How to do your own PR (AND still run your business)
Know you need to work on your PR, but just don’t have the time – or know where to start? Find out how you can do your own PR AND have time to run your business.
As a business owner with a family, I know that you’ve already got a lot on your plate. So I don’t want to add any more.
However, here’s a sobering thought: if you’re not working ON your business, building your credibility and getting your name out there, you’re not giving your business the best chance of success.
Quite simply, if your target audience doesn’t know about you, how will they buy your products or services? If your business doesn’t stand out, how will people know that you’re the go-to brand in a sea of competitors?
PR shouldn’t be a chore – but a seamless part of your marketing
The good news is that you don’t need buckets of budget to tackle the above. In fact, knowing how to get your brand out there (through merit rather than money), is what really gives you an edge in your market. And this is where PR-ing your business really comes into its own.
You may have heard of PR, and put it in the nice-to-do-one-day pile. However, the reality is that ‘one day’ never comes. You’re too busy, well, being busy.
However, all the time you’re not working on your PR, you’re in danger of undoing all your other great efforts you’ve made to build your burgeoning brand.
But like I said, I don’t want to add to your load. In fact, PR shouldn’t be another thing to do, but a seamless part of your business development and marketing strategy.
How to do your own PR (AND still run your business)
And this is where I want to help. So here are my tips on managing to find time to do your own PR, whilst still working on your business.
Tackle PR in bite-sized chunks
One of the biggest things that small business owners struggle with is the feeling of overwhelm. You already have lots going on, so the idea of learning something new can prove too much. So my best advice is take PR in bite-sized chunks.
You don’t need to become a PR guru. You simply need to understand what stories will work for your business (I have a free guide on this here), as well as have a basic understanding of how to pitch to the media.
To make your life easier, and avoid overwhelm, I’ve created a series of videos tackling the common PR problems such as:
- Knowing the best time to pitch to a journalist
- How to follow up on your story with a journo without stalking them
- Understanding the difference between PR and advertising
Put some time aside to do your own PR
Like social media, PR is one of those things that you either don’t do enough of, or get sucked in and do too much.
However, the key to doing PR yourself is to put a proportionate amount of time aside to get it done. For example, you might want to spare 15 minutes towards the end of the day to check journorequests.com to see if there are any journalists looking to feature a business like yours (they also have a free subscription service, sending media opportunities straight to your inbox).
Or if you’ve got a story about your business you’ve been keen to share with the media,carve out half an hour to Google the journalist you want to speak to, and have a think about how you’ll pitch to them.
Find AND READ your target media
Understand what media your core audience is consuming. If you create websites, your audience may be fellow business owners that read business and marketing publications for tips and advice. If your business is selling handmade jewellery online, your ideal customer may be reading women’s magazines.
Knowing how your audience gets information is the first step to producing targeted PR. Once you have established the media, read and understand the publications, to see if and how they cover businesses like yours. Do they feature advice article, showcase products, or highlight case studies?
It seems obvious, but this is a point that is often overlooked. Knowing how a business is featured will help you when it comes to pitching your own business story. Which leads me onto my next point…
Uncover your stories of interest
Look at what stories you have within your own business that would be of media interest. Have you made any new hires, do you have a business anniversary or milestone coming up?
Make no mistake, your business does have a story that the media will want to hear. To help you find it, I have produced this free guide which helps you uncover stories that are of media interest, which you can download here.
Focus on the small wins
PR isn’t an overnight thing, so don’t be disheartened if your business story doesn’t make headline news.
It’s quite easy to focus on getting your story in the national media. However, my best advice is to start small, engage your local newspaper or trade publication, and see if they bite. Getting even a small mention in the media is a great achievement, and you can build on this and approach different publications with your renewed confidence.
It’s much better to take baby steps and make real progress, then go ‘all-in’ and give up before you’ve given yourself a chance.
Have confidence in yourself
Quite often, the biggest thing holding us businesswomen back is ourselves. We assume that the media won’t be interested to hear about our business, and we’re nervous about calling up a journalist.
However, this mindset can be crippling. So its importance to have faith in yourself, just as you did when setting up your business. You have a story (or stories) that the media want to hear, and you are best placed to tell them – so do! For more tips to boost your PR confidence, check out my pep talk here.
If you have a burning PR question or pain point you’d like Halima Khatun to cover in a video, email her and let her know.