How to get good PR for your business

PR can truly be a thankless task.   It does take a fair bit of effort to do – and it is frustrating when you don’t hear anything back from the press.  But this is perfectly normal.  Here is some advice to keep you motivated and get you on the road to PR success.

You know that situation, when you’ve worked hard on crafting your newsworthy press release, sourced your top media contacts and sent your release out.  Then bang.  Silence.  You don’t hear a thing from the journalists you’ve contacted.  Disappointed?  Don’t be.   It’s perfectly normal – and often is a sign that you’ve done your job.

Many business owners manage their own PR and send out press releases in the hope of drumming up some lovely press coverage.  It’s very common to then wonder whether to chase up the press release.   Should you phone the journalist?  Or perhaps drop them a friendly email?

The truth is – there is no easy answer.  Through doing your work, you’ll get to know which journalists prefer an email or are very chatty on the phone.   But be careful that you don’t hassle them during press deadlines.

The job of your press release is to get all the facts to the journalist.  You’ve included the product facts, emotional benefits, you’ve included a quote from a credible company source, perhaps some statistics to back up your claim, a high-res image and your contact details.  That’s it.   Pretty much.

A journalist receives hundreds of press releases every day.  Their inbox is overflowing with press releases – some of which are the lucky few which lead to a snippet of coverage in the media.   A journalist doesn’t want to call you back and chase up information.  They don’t have time to call you and tell you they’re using the information you’ve sent over.

Just look at any page in a magazine – perhaps a round up of must-have accessories, books or kitchen gadgets.  The information there pretty much all comes from press releases.   Staff simply don’t have the time to let you know.   The journalist’s job, after all, is to do their job of filling their page and pleasing the editor.   Their job is not to let you know they are promoting your product.

So think like a journalist, not like a PR.  They are not there to help you.   You are there to help them.  Of course, sometimes you might not hear anything back simply because it’s not your time.   But persevere.   Be helpful and available but not over the top.  You’ll get there.

*Julie Sherwood runs Get In The Press PR – a small PR company that offers affordable help with publicity work and PR coaching too.

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