Today’s guest blog is brought to you by Noni May: Digital Nomad traveling with Wanderlust & Company, blogger www.nonimay.com
Public Relations (PR) are a big mystery for most business owners. But you know it’s necessary to grow (if not read: 6 reasons why public relations are important) and become an authority in your niche, but it’s not something you’d think of actually doing yourself. And you don’t feel like spending money on a PR firm. And you shouldn’t! Because Free Publicity is something you can easily do yourself. Block a few hours a week and it doesn’t cost a thing. Just ask yourself the following question if I need to convince you: who can pitch your company better than yourself?
Before you start reaching out to press, you have to make sure your business is ready for press coverage. Because you’ve got only one chance. Don’t ruin it! Check if your biz is ready with this checklist.
If you are: start growing your press presence right now with the following easy to follow free publicity strategies and reach thousands of people with one conversation (or pitch!):
This one seems obvious, but it isn’t: if you have a website (of course you do, right?) add a ‘PRESS’ section. Because who said journalists haven’t already found you? Maybe they did come across your website but –like everybody– they’re busy creatures so you need to make it as easy as possible for them to find the right information. Three clicks is too much (seriously – fix your navigation!) and you’ve lost them forever. Make your media kit downloadable, add an email address for press so they can reach you (and preferably a phone number!). Add a short and compact description about you and your brand/company. If you’ve given interviews before, add those too. The more the better because it will show other journalists you’re a go to person and you have media experience.
If you have a great story to tell and if you feel super confident, you can organize a press conference and invite journalists to your location. This is especially great if you have a shop opening, an exhibition or an event coming up. But make sure you know how to actually host a proper press conference, because here is it again: you’ve only one shot and one first impression.
Cold pitch till you die.
Cold pitching can be really effective but it takes a lot of work. You have to find the right medium for your story, the right journalists… and after you’ve find your perfect match you have to find their contact details. Oh and don’t forget about the perfect email pitch that’s just timed right within their deadline. So as you see, there is a way to do this right but it takes some inside knowledge. My course Oh My Press: in 3 months your biz or blog’s first media mentions is the step by step guide for getting yourself in the press with free publicity and will help you master the cold pitches!
Find your hook & pitch.
Think of a topic your favorite magazine or TV show will cover soon – for example: annual happenings like thanksgiving, Easter or hurricane season. If there is a clear link with your business, you can pick up the phone to ask if they’re looking for people to feature in their story. This can be really effective – but when it comes to hooks: try to think out of the box and into your niche.
Set up your press calendar.
Take a few hours for a good brainstorm session to set up a press calendar with all PR related important dates. Examples are ‘press releases for launches’, hook & pitch dates (see point 4), press conferences and follow ups. Working with a schedule is very effective when it comes to free publicity because you have to be ready to jump on the possibility. Journalists often work with very short deadlines, if you can’t be there within 45 minutes, you’re out. They’ll always find someone else to fill in your spot. Make sure you have your brand ready, your story in order and your opportunities calendar integrated in your business schedule when you pitch and reach out to media!
Search your way into the media.
Journalists working on more in-depth stories based on an assignment by a magazine (or insert medium) often look for people. They might get an assignment to write about a new entrepreneur, but when they don’t have one in their own network, they often take it to… the internet! Did you know? Social media is a game changer for journalists and bloggers, and it’s a great opportunity for you! Often I see calls to interview people about a x topic in Facebook groups for entrepreneurs. So make sure you join a few Facebook groups for entrepreneurs! Follow journalists from your niche on Twitter to never miss a call again and check out Facebook groups specifically for journalists looking for people who’d like to be interviewed.
Noni May: Digital Nomad traveling with Wanderlust & Company, blogger www.nonimay.com
Digital Nomad at heart, working around the world as a writer. After 12 years of blogging, 5+ years in PR and 9 months of non-stop traveling the world, I’ve started my online school where you can find courses how to live free. Travel guides + courses and business courses for a more passive and location independent business.
Oh My Press: in 3 month’s your biz or blog’s first media mentions you learn how to pitch your business the right way to press to get published. I’ll tell you everything I know about PR. And that’s a lot, thanks to my unique combination of working in the PR field ánd being a blogger/journalist. For years I reached out to bloggers during the day time, and read PR companies’ emails during the night when I devoted my time to written adventures. I arranged thousands of articles for my clients – and now it’s your turn. Enroll now!
Before I founded several blogs and online magazines in the past like Unicorn/Dream magazine, Rassionmag and Amsterdam Curated and worked in the PR/Online Marketing field.