Follow this easy six-step method to get your business in the press

Find out why PR really works for small businesses, and learn an easy, six-step method to get yours in the press.

As a small business owner, you need to get in front of your ideal clients. But you probably don’t have very deep pockets. Which is why PR sounds appealing. After all, it’s free if you do it yourself. But does it work?

According to Melissa Talago, creator of Publicity for Solopreneurs, a new online course that teaches you how to get publicity easily, it absolutely does – as long as you do it consistently.

Journalists are looking for interesting stories

It is actually really easy to get in the press if you know how. Journalists are always looking for interesting stories and experts to quote.

But unless you think about how that publicity supports your business goals, maximise the publicity you get and repeat it on a regular basis, it won’t help you grow in a sustained way.

PR can you help your business in many ways, for example:

  • Reach a wider audience.
  • Boost your credibility massively – become known as the expert in your space.
  • Reinforce your brand story.
  • Create action.
  • Generate sales.

PR doesn’t always bring in direct sales, but it can. A client of mine generated £17k worth of sales from one article in the Telegraph and another got £30k in new business from one press release in a trade magazine.

You need to do PR consistently for it to work

The way PR works best is by doing it consistently. The aim is to regularly talk to the publications you most want to be in. Gradually, you start to be noticed. People will say things like ‘Gosh, you seem to be everywhere these days!’

There are many ways you can get quick PR hits fast – like following #journorequest on Twitter, or reacting to breaking news stories with your expertise – but for PR to be really effective, you should follow a plan.

The good news is that once you have a PR plan in place and know how to work with the press, you will be ready to respond to any opportunities that arise and will find you have content for all your other marketing too – like social media, newsletters and blogs.

A six-step method to get your business in the press

So how DO you secure that all-important media coverage? Her’s my six-step method to get in the press.

Step 1

Know what your business goals are and figure out how PR can support them. Typically PR will help to raise awareness, educate, manage a reputation or inspire action.

Step 2

Get your marketing fundamentals sorted out. Who are your ideal clients, what problem do you solve for them, how do you do that and what makes you different? Now turn those into PR messages to ensure you’re getting your key points out in any press opportunities

Step 3

Find your ideal press contacts and titles. You need to look at what your ideal clients would consume and research them. Make a shortlist of no more than 5 to start with and start building relationships with them.

Step 4

Find your stories. Look at what news you have coming up. What’s your back story. What topical events are taking place that you could work with? Look at the calendar for inspiration. Brainstorm a whole bunch of ideas – then flesh out one.

Step 5

Create the PR tools you need. Write a press release for news and a pitch for a feature story. Be sure to create a Media Kit with photography and background info on your business so that you’re ready to roll when a press opportunity arises.

Step 6

Reach out to the press. Email first or tweet them. Don’t send attachments. Be helpful, friendly and respond fast.

And three follow up steps

These three follow up steps also help.

Follow up step 1

If you get interest in your story, you may need to have an interview. So prepare by practicing your key messages and thinking up answers to potential questions.

Follow up step 2

If you get press coverage, don’t just show it to your mum. Share it everywhere including your website, social feeds and blog.

Follow up step 3

Now that you’ve got one piece of coverage, it’s time to replicate the process. Create a plan with a rolling calendar or stories and dedicate a couple of hours a month to PR.

Before you know it, people could be stopping you saying, ‘You seem to be everywhere!’

Melissa’s new course Publicity for Solopreneurs is available until 23 September for just £379. It includes access to a private Facebook group in which you get ongoing support from her as you work with the press.