How to do your own PR and Increase Brand Awareness
Creating a buzz around your startup is always going to be a good thing – no matter how long you have worked on remaining under the radar, as the owner of your venture. I know so many people who are not interested in showcasing themselves to their customers, but prefer to lay low and allow the business to do the talking. Although, this may last for a while – having a face and personality to connect with a brand is always a plus, especially now that people are searching for life behind a company. Very different to how things were many yeas ago, when the most important thing was the product.
Press is important and I will break down how you can become your own PR machine, and save some money for other areas in your business.
Get comfortable with writing about yourself
Write a press release about yourself – detail who you are, what your company does and how you plan on making a difference in your industry. You can even talk about any exciting things that are happening - you may have just won a competition, signed a big deal or secured growth funding. Summarise as much information about yourself and your business as possible, and make it easy to share.
A neat trick is to create a press coverage page – on here you can include everything from your information, description of your product, images, video content that can be shared easily (try having this on Youtube) and then share all your amazing press coverage, and your contact details, should they require any more information about you or your company.
Be shameless about getting out there
Be bold and confident about sharing your information. As I always say – “think it, believe it, own it”. This will cement your expertise as you grow towards your end goal. Put yourself out there to as many outlets as possible, whether these are bloggers or new outlets – it will be worth the effort in the end if done right.
This carries a lot of props for your brand as you are at the forefront, representing what you have created and what your brand is about.
You will end up building very good relationships with outlets who have covered you and this is always a plus – it makes sharing any new updates on your business easier the next time around. Share, share, share – get it on your social media platforms, in your newsletters or share with other companies to share for you on their platforms.
Much like cold calling, but blind emails
This may seems like a waste of time and could very well look basic in terms of reaching the right people. Blind emails can be very rewarding and may allow you to connect with members of the press, who will become important to getting you out there.
But, saying that, you will need to be strategic and never just spam people with bundles of emails. We all receive hundreds of emails a day, so imagine a member of the press. Therefore, try to be unique and stand out against the crowd – we are all different in our own little way, allow your authenticity to shine through.
Get in touch with writers you are already aware of, who frequently cover your sector and who would love to cover you. Focus on tailoring your emails so they have less of a generic feel – you want them to open the email, become intrigued with your story and get it out to their audience, who may then become yours.
Network and build genuine relationships
You attend many networking events throughout the year and there are always press members there checking out what’s new. Make it your mission to build genuine relationships with them and not just create and run a transaction. They’re real people, so it is important to be yourself and connect with people you meet; it is the same as emails – you never want to be just another spam mail ready for the junk folder.
Focus on getting to know the person behind the press opportunity. Most people make the mistake of constantly selling or trying to get coverage, meanwhile one of the simplest and most natural thing to do is connect with another human being.
In time the press coverage will come if they are naturally drawn to who you are, and what you have to offer – so being pushy isn’t always a win. No one likes being sold at all the time!
Time to collaborate
A great way to get yourself out there is to be a guest writer – you can create the news yourself.
Most businesses are all about content. You can very simply offer your articles, to relevant blogs relating to your industry.
Be on the ball and remember that the best way to get your content published on other platforms is to be interesting, helpful to the reader, relevant and not about what your company provides.
One of the greatest things you can do when running a startup, is to keep growing. Even if all the above fails and you are stuck for choices – the most amazing aspect will be your growth and relevance to your sector.
Press will be running over to you rather than you trying to create your own press. Always remember to be you and think it, believe it and then own it!