By Heather Wied, Kbuuk
Time and money are two resources that are often in scant supply in small businesses, and when we don’t have the money to pay someone else to do the work for us, we have to put in the time to learn the tricks of the trade in as short amount of time as possible to help us achieve the results we want to see.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, but PR is a crucial component to any marketing plan, and if you’re not engaging in PR activities, you are missing out on awareness opportunities that will help propel your business forward. While we typically focus on providing PR advice to self-published authors, we felt as if these particular lessons we’ve learned in PR transcend any specific industry. Additionally, working in a startup environment, we know that each team member has to wear several hats, and for us one of those hats is PR manager. We’d like to pass on some of the insights we’ve gained so they will help you on your road to becoming your own successful PR manager:
Make PR a priority. Make PR a priority and plan for it. Do a little bit everyday even if it’s just as small as making one social post and responding to another’s. The hardest part of many activities is simply getting into the habit of doing them, once you make PR a priority and develop a habit, then executing on your goals will become much easier, and it won’t feel like you’re always trying to climb a huge mountain.
Never underestimate the value of any contact. When we think of a PR manager we think vibrant, extroverted personality who seizes every connection (at least we do). While you don’t have to necessarily be the life of the party, that mentality of being aware of your connectedness and your network is important. You never know where your connections will lead you, so when you meet people who provide you with their contact information, don’t take that for granted. Some of our biggest PR successes have been achieved through connections made in passing, but proved to be highly valuable to our goals and mission.
Sometimes all you have to do is ask. Don’t be afraid to ask, because the worst that can happen is that the answer is “NO,” or you just won’t get a response. I once attended a webinar with a very high profile individual doing a Q&A session. At the end of the webinar I asked how it was possible to secure that individual’s time, and the response was, “All I did was send an email with the details and asked for his participation. It was really that simple.” So if you’re looking for some kind of high profile name to be associated with your product or service, or you want a specific media personality to cover your story, sometimes all you have to do is ask, because whatever you’re offering could be a PR opportunity for the person you’re asking as well.
Use the tools the pros use. While we mentioned at the beginning that time and money are usually limited, this is one of the areas where a relatively small investment can produce big results. When you use the tools the pros use, you are doing a couple of things. First, you are providing yourself major credibility. Secondly, when you use services such as the PR Newswire iReach online news release service, that self-publishing authors can use on Kbuuk, you are giving yourself immediate reach in front of all of the right eyes.
We can speak from experience. A joint press release we released with an image was featured in Times Square. How’s that for awareness? People ask all the time how we made that happen. Our response is that we simply invested in the right professional tools.
Never stop learning about best practices. Protocols change. It’s important that you at least try to understand what will get people to respond to your PR requests. We recommend that you bookmark the PR Small Business Toolkit and select a few other PR blogs from the perspective of media professionals and reporters. There are some really amusing stories out on the Internet about what works and what doesn’t work in gaining coverage, and trust us, you don’t want to be that person who’s getting the blog post written about his or her obnoxious behavior and getting blacklisted from an inbox.
So now that you have a few of the tips that helped us, we wish you the best of luck in your own endeavors.
Heather Wied is the Resident Writer and Marketing Director for the Kbuuk self-publishing platform. Follow @Kbuuk on Twitter.
Founded in 2011, Kbuuk's mission is to empower independent authors to publish ebooks quickly and conveniently. Equipped with a suite of powerful and intuitive tools, authors can also engage readers and track sales to refine products and strategy. Anyone can create a Kbuuk account and access services once reserved for writers who could get past the gatekeepers of the publishing industry. Kbuuk is a privately held company headquartered in Houston, TX.
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