5 Things You Need to Know Before Doing Your Own PR
Before joining Seca & Co, I spent over 4 years working in family-owned salons across Mississauga; no two salons were the same, however, each salon had one thing in common: they all opted to manage their own marketing and PR. Now, I’m not talking they made their own posters and pamphlets (which they did), I mean they opted to manage their own social media accounts, e-blasts, press…etc. Was this the best decision for these businesses? I couldn’t tell you.
But what I can tell you is that more and more businesses are making the decision to handle their own marketing and PR. Every aspect of marketing - from social media and communications to advertising and PR - comes with its own set of challenges.
Today I am going to share with you 5 things you should know before doing your own PR.
1. Good PR is a Full-Time Job
In order to produce anything of value you have to put a certain amount of work into it, public relations is no different. When you are trying to go public with any type of information or news you have to make sure the message you are publicizing is strong and is being sent to the right contacts. Finding those contacts and creating a message worth sending out takes time. Be prepared to make time to produce and manage a strong brand message.
2. Strong Writing Skills are a MUST
Strong writing skills are essential for anyone working in public relations; you need to be able to write and write well. This means having the ability to convey your message in an enticing, concise, yet professional manner; you want to pull people in without writing a novel or putting them to sleep. Spelling mistakes are wildly off putting and often result in a loss of credibility. Proofread everything! Twice!
3. “Stalking” is a Skill Set
I use the term “stalking” very loosely. Do not go and tail anyone or show up at their front door - this will 11/10 result in a restraining order. However, gathering information about people is very much a part of public relations and requires you to be patient, methodical, and organized. You may be wondering how PR pros go about gathering information about people and why they are doing it. We gather this information in order to build media lists and we go about obtaining this information by finding online publications that produce articles related to whatever we are trying to publicize, finding an article we like, identifying who wrote that article and how to get in touch with them. All of this requires time, effort, and a willingness to do the research – all of which are certifiable “stalker” skills.
4. Organization & Planning is Key
In order to succeed in PR and get the results you want you have to strike while the iron is hot, meaning you have to pitch at the right times. Even though you are not a trained PR professional you have to operate as if you are. There are certain months that are best for pitching campaigns for specific holidays and there are certain days of the week that are best for pitching to journalists; you need to know when these days are, or you may end up being left behind. Check out our downloadable editorial calendar that is free for you to use and spills all the tea on when to pitch.
5. Know your Messaging
It’s not enough to pitch an interesting brand or an incredible product/service -- you have to create a message that is going to resonate with people. You also have to be aware of who is interested in this message and may be willing to run with it. In order for your story to get picked up or garner attention, it is best to come up with a message that is current and relevant.
Drop your comments below and let us know how your public relations journey goes.