3 Do-It-Yourself PR Tips
In case you haven’t already figured it out, you don’t need a PR agent to gain press for your store. The internet is your online Rolodex to journalists, media contacts, local radio stations, national TV shows and much, much more. You can even use LinkedIn and Jigsaw to navigate your way to gaining the right point person for your ideal press needs. While getting contact details isn’t always fast, it can be done if given the time.
Ready to start getting your store some press? Once you have searched through the web for contact details, consider these 3 tips for do-it-yourself PR that can help your store gain some deserving press.
1. Suggest a story.
You can’t expect journalists and media outlets to come up with stories – despite that seeming to be part of their job description. Most of the entrepreneur stories you see in the media come to life as a result of entrepreneurs doing what they do best – creating something. In your case, this means creating a story that is worth telling. Maybe you offer a unique service or possibly you got over a huge hurdle before you opened your store. It may just be that you had a great customer experience that was worthy of some local media attention. Whatever your story is, share it. Just remember that the story has to be memorable, unique, inspiring or (sorry to say) sad. The media loves these types of stories and will be more likely to follow up with you if they think their audience will, as well.
2. Highlight your credibility.
Having your own publicist saves you from having to pat your own back, but if you’re at it alone – don’t neglect sharing your stellar credentials. It’s not called bragging when it’s done right, but it is called cocky when it’s done wrong. With this in mind, carefully identify how you can communicate your successes, strengths, attributes and other stand-out moments so that the press sees you as a creditable character to highlight in the media. You are part of your store, so your story matters just as much as your store’s does.
3. Make the time.
So many store owners gripe about not having enough time in the day to do everything they want to do. We certainly get that. But unfortunately, we can’t agree. Find the time to gain press, making it a priority to solicit media attention for the right reasons. Focus on big stories vs. the little ones. Concentrate on a few great press placements a year versus often unnoticed smaller ones. Use a feed-reader and Google Alerts to track your competition’s press, and remind yourself that if they can do it that you can too. Time certainly comes at a cost, but then again… so does press. It’s worth receiving, so remember to make it a focus of your time and business.
When you incorporate PR into your overall business strategy, you are more likely to be successful at it. In other words – don’t wait until you finally have something to tell the media, then quickly try and place a story. Instead, have media contacts already identified and ready to go on your speed dial. Use your Rolodex of PR point people and resources for worthy stories, not just any story. And remember – consider who their audience is so you don’t waste your time with a story that doesn’t make sense for them. Soon enough, you may find the media turning to you for stories to share since they will respect you as a local entrepreneur who has good stories to tell.
I LOVE the mention about credibility. I will add that component to my press releases. Peaceful Parlour is an eco-chic boutique and our aspect of reaching customers is important as is our integrity. This year I served on green panel (was just invited to be on another one) and have been mentioned in a few articles that pertain to eco-friendly businesses. Peaceful Parlour was named a top green store in Chicagoland and the another article we were quoted in an online gift magazine for advice to those seeking green products. (Giving myself a little pat on the back here.)
Third sentence should read …Peaceful Parlour is an eco-chic boutique and our eco-aware aspect of educating customers is important as is our integrity.