There’s no time like spring to start thinking about new ways to get more press and how to get publicity for your business. But before the flurry of activity starts, hit the PR reset button and look at the big picture.
Start by making a checklist and updating the most important elements of your small business PR strategy. This could include tweaking your media list, following new contacts on social media, or catching up on news that journalists in your industry are writing about.
It’s not just about adding new strategies to promote your business. The best PR tactics can be a mix of what’s new, and tried and true.
1. Update your media lists
The local media landscape changes rapidly. With consolidations, job changes, and alternative media launching almost weekly, the best practice is to update your media lists on a regular basis to focus your efforts on connecting with the right people who cover your industry. Make sure to check for new media sources to add to your list, especially their Facebook and Instagram pages.
2. Create new goals
While you’re in reset mode, think about your top goals and aim even higher. Since you’ve been monitoring your PR activity for a while, you probably have a good idea of what success looks like. Company initiatives and goals change. Stay current with where you’re headed, not where you’ve been.
3. Reach out to contacts
Take a trip down memory lane – well, not too far back! Look at the strong relationships you’ve built with reporters and industry contacts over the years. Some of them might have moved on, but others might be prime to cover a story about your company. Reach out, see how they’re doing and if there’s interest, have a quote, story, or a new angle ready. Make it a conversation, not a pitch fest.
4. Update your media monitoring
If media monitoring alerts drive you crazy, maybe you don’t have the right ones set up. Cut through the clutter to save time. Look at media reports that give meaningful insights and information, not insights you don’t need. A smart media alert setup lets you write better PR pitches, when you know what topics are trending.
5. Review your crisis management plan
Prepare for a PR crisis even if you think it will never happen. Whether your crisis is big or small, always be prepared. The world is more volatile, times and attitudes change, so read up on best practices for how to handle a PR crisis. It’s smart to have everyone on your team involved, which might make the plan easier to implement. Go over the details and confirm that it’s the right way for your company to handle a crisis – no matter what comes up.
6. Track your progress
At the beginning of every year, set benchmarks to monitor your activity. If you can’t measure success, how can you justify using the same techniques? Track your progress to see what worked and what didn’t. This helps gather feedback from target audiences and what the public has to say.
7. Take a look at your SEO strategy
Writing a blog consistently can showcase your thought leadership and engage followers. But always remember that SEO best practices change fluidly. What was recommended a few years ago may not be as effective today. It could even be counteractive. Read about (and practice) the latest SEO strategies and stay updated with what’s going on. That way reporters and your ideal clients can find your site and content as easily as possible.
8. Prepare for the future of PR
You may know something about the metaverse or automated PR tasks. Even a casual conversation about these fast-developing trends will help you become more aware and prepared for an ever-changing landscape. New technology catches on like wildfire, so try your best to keep up with what’s new. Skim industry publications and expert’s at least a couple times a week.
9. Create new graphics or templates
Your graphics should represent your brand, personality, and expertise. Give them a tweak with user-friendly design sites like Canva, to keep your brand’s look, feel, and messaging fresh. While you’re at it, check your website too. More than once, I’ve seen a copyright mark for 2007.
10. Beef up your video content
Explore ideas. Shoot video on your mobile device. Perfection is a myth, and getting the job done is often good enough. Pareto’s principle is always in play. Think about video in small bites. An introduction to your brand on your website’s home page puts a face to a name, and a person to a product or service. Plus, video increases the amount of time users spend on a page, which is always positive.
Bottomline: Use this 10-point checklist to reinvigorate your PR. It builds your reputation without spending a fortune. That’s what my approach to marketing has always been.
And in case you’re wondering about third-party mention, it works. This story just came out about my clients and the work we’re doing with the Express Grants program. PR is free publicity, you just need to learn how it works!