You have the best products around, you have the brightest workforce, and you want to make sure that everyone knows about it. So you decide you want to do some PR work to bolster the current marketing and promotion you deal with elsewhere to help build you brand and your client base.
So how do you go about it? Surely all it takes is to get in touch with the papers and tell everyone how great you are, right? Wrong! Dealing with journalists to get what you want is not as straightforward as it might appear, and there are some gaping holes that many business owners fall into the first time they try to boost their profile.
Here are the top three things you should avoid when talking to journalists for the first time:
- Not having anything interesting to say – This is a tricky one, because to you, your business is the most interesting thing in the world. Let’s say you sell paper, for example. You might be able to tell someone exactly what weight of paper is needed to deal with each nuance of the business they can think of, or how much a ream of paper costs at trade without blinking. But is that really interesting to the outside world?
- Catching the journalist on the wrong day – Yes, this is a classic mistake, and is the sure fire way of ensuring that not only will you rub them up the wrong way, they are likely to remember it and are less likely to want to speak to you in the future. Journalists – a lot of them anyway – have egos, and that is not always good for the person on the receiving end of a brush off. So, to have the best chance of avoiding this, make sure you know how their week is structured and the best day to get in touch with them.
- Not building relationships – As journalists, we get the same complaint all the time: “You always speak to the same people.” This is an understandable gripe, but as a business owner, you also need to understand that when a journalist needs to get in touch for information, there is often no room for delay.
By Ali Steed, founder of The Business Powerhouse