If you’ve wondered about the power of PR and free media, the 2016 US Presidential election was the best example yet for generating awareness and leads without the hefty price tag of the usual media costs.
Donald Trump’s victory surprised so many people because he spent less on advertising than any other candidate.
He made up for those unspent ad dollars by earning more free media than any other candidate — nearly $2 billion over the course of his run.
Free PR & media is a great strategy to promote your own business to improve your reputation, attract potential clients and grow your business.
You can use PR strategies to help you achieve this and build your profile as an expert in the marketing industry.
But before you ask – NO, press releases don’t equal media coverage.
And YES, reporters still do rely on press releases so NO, press releases are not dead.
Truth is, a press release is just a tool and like any tool, in the right hands it can do a lot.
Press releases can help inform the media about important updates in your industry, keep your clients informed, attract new leads into your business and again, ensure your repetition as an expert in your field is cemented in ink (or digital ink)!
PRO TIP: Creating a press release isn’t as complex as it sounds.
To help you, we’ve put together a template of a press release so you can see exactly how to lay it out.
The trick to getting your press release chosen, besides being relevant and good copy, is to make it easy for the journalist.
Here’s a quick list of 7 things a journalist wants to see:
- Catchy headline
- Compelling opening paragraph
- Release date noted
- Good quality photos/pictures included (in low res initially)
- Your logo included
- An obvious call to action
- A short bio and contact details for you
Aside from press releases, a secret weapon that savvy PR folk use is newsjacking (very much legal and nothing at all like carjacking!)
Doesn’t it seem like some businesses are always in the news?
How they do that is by leveraging the power of newsjacking. Newsjacking means simply finding a way to make your business relevant to whatever the hot topics of the day are.
If the royal baby is a hot topic of the moment, look to see if there are angles that relate to your business on this topic.
If the “sharing economy,” such as Uber and Airbnb are the hot topics, likewise check out opportunities to participate in the conversation.
Get creative – think outside the box. The angle doesn’t always have to be obvious; in fact your press release is much more likely to be picked up if it offers a fresh and different perspective!
The first step to Newsjacking is to make sure you’re aware of what the trending topics are.
The easiest way to know what’s buzzing is by paying close attention to social media. Both Twitter and Facebook have areas that show what topics or hashtags are trending at that moment. Make it a habit to check at least once a day and think of any possible ways to start a conversation around your business and the latest news.
PRO TIP 2 – Source Bottle – if you want to get your business quoted. A FREE service for anyone looking for relevant opportunities to get publicity for their business or themselves. Sign up or follow them on social media.
PR & free media is just like any other marketing strategy – consistency is key. Being seen consistently in either the print or digital media builds trust with your audience and keeps you top of mind with any prospects.
So give PR & free media a try. Write a press release or try some newsjacking – we’d love to hear about your successes in our closed Facebook group – The Marketers Club Insiders Group. Join today and start collaborating with other like-minded, forward thinking entrepreneurs.