A while back, I created a weekly plan of the best PR practices to follow to promote your brand. When you implement these tactics, the more successful your online marketing and visibility can become – assuming, of course, your campaigns are well-thought-out, consistent, and aligned with your target audience.
What I love about this marketing strategy is that you can mix and match action items to build a brand that gets noticed. Use one PR tip a week for 6-months or just a few to get the visibility you deserve.
26 Marketing & PR Tips to Get Attention
- Put on your strategy hat and pay attention to get attention. Play a bigger game. The media looks for people and brands whose names keep popping up on a consistent basis on social media, speaker circuits and in the news. Want to try something new? Consider newsjacking. PR veteran, David Meerman Scott coined the phrase. Once you get the hang of it, you may become addicted.
- Have you just written a book and need reviews? Send copies of your book to industry leaders and ask for their comments. To speed up the process, create a few sample reviews as an example but suggest they customize it, so it feels like their own. How will this help get free publicity? Influencers are saying good things about you and aligning with your brand. It’s a win-win for both parties. Everybody loves free publicity.
- Get your ‘Google on.’ Check out upcoming conferences that highlight your expertise to see where you can speak. Before pitching, include a speaker kit with titles of signature talks, testimonials, high resolution photos and social media links. Once you have a green light, connect with key influencers as well as journalists. Remember, as a speaker and thought leader you’re an industry resource.
- If you’d like to connect with a particular event organizer who knows everybody, including the media, ask how you can help build their buzz. By offering to be of service, you just made yourself a willing partner and advocate who’s invested in their success. Plus, you’ve not only started a relationship but made a connection with someone who may refer you to new clients or lead you to your next interview.
- Social but not feeling social? We’re all human, and it’s OK. But, your presence on social media does matter. This is a great time to share what others are saying online, media included. If you’re following certain influencers and engaging enough in a mindful way, you will get noticed. Inspired action doesn’t mean you have to be on stage but working toward your goal.
- Find journals, magazines and industry publications where you (or your company) would like to be featured. Send a short and concise pitch with several story ideas to the editor’s ‘name,’ not ‘dear editor,’ of the publication. Feel free to reach out on social media too. Research their editorial calendar for content ideas to stay three months ahead of their current publication. This shows you know the protocol, and it will impress an editor. An impressed editor will remember you.
- The editor says no? If you’re in sales, and we all are in some way. No often means “not now.” Don’t get flustered. Stay calm and keep writing. If your pitch is well crafted, it typically goes in a folder to be “checked out later.” Maybe the timing is off or someone is on maternity leave. You never know. Reboot your mindset and think of the folder as the waiting room for media attention. Check back later to get a pulse.
- Be a resource to the media. It takes time and trust to build a relationship with the press, but it’s worth it. Follow the rules and offer interesting content, insider tips and news leads that aren’t always about you. Reporters are under tight deadlines and appreciate having a list of go-to sources. Be available 24/7 for a comment or interview and never ask to see a story before it’s published – unless they offer.
- Is there a particular journalist you’d like to connect with? Make it a point to reach out to him/her by email and establish a connection. Mention an article, blog or book they’ve written and share your thoughts. It’s OK to be controversial; it spices up the conversation. I don’t know one writer who doesn’t like to discuss his/her work, including me.
- Create a Top 10 list of reporters you want to connect with and set up a Google Alert system. Respond to their online comments. Send congratulatory notes for award winning stories. Offer ideas or suggestions that they can use. Offer to guest blog while they’re in Santorini on their honeymoon. Connect the dots of opportunity. Voilà, you’re a resource!
- Be a part of the media’s online communities that make sense to you and your business. Read industry news daily to see what’s happening. Hear something of interest? Share, build, nurture and cherish a network and mutual admiration society. No man is an island, right? No woman is an island either. Teamwork makes your PR dream work.
- Organize all of your media contacts by subject and groups. If you find a reporter that’s interesting, follow them on social media and start a conversation. Think of it like moving to a new neighborhood and getting to know who lives on your block. Who would make a great connection?
- Congrats! You got some press. Every published response is worth its weight in free publicity and SEO. Capitalize on your published work and create a strategic footprint that puts you on the map in a big way. Build a digital press kit and give access to the media for your next interview with a designated link.
- Blogging helps gain organic SEO and ranking. Build a content calendar and blog about news and accomplishments using keyword phrases. Post on platforms that your prospects and customers use, as well as the media. Tools like Buffer and Hootsuite help save time, but keep in mind, social media needs a personal touch to be effective. That means staying active. Put content in the right place, in front of your audience, even if you stay behind the scenes.
- Get even more free publicity when you repurpose blogs into industry articles or customize them for LinkedIn, Medium, etc. with a different title. Switch up the copy in at least three spots: the beginning, middle and end. Use excerpts from your blog for social media posts, guest blogs, sound bites, quotes and special reports. This is your ‘owned’ content, so use it to the max. You’ll build credibility plus expert status, and Google loves that.
- Never underestimate the power of video to pitch ideas. Are you creating a cooking show for single dads? Shoot a few 3-minute segments that tell your story and send them to the media with links to your work. For starters, they’ll check out your online appearance and content. From there, anything is possible. By 2020, it’s predicted that 82% of all consumer web traffic will be video, so include it in your social PR and marketing outreach plan to grow your brand.
- Familiar with National Today or National Day Calendar? You should be. They’re two sites that list significant (or not-so-significant dates) to help with your online and offline promotional plans. You can participate in established events, like Take Your Dog to Work Day, National Tooth Fairy Day, or even National Peanut Butter Cookie Day. Other designated weeks or months align with more serious causes, like National Bullying Prevention month and Breast Cancer Awareness month, both in October. Maximize your PR by aligning with these days (weeks or months) on social or in a pitch to local media.
- Want to make interviews easier with reporters? How about creating a customized Q + A? Create a list of 8 to 10 questions with bulleted answers (no essays, please) and practice your responses. To get media ready, practice by recording the questions and answers on your mobile phone. Then transcribe your interview to grab the content. From there, create quotes which can be turned into graphics for social media. Make sure you link it back to your website to gain valuable traffic.
- If you’re looking to match your story idea with a freelance reporter, here’s a valuable resource. It’s a link to the Society of Professional Journalists Freelancer Directory. Check it out to get media coverage by researching what topics journalists write about. Many of the reporters are stringers without an affiliation to a certain publication, but they may have an area of special interest.
- Ask a reporter to tag along with you for a day. Have an interesting event or news that’s important to your industry? Create an offer a reporter can’t refuse and have him/her witness “A Day in the Life.” A photographer may or may not join you, but feel free to use the experience for your own social media or even training. You can’t be responsible for what a journalist writes, but you can make the experience a pleasant one.
- Don’t be shy about winning an award. Draft a press release and share the love and the news. Tell a compelling story. Don’t forget images and video, and include a few key quotes. Share the release on your media page on your website, as a link in prospect or client correspondence, and on your social platforms. It’s your job to promote your brand. It’s the media’s job to pay attention, so write press releases often. Share accomplishments that differentiate you from the competition.
- Need to reset your style button? Your image and the way you dress are key components of your personal brand. And everyone you come in contact with, including the media, will notice if there’s lack of consistency. Techy? Look like a tech expert. Teacher with a best seller? Cardigan sweaters don’t always do the trick. Speaker like me? Hire a stylist to help with at least a few outfits. Work with someone you trust and build a wardrobe that suits your image and body type. Of course, always remember to stay true to yourself.
- Mind your manners. We’ve all been invited to parties where there’s an open bar and a handful of people you’re dying to meet. Now’s not the time to use liquid courage. Sometimes you have one shot to make an impression and that extra shot of alcohol might lead you to overshare or not be on your best game. You’ve worked hard to create your expert status. Don’t be another horror story of posting drunk and getting free bad publicity. Why be a disaster when you’re a star?
- Create or align with a cause that makes your heart sing. Volunteering for organizations that you connect with and being involved in your community will always reap benefits personally and professionally. Be sure to take and share photos on social media (before, during and after), in press releases, and for blogs and newsletters. Get some for both you and your sponsors. Cause-related marketing that’s done in a genuine way will never go out of style.
- Capture your target audience’s attention and give back by offering auction items at industry and charitable events. Typically, an event organizer will mention you as part of their marketing efforts, but ask how you’ll be promoted so you can strategically piggyback efforts. Strengthen event participation and your own branding by co-promoting the event with scheduled PR, social media, cross-promotional messaging and more. Use your PR and marketing checklist to keep track of posting and social engagement.
- Charisma. You can be born with charisma, but you have to know when to turn it up or down according to the situation. If you don’t know how, learn and practice. You can’t always be on, or at full volume either. It’s tiring. Be genuine, the best version of you, with an aura of energy that radiates from your core. The real you that people will like, know and trust. The media, your prospects and customers will want to know who you are when you light up a room. That’s free publicity.
I hope these 26 Marketing and PR Tips help get your business on the right track. Every one of these strategies works. My question is, which will you work first?
Let me know.