How to do your own PR

Do you want to grow your business? Then you need to get noticed.

It’s a great start to create a brilliant business but if nobody knows about it then you have no customers and ultimately no business.

The good news is, even if you don’t have a huge budget there are ways you can promote it yourself, for free!

PR is often confused with media relations – an important part of PR which we’ll go onto further down this article, however Public Relations is actually all about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and most importantly what others say about you.

So how do you create and maintain a strong reputation?

Begin by understanding your why in business. To stand out from the crowd and get noticed by securing valuable media coverage, it is important to tap into your values, what differentiates you from your competitors and showcase the people behind the business. After all, people buy people and until you’ve got a globally recognised brand (and even then, as we all know Bill Gates is behind Microsoft, Richard Branson is the mastermind behind Virgin etc) then you need to be relatable and interesting to others.

The process of understanding your why will not only allow you to create your key messages about your business which will help shape your communications, it will help you reach like-minded prospective customers. And, as you get accustomed to planning your news content to give to the media, put out on your blog and across social media to increase the reach of your messages, it will help you understand what is newsworthy and, therefore, relevant to send to the press. For example, a story about launching a new website simply isn’t newsworthy enough, however, the why behind the new website just might be – investing in a new and improved digital presence based on market changes, customer feedback and demand and growth in a certain area of your business – these are the elements that make for a great news story about your business.

Once you have your great news content you can follow a tried and tested method to write a press release, ensuring your headline stats and facts feature at the top of the release, before going into the 4 Ws – your who, what, where and why. Make sure you sign off your press release with the standard format:

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

  • providing the journalist with background content, web and social links and don’t forget your contact details should they need more.

Once you have your press release, knowing who to send it to is next.

By understanding who your customers are you can build a picture about where they hang out online and what media they consume. For example, are they business owners in Yorkshire? If so, you want to build media lists for Yorkshire business media – target the editors and relevant journalists; they often wear many hats these days but many (especially national journalists) still specialise in writing about certain topics, e.g. lifestyle, health, enterprise etc. If in doubt, search for similar news to your own and see who has written about it. Make sure you email a targeted pitch (just a sentence or two) and enclose your news release and one, high quality image which visualises the story (never send stock images.)

If you have an accountant, they should be your first stop for business advice. If you don’t have an accountant or they can’t help, BuBul has a wide range of experts available. For more advice on creating your own PR, contact our expert* Ellie on LinkedIn or find the details of her PR training course here.

*We’ve picked experts we know and trust who are good at what they do. All of them will give you at least an extra 30 minutes free advice if you contact them and would then charge their normal prices. They don’t pay to be on BuBul and don’t give us any money from anything they earn as an expert.