The concept of marketing is as old as the concept of business. Marketing is the backbone of any business and without effective marketing, success in any business is impossible. There are a numerous ways of marketing and the most common these days is content marketing. New age entrepreneurs hugely rely on new marketing techniques and one of them is ‘Public relations’ or ‘PR’. A number of businesses approach PR agencies for branding of their business. These PR agencies are known to provide new and established businesses the entire branding solutions.
Hiring a PR agency doesn’t at all mean that you get rid of the entire headache, but the truth is something else. In fact, the startups themselves have to go through a lot of hard work in spite of hiring a PR agency. Off late, many startups have started taking the do-it-yourself route for their PR. However, these methods require a lot of dedication on the part of an entrepreneur and a half-hearted PR campaign is unlikely to be successful.
There are a number of challenges that go into doing self-PR. A few of the challenges and the way to encounter those challenges have been outlined in this article.
1. Express yourself
The first step in PR is planning your campaign. When you outsource PR services, it is a general assumption that PR agencies provide unbiased and honest feedback about your announcement because they don’t hold any interest in your business. However, this is not always the case, as PR agencies now-a-days are in a habit of saying yes to every proposal. When you opt for self-PR, take due care in quantifying whether you have something newsworthy to contribute to the wider conversation. As a founder, it is common to be in love with your idea and to think that everything your company does is newsworthy. This is the reason why businesses approach PR agencies. But frankly speaking, you can take the help of your professional contacts and your business community for feedback. The best option is to ask for an honest opinion from a journalist friend. The comments may be harsh at times, but that’s not always a bad thing.
2. Choose your topic wisely
If you are planning to publish a press-release, then you should take time to assess the strength of your announcement. Analyze your target audience within the industry and region. Certain announcements are stronger than others like funding, big change in ownership are more likely to be published. In the world of startups, launch and funding announcements are the most likely to get covered, since they are major company milestones.
It is a common myth that until and unless you get an appropriate topic for writing a press release, you can’t write a Press release. The trick of the trade is there is always some or the other topic that remains uncovered and you can use these topics to your benefit. Google is the best tool to stay updated with the latest industry news. In addition to this, look at your competitors and see what they are covering. Track down the left out topics and present the same in a happening manner.
3. Craft a well-planned Strategy
Internet has the power to convert a novice to an experienced writer and the rising number of content writers is a proof of the same. But, planning an outreach campaign is where most of them fail. A campaign has some of the important elements that should be ignored at any cost.
The best PR agencies use a three-fold method to drive a campaign:
They offer the stories to journalists of top notch dailies and give them the time of 24 hours to reply otherwise they approach other journalists.
Target industry specific publications and websites.
Contact blog sites of high repute in industry.
Always respect journalist because they receive hundreds of pitches every day and until and unless you are polite to them, they are not going to entertain in any case. In addition to this, do respect their deadlines and time schedule. The worst method to reach journalists is pitching your articles to hundreds of journalists at a time. By doing this, you could be easily blocked by them and lose your contacts forever. The best method is to address journalist by name and thus giving them due respect.
4. Target your audience
Every startup has a dream to get featured in big publications but unfortunately not all of them are able to make it. But your enthusiasm should not result in haste. Always wear the shoes of the reader while you write content. Suppose your startup is real estate based and you help people to buy flats. Will your article be beneficial for the students? Probably not, your target audience would be professionals in their 30s or businessmen. These people provide the maximum depth to real estate market and thus your article would hit at the right spot.
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