As we approach 2016, I thought I’d post some basic PR tips for small businesses who are revving up their PR efforts in the New Year. Whether you’re a new start up or finally ready put some attention towards PR, keep these things in mind in your media outreach:
Keep It Short: When pitching your idea, keep it short. Editors get hundreds of pitches a day so respect their time. You need to grab their attention in the first couple of lines or you’ve lost them. This means you need to thoroughly do your research before hand to make sure your pitch is relevant, interesting and geared specifically toward their readers and their area of coverage.
Be Relevant: While you probably have a greatest product or business story, be sure to keep things in perspective in your pitch. Think about how it is relevant to current trends, popular culture or world news and why it important now and something people should know about.
Photos: Great photos are so important, especially if you are selling a consumer product. High quality product photos showing the product alone as well as lifestyle photos to show how it can be used or featured are an absolute must. High res images are necessary if you want to be considered for print. For web viewing, remember to have some great horizontal shots for those slideshow/gallery type stories. If you are selling a service such as interior design or architecture, make sure you have great before and after project shots.
Serve as a Resource: Someone at your business, whether it’s the founder, CEO, or head designer is certain to have knowledge and expertise that others will find useful. PR is about building relationships with key media and influencers. Serving as a source for stories they are writing or trend ideas you are pitching is great way to start building credibility.
Be Responsive: If you do hear from a reporter looking to tap your expertise or get a response from a pitch, respond promptly! Responding quickly and being accessible improve your chances of being quoted in an article or your product being included in a feature. It also shows that you can be a dependable source if they are on tight deadline. Remember; stay focused on what they are asking for and keep it non-promotional.
Be Patient yet Persistent: Last but not least, know that PR takes time. It’s about cultivating relationships and ensuring your pitch is timely and relevant. You may have the most compelling product or business story and you’re certain XYZ Magazine is the perfect fit, but the issue focused on your topic was covered 2 months ago or isn’t slated until next November. Remember to follow up, but try not to annoy them. Keeping media up to date on the latest news from your company or commenting on a recent article that relates to your field is a great way to stay top of mind with them.