PR is a must for future business success. Over the last year, I’ve been working directly with an amazing women by the name of Annette from Publicity Genie on increasing my profile, my credibility and my authority in the niche market of business coach for women in business. After the success I’ve had with Annette, I wanted to have her write a guest blog post for the blog to help other businesses to understand why PR isn’t working for your business and what you need to do to change this.
You’re Giving Up Too Soon: Why PR Isn’t Working for Your Business
We live in an age of instant gratification. We want things done now, without delay and then we want spectacular results … and at a bargain price.
Yet, the reality is, despite being bombarded with quick fixes and gurus offering the world, nothing beats nose to grindstone and doing the work needed for success to be yours.
When it comes to PR and getting attention for your business, there are some basics that can and will make this happen. Our fixation with going viral, becoming influencers and scoring that big TV interview is clouding these basic steps. There really is no overnight success and all those brands you are watching with envy, did these basic … over, and over, and over, and over to get to where they are now. To build a rock-solid brand can take years.
Top 5 Reasons Why PR Isn’t Working for Your Business
It’s important when something doesn’t work to understand why it doesn’t work, so that the next time you want to try something you know exactly what NOT to do.
Here are the top 5 Reasons Why PR Isn’t Working for Your Business:
1.You Gave Up Too Early
It is like going to the gym to lose weight, two gym session does not melt away the fat. If you have only sent out a couple of releases/pitches and wondering why you are not the next big thing, then you just need to do more. PR is a long-term strategy. It is not a magic bullet. It is akin to planting seeds – you need to put lots in the ground to benefit from a full harvest. There are so many reasons why a story does not get picked up that doesn’t always have to do with the value of the story. Your email got spammed. The journalist is away and gets back from holidays to 100s of emails. The story has been run before. Email got buried in the inbox.
A one-off media release MAY get cut through, if the timing is right but, good PR is the result on ongoing deliberate actions, month after month. Building relationships and having a diverse and robust plan.
The solution is – keep going. Every month. Build a media contact list you can work to develop relationships with journalists. Keep offering good newsy stories that their audience will love. And do not stop at just one or two.
2. No Plan
Imagine getting in a car to drive to Darwin without looking at a map. Chances are you will not make it to your destination because you have no idea where you are going. You know where you want to go but that is only half the process. To get to where you want to go in your business, you must plan. I know, you hear this all the time. It is a bit like when you were a kid and your mum kept asking you to clean your room – it’s just white noise in the background. It is too much effort. A plan keeps you on track, it helps you track and analyse what is working so you do not waste time on strategies that are not giving you long term results. A plan takes the guess work out of the next step, because you took the time to work that out in advance. A PR plan should include info about your target audience – both prospective client and media contacts, story ideas, platforms to use (Facebook, Insta, website, media, digital media, podcast, awards) and what you will do each month to take that next step to raising your profile.
3. You Are Doing Too Much
Being in small business, especially when you are starting out, is you do not have a lot of money, so you are doing almost everything yourself – from admin, to accounts, to marketing, to sales, to doing the work you are good at. This means you are not doing it all well – that something must give. For many, that means marketing and PR gets pushed to the side because most people in small business have little experience with these specialities. You do your best, dabbling in Facebook ads, blogging and networking but it is a hard slog. While it will cost you money, it is worth tapping into experts in the areas you are not good at, so you can concentrate on what you are.
4. No Follow Up
Back in the day, to close a sale, it took five asks. Five times to get the prospective customer to say yes – this meant asking again in a different way, finding out the objective (overcoming them), following up to see if they have questions, asking questions to find out their pain points and how you can help.
Now days, it’s anywhere up to 20, sometimes more. We are more cynical. We have more choice. The power is in our hands. The same goes when pitching a story to a journalist. They have lots of choices and are inundated with stories every day. It easy to say no especially if the pitch is off and you never do this … follow up.
Yes, it is icky going back and asking again. Most of us want to be liked and not be annoying. But you want to grow your business, this is something you must get over. The power is in the follow up. As in point #1, sometimes things get lost in the tech ether or in the inbox, and timely reminder can mean the difference between giving up and a media win. I follow up at least 6 times before moving onto the next story. Even then I do not give up on the story – I repurpose it turning it into a blog or an article I can repatch, turn the content into social media or a video so I can get value out of it.
5. Eggs In One Basket
A great PR plan utilises several platforms to get the story out there. There is no one size fits all approach that works for every business; a plan must consider the target audience and how they receive information. Spending all your time on one platform limits your options and audience. It is a good idea to have a diverse plan, tapping into repurposing and leverage so you are not creating 100s of pieces of content. In your plan, you want to have at least four story/content ideas per month. From these four, you can create over 40 other pieces of content, giving you a month’s worth of other content, you can share across platforms. If your target audience doesn’t read the newspaper, then spending a lot of time pitching to a paper is pointless. Sure, getting an article in a big paper is good for the ego (and yes, can be used for leverage) but if you are investing time and money into PR, then you want to make sure the tools you use are effective and on point.
Results Take Time
Whatever success means to you, it really starts and ends with your attitude and mindset. Building a business means we must dig deep into our heart to tap into all our strength and tenacity. Remember, there is no room for modesty in business; if you want to get your story out there, you must tell that voice inside your heap, your story is worth, and people want to hear it.
And remember these reasons why PR isn’t working for your business the next time you want to implement PR into your business strategy.
About the Author
Annette Densham is the inspirational and very talented women behind the brand Publicity Genie. Annette focuses on working with start ups, micro businesses and solo entrepreneurs in order to get their story, their brand, their awesomeness out into the world and she does through different PR strategies.
If you’d like to add PR to your business strategy then make sure to contact Annette from Publicity Genie.