provide Valuable Content?

Bloggers and reporters want to write about things that are interesting and relevant, topics that add value to the reader. They can spot blatantly self-promotional material a mile away, so make yourself newsworthy and relevant by tying what you do or sell to current events or trends. The right angle will be irresistible to the press, but you might have to find it for them.?

Develop a Strong Network?

Start paying attention to the bylines that accompany blogs, articles and news sources. Create a list of people you want to connect with and analyze the types of stories that most appeal to each one. Remember that up-and-coming writers are most approachable, and keep your focus on those who cover topics in your industry.?

The key to handling your own PR is to offer something of value. Journalists, bloggers and other people in the news industry constantly receive press releases and pitches, so a bit of persistence helps too.