How to get your business in the press and get more customers without having to spend a penny on PR
Some say PR is dead. Personally, we don’t think so. Our company has been featured in some much media with and without the help of a PR agency. How did we still manage to get featured in the press without the help of a PR expert?
Step 1 – First of all, let’s keep it real
The biggest mistake businesses make when hiring a PR agency is starting with the wrong expectation. I know as we made it too. Don’t hire a PR agency to generate leads, it’s not what PR is for. Their job is to get your business in the press. If your budget is small, focus on sales and marketing. PR main goal is to get your brand noticed, raise your brand credibility and facilitate the conversion from prospects to customers. This doesn’t necessarily mean your phone will start ringing and you will get flooded with inquiries. But when this also happens, it’s a great bonus. PR opens doors to more business opportunities such as public speaking, partnerships and so much more.
Step 2 – Do you know who is interested in what you do?
Blasting press releases to a list of journalists won’t get you noticed and won’t get your business in the press. So do your research.
- Pick a couple of media outlets where you would like your business to appear. Find 10-15 journalists and influencers you believe would be interested in writing about you.
- Use Twitter. It is a great tool to connect with all the journalists and influencers in your industry. Follow them and engage by asking them what they like to write about even if it is obvious. 80% of the time, they will respond.
Step 3 – It’s all about your story
Journalists only care about a great brand story, not your business. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Why do you do what you do?
- How does your company impact others?
- Who works with you? What’s your company culture?
- Is your company approach different from your competitors? If yes, what is the positive impact?
- Can your company story inspire others?
- Is your business innovative or original to what is available in the market?
- Do you go beyond your product and service offering to support your customers?
By answering those questions you will be able to write a great brand story that journalists would want to write about. So get started! You will get better.
Create a brand story that gets you in the press and attracts more customers
Since forever, we tell stories and nothing is better than a good story. This can be applied to your brand story. Today with the proliferation of media and the rapid adoption of digital channels, consumers are bombarded with thousands of brand messages every day. This proliferation of messages leads to the loss of yours in the wave of your competitors and also results in the loss of your brand awareness. We estimate that, on average, people are exposed to over 6,000 advertisements each day, making it harder than ever to gain the customer’s attention.
What is your brand story?
Every brand has a story. A crucial question is Why do you exist? Then, write down what is the vision of your company. What are the things you stand for and why are you different from your competitors? Now align all of that with your ideal customers so it needs to resonate with them not everyone. Now create your brand statement. It should present to your customers and stakeholders what matters to you. That angle will get your business in the press
A brand story is so important and an easy way to create an emotional connection between your brand and your consumers. It is easier for them to understand the values of your brand and how they can relate to theirs. And on the other hand, it is easier for them to remember your brand story rather than a message with no emotional touch.
Let’s take for example Apple and their campaigns which are always based on the relationships their customers have with their products. So what is the impact your brand has on your customers? How do your products or services change people’s lives? They’ve been pioneering this brand story campaigns. They were one of the first to understand the usefulness of storytelling, especially for a brand. If you follow Apple strategy, even without a massive budget, you will get your business in the press.
For example their last advert “behind the music. behind the mac”
Simply, stories are very engaging. Wherever you are using a story for being in the news, for a speaking gig, an advert or in front of stakeholders, you are less likely to lose your audience’s attention. This is why people who speak frequently begin presentations with stories. Stories are very helpful for the audience’s understanding.
Keep your customers in mind
Keep your customer in mind. Try to put yourself in their shoes. What’s their thought process? What would make them want to engage with you instead of your competition? How can you demonstrate you understand their concerns in your message? When you talk about their problems, your prospects listen. When you talk about the solutions, your prospects buy.
Add Emotions To Your Brand Story
In his book Descartes Error, Antonio Damasio, professor of neuroscience at the University of Southern California, argues that emotion is a necessary ingredient to almost all decisions. A great brand story is about emotion, so you can connect with the heart and mind of your prospects. Give them a reason to care, a reason to buy, and a reason to stay. People rarely ever make rational purchase decisions but emotional decisions.
Be an expert
Find what makes you unique and how it can benefit the media for having you featured for news. Then approach the relevant media contacts and provide suggestions adapted for their media agenda. Do your research, make personalised approaches and it will pay off.