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The 6 Key Questions on How to Get in the Press: Who, What, When, Why, How, and How Much?


The 6 Key Questions on How to Get in the Press: Who, What, When, Why, How, and How Much? 

By Sydney

Public relations (PR), is the business of persuasion. Simply put, it is the professional maintenance of your public image. So how does one convince this judgmental, fault-finding, and overcritical audience that we call society that your public brand is worth it?

Whether it be a newspaper article, a magazine clip, a radio interview, or a TV blurb; being featured is a great way to become more visible, more credible, and more influential. Due to the fact that PR is the Persuasion Business, being featured is a wonderful tool in the world of PR. What better way to convince, persuade, shape and promote ones ideas than to be featured in the press?

The Why’s

Every organization, whether it be a start-up or a large corporation, ultimately depends on it’s reputation. If your business has a poor reputation, it will most likely be unsuccessful and unfortunately stay unsuccessful. In retrospect, if your business has a wonderful reputation, your business will most likely survive, thrive, succeed and excel.

We live in a widely competitive market. If company A and company B have very little differentiations, reputation might be what sets the two companies apart.

Bill Gates told us so: “If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations.” If successful business man and billionaire Bill Gates thinks so strongly that public relations is so important, then looking into incorporating PR for your business might be worth your while.

How much?

As we mentioned earlier, being featured in the press helps a great deal when it comes to building influence, gaining authority, supporting ones position, or promoting ones idea.

The only issue is, not every start up or small business out there has their own PR bank account. A lot of companies do not have the budget to go out and hire staff to help with their media relations and build their PR. Fortunately for you go getters, we have good news. With a few tips and tricks up your sleeve, you can do your own PR.

The Who’s

Describe WHO you want to reach. Although you’re the one looking to be featured, it’s good to narrow down your target market of journalists.

On a similar note, do not (and I repeat) do NOT start with the top dogs. Yes, starting from point blank and working your way up to the most read newspaper overnight for your first feature would be ideal. Quite amazing actually. However, in the world of press and publications, being a ‘small fish in a big pond’, means that you are quite literally; a small fish in a very big pond. This is where the “who’s” come in: Start. Locally. If you begin reaching out in your local area, you can practice your pitch, learn from mistakes, and then use this knowledge when you make it to the top level.

The When’s

Let’s take a look at two types of Public Relations: Reactive and Proactive. Reactive PR stems from the idea that actions are done in response to an event that has already happened. Whereas Proactive PR, is based on the idea that actions are based on the anticipation that something may happen. So, when do we use Reactive PR and when do we use Proactive PR?

Proactive PR should be centered on a proactive approach, easy right? You use the proactive approach when you’re actively seeking opportunities and actively putting in the efforts to promote your brand.

Reactive PR revolves around your audience, your brand, and the point you’re trying to make in response to certain actions that have occurred. It is always a good idea to keep a reactive PR plan in order to be readily prepared to respond.

The How’s

1. Leave your ego at the door, and dig deep.

You have to find then ‘you’ in, well, you! It is not out-of-the-ordinary for person a, b, and c to all share a similar story or have a relatable comment for a feature. This is why you have to stand out! All of the interesting information about yourself that isn’t your normal ‘go-to’ for sharing about you, will probably be some of the best material for the press. It’s hard to differentiate amongst everyone else; thus, selecting topics that you wouldn’t normally choose, can really help  you stand out.

2. Research, research, research.

Gather contact details for relevant journalists and editors.

Gather information on your ideal client, where do they hangout? What do they read on and offline?

Competitors? Research them! Target journalist? Research them! The term ‘research’ is used rather lightly here, because what we really mean is ‘stalk’. See what they have done, what they do, and how they’re doing it.

3. Start putting together your very own ‘Grab-and-go Toolkit’ for your PR!

Think of it as your PR grab bag. The following provides a list of some possible go-to’s to ensure your PR Toolkit is always straightened out:

Professional photographs

Strong, succinct copy

Up to date website

Clear contact details

Sample packs

4. Structure and Organization: Have it, love it, and please.. use it.

There’s so many different organizational strategies one can use to make getting in the press 10 times easier. For starters, create a newsworthy press release. Ask yourself, why would readers want to read about my business? Make a good and lasting impact. Another vital piece of structure is your PR Plan of Action. Don’t have one? Get on it! If you have a plan of action to reference with contact details, dates of contact, feedback, actions to take; then you will usually end up with the best results.

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