Women In Business

How to do your own PR

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Public relations goes hand in hand with marketing yourself and your brand. PR has to do with the public’s perception of you and the conversations they’re having about you. As such, you want to keep the conversations up to date with what you’re doing, why it’s unique, and why they should be interested. You want to show yourself as an up and coming brand that’s going to totally change the industry. However, that’s easier said than done. In order to run a successful PR campaign, you need a story, which means you need to know yourself and your brand. In addition, you have to be willing to put yourself out there for those who are going to cover your story and get the word out about what you’re selling. 

Figure out who you are among your competitors

Before you can truly know yourself and your vision, you have to know your competitors. Understanding industry leaders can give you some incredible insight as to what sets you apart. It’s a great idea to take notes on what they’re doing exactly right and what they might be able to improve on. This could give you some ideas about your own business and what you’re going to be selling. That could be literal, as in a product, or it might be that you’re selling yourself, your services, and your talents. It’s all applicable.

In order to truly differentiate yourself, you should ask yourself exactly what your competitors are missing and how you can fill this gap. How can you give your audience exactly what they’ve been lacking from everyone else? Start there are take some time to think on your ideas, perfect your ideas. When you have an idea, do some market research just to see if it’s been done before and/or how it can be done better. Taking time to understand what people need and how you can expertly achieve this is absolutely imperative to your campaign. Your ideas are going to break outside of the norm and they’re going to shake the industry — remember that and settle for nothing less.

Once you’ve got that vision, and maybe you already have it, the real PR works starts. You’ve got to share an enticing story to the world about your brand and why it’s so important. Your story is going to make people come to you and ask how they can be a part of it. So, let’s get started. 

What is your story & why should people be interested?

There’s no doubt about it, you have an incredible story to tell. As such, I suggest sitting down and writing it candidly. Then, after you’ve finished, you can go through and edit it as needed before you publish it. I believe that this approach can let some ideas come to you that you might not have discovered otherwise. You won’t feel limited in what you can describe, and after you’ve laid it all out you can edit it perfectly in order to nail down exactly what you’re wanting to say about you and your ventures.

Think about your journey thus far. What have been some incredible obstacles that you’ve overcome? What accomplishments are you most proud of? What makes your story such an interesting one to share? These are the kinds of questions that you’re going to want to ask yourself. The fact of the matter is, you’ve got to tell a story that makes people want to write about you, invite you to networking events, or simply connect with you on social media. This is the time to brag about yourself a little and be proud of your vision.

Keep your information updated

It’s also important to keep your information up to date on any social media channels and your website. If someone hears about your brand through social media, word of mouth, an event or otherwise, they should be able to check out your website and know everything that they need to know in order to write a story on you.

As a matter of fact, it’s really helpful to set up an “interview” or PR page that lets people know to get in contact with you if they’re publishing a story. Using this in combination with an “about” page and/or a “story” can make it very easy for people to get the information they need. If writers, interviewers, or event coordinators have to dig too deep in order to find out information about you and your brand they’ll just skip it altogether and look for somebody else.

In addition, you likely have some statements about what you stand for, likely spread across social media channels, your website, and possibly other places. Make sure that this information stays up to date as well. It’s important to know that startups often struggle with handling their own PR, simply because things change so often. As your ideas change, your business model might as well. You might decide to completely shift in a new direction and you want to make sure everyone is on the same page with what you’re doing, who you are, and what you stand for. 

Connect with influencers, publications, events & more

You’ve got to be ready to put in some hours connecting with important people. In order to get your brand name out there, you’ve got to want to be a part of something bigger. Attending events, networking whenever possible, and getting interviews published is crucial to any successful PR campaign.

This is where social media can help you a great deal. Connect with others that you might already know within the industry. Try to make connections to other influential people and so on. You never know when you’ll meet just the right person who wants to interview you and tell your story or who will invite you to an event so you can share your brand with the world. Put yourself out there and connect with people that you know or would like to know.

Take another look at what your industry leaders are doing. What events are they attending and why? How are they continuing to spread the word about their product? It might include giving influential people a sneak peek at something exciting and new before anyone else gets the chance to see it. A “first look” type approach is doubly effective for you because you can get honest feedback on how to improve, but you’ll stir up excitement around your brand.

Nevertheless, networking and building buzz around your product is hard work that is never truly finished. Even the biggest and baddest out there are forming their next PR campaigns as we speak. They’re thinking about how to get a conversation started about their new idea and you can too. If you truly believe in your brand and what you’re selling, all it takes is getting one other person excited about your idea in order to spread the word. If you’re willing to put in the time, you can break out from your industry and show the world that you stand apart.

About Trisha Miller

Trisha Miller is a writer from Boise, ID. She focuses on the world of finance, business, and marketing, as well as other topics like mental health, work-life balance, and veganism. You can find her on twitter @thatdangvegan

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