2017 is just around the corner and you are gearing up to launch a new product, service, or business. The top of your list is getting media coverage to increase awareness of your brand. But wait, you don’t have a Public Relations budget to pull it off. No worries, I’ve amassed a short list of proven do-it-yourself PR activities you can easily create that will help you increase your chance for press coverage and general PR success in the New Year.
- Identify your business goals and needs. Do you have a new platform, or any other service or product, you’re rolling out to the B2B space or to consumers? Understand exactly which target market is most meaningful to your business’s new platform, service, or product, and then build a few PR goals around it. For example, identify the journalists and influencers who regularly write about your product or service and amass a nice list of them to contact to when your announcement is ready.
- Pinpoint Conference Opportunities. Figure out now which opportunities occurring in 2017 are key to your launch success or industry. For example, identify the conferences you want to attend. Once you know which ones are important, register and request a media list. As the event draws near, send a journalist from the list a request to meet with you briefly at the event. If you want to be a featured speaker, chances are you’ll have to submit requests 6 -9 months in advance. Plan now for the speaking events you’d like secure for conferences happening between July – December 2017.
- What’s the News? It’s much easier to share news and create interest about your product or service if you’re absolutely clear about what your news is. Be sure to identify what’s truly unique, new, or innovative about what you plan to announce. Identify a launch date and prepare an FAQ sheet, a press release, and blogs or thought leadership pieces well in advance. Don’t forget to coordinate distribution over a 30-60 day period.
- Use the Freebies! Did you know there are a variety of PR resources that are free to you which help you attract media coverage with little or no effort? For example, HARO, (Help a Reporter Out) is a daily distributed list of topics journalists are seeking for stories they’re writing. Anyone can join the listserve. After joining, HARO emails will be distributed to your inbox daily. You will sift through requests to look for journalists seeking topics that match your industry, product, or service. Once you find one, you will have an opportunity to follow up with the reporter directly, which may lead to an article written about your product or service.
- Think competitively! Unless you’re among the unicorn herd, you’ll want to think of the nuances that make your product, or service entirely unique. For example, if a competitor has been covered extensively in Techcrunch, BuzzFeed, New York Times, or some other coveted outlet, read the articles and understand clearly why their product was covered. Think about how your brand would be featured but most of all think about how your product or service would be featured different from the competition.
PR budgets come in all sizes and durations. In fact, a robust and comprehensive PR campaign incorporates a wide array of activities over a set period of time to gain momentum. However, there are a few tasks that can actually help you put your campaign into gear relatively quickly with little or no budget, which I’ve outlined above and hope you find helpful. Please feel free to reach out anytime if you’d like help for a broader PR campaign you might need help with, and that you have a budget for, by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lori Shepherd is the founder of 25SecondsPR where she manages small to large PR campaigns for digital, technology, and nonprofits worldwide. Her company is based in Oakland, California. She spent 15+ years as an in-house PR professional working for Silicon Valley technology companies including Hewlett Packard, Intuitive Surgical, and Guide by Cell. After forming her company, she has worked on the accounts of brands including Blitzify, Grammarlt.com FMSI, VentureFund.io, SkyChildCare, Nobody Cares Go Harder, the Points of Light Foundation, the Association of Women In Science, Local Futures, PrivacyAtlas, and numerous other.
Follow Lori Shepherd on Twitter @Lorulei and @25Secondspr
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