Developing a PR plan for your business

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The barrier to PR can be a mindset issue.
I meet owners of businesses of all sizes, who feel that whilst their competitors are ‘always’ in the press, their own company is not. And this can be quite intimidating.
As a business owner, it can lead you to think that your competitors have such a head start on you that it’s not worth beginning the process of engaging with the press, and producing content describing your achievements.

Your competitors do not achieve great press coverage as some kind of good luck or fluke. However, achieving news coverage requires continuous effort, and more importantly a plan.

PR coverage is much more likely if you have a well-structured plan in place. Some businesses develop and deliver their PR plan using their own resources and focus. Other firms call on external support. The resources that you use are less important than your commitment.

All businesses have news stories to tell, for example: new services, awards, clients and staff, and how these relate to the progress of their company. The first element of your plan is to lay out what you anticipate will be happening in your business in the next 6 to 12 months.

Alongside news, editors like to write about issues, and are usually keen to hear the voice of local businesses. So, if you have an informed perspective on changes in market conditions, the latest government regulations, or swings in customer demands, contact your local editor with your views.

Consider your channel

Remember that some of the coverage you value could be on social media, or via the trade press for your sector. Research the types of content that they feature and develop appropriate stories for them.

Coverage

Most news outlets do not hang on to stories for very long so it’s reasonable to assume that if your story is going to be used this will happen fairly quickly.

Journalists do not enjoy you phoning them to check if they have received your e mail or asking whether they plan to use your story. If your story has merit it will improve its chances of coverage, although do remember that at any specific moment, your story is competing with many others, so the trick is to make your story distinctive and compelling.

Don’t give up!

Remember that the reason that your competitors “are everywhere” in the press is because they have a sustained plan for PR.

Whilst it’s tempting to have an occasional venture into PR, the best results come from a well-developed plan and a commitment to publishing regular content to journalists, writers and bloggers.

 

David Gibson owns and manages Wordsmith Copywriting Services. Details of our PR services can be found here.

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