Startup publicists or small business owners looking to do their own PR for the time being – listen up!
Communications and Public Relations professors will teach you a strict rundown to implement when it comes to running a successful PR campaign, but honestly, ditch what you learned in the classroom, and give these 5 quick and useful tips a try.
Simplifying your techniques but still remaining diligent will result in the responses you are seeking + leave you with more time to focus on other aspects of your business. Most importantly, enjoy what you’re doing and embrace meeting new people while achieving amazing results.
5 Tips on Running a Successful PR Campaign
1. Running a Successful PR Campaign – Know your audience.
First and foremost, before getting your campaign off the ground, know your audience.
What industry do you fall in – entertainment, fashion, wining & dining, travel, tech, lifestyle, etc?
From there, you can narrow down your outreach. Of course, there are times when your audience will include various outlets in different industries and realms. For example, a clothing brand that is catered towards new mothers will fall into both fashion and lifestyle industries, with a concentration on family and motherhood. The possibilities are endless, but be sure to gather up the best of the best when it comes to contacts for each audience. By narrowing your audience, you are able to broaden your outreach, with the high possibility of gaining more inquiries.
*TIP: organize your media contact list by industry, then sub-categories. This will make your outreach (and your life as a publicist) SO much easier. The organization is key.
Example – Industry: Entertainment – Music, Subcategories: Rock, Indie, Alternative, Electronic/Dance, Country, Top40, etc.
2. Running a Successful PR Campaign – Be short and to the point.
When reaching out to media personnel, make your email short and sweet, leave the details for the press release. If you don’t already know the person of contact, introduce yourself (and the client you are representing, if applicable) what the project is that you are announcing (the whole point of the PR campaign), what you are seeking (media coverage, blog post, social media push, collaboration, etc), that you’re interested in working with them and happy to hop on a call to discuss further. Closing signature, then send.
3. Running a Successful PR Campaign – Pitch creative angles.
Instead of just pitching, “so and so is dropping this new line on date, can you cover”, pitch a more creative angle that will get the writer or media contact’s attention. Many outlets want more, they want a feature with beef – something to work with and more than a simple announcement.
Instead, try pitching an interview, a social media takeover or even a fan or reader Q&A where questions are submitted that the client must answer. Looping in a few announcements at once also helps the pitch.
Example: an artist dropping a new track + announcing a few show dates gives writers more to work with.
4. Running a Successful PR Campaign – Follow up, follow up, follow up.
Nothing is more important than following up with your outreach. Whether you reached out to five outlets or 500, you MUST (and I repeat, MUST) follow up with each and everyone, and most likely, more than once.
Plain and simple.
When creating your schedule for the campaign, work in 2-3 days for follow ups, too. In most cases, follow ups are more important than the initial outreach, as emails tend to get buried in overflowing inboxes from time to time. Follow ups also show that you mean business, are committed to getting the best coverage for the campaign and won’t back down.
5. Running a Successful PR Campaign – Connect, network & befriend.
Probably as important as following up with your media contacts is to get to know them as people, not just writers you reach out to when you need an article or review written for a client.
Connect with the contacts you believe you will be reaching out to more often than others. Introduce yourself, ask questions about where they live, their hobbies, favorite artists or genre of music, etc. Contacts are more likely to respond to and accept your pitch if you’re personable in the approach.
If you’re located in the same city, make plans to meet for a cup of coffee, or to meet up at a future event you know you’ll both be attending. Networking is the most important part of this business, for it’s all about who you know. Attend as many networking events as you can, get to know others and create some friendships. I can’t tell you how many of my connections have turned into close friends, and I will be forever grateful for those relationships.
Amanda is a detailed public relations manager, editor and social media manager. With many years of experience under her belt in professional performance and networking in the entertainment and lifestyle industries, she has had the opportunity to wear many hats and hold a variety of different positions. Her intrinsic love for culture and lifestyle, curiosity for new places and panache for writing and public relations have led her to starting A.FAYE PR.
Amanda resides in Pittsburgh, PA with her bearded man, Scott, and on-the-go toddler, Willow Mae. When not discovering new electronic music, planning her next getaway or organizing fundraisers for her non-profit, Diamond and a Dream, you can find her visiting new restaurants and craft breweries, scoping out hidden coffee shops and enjoying her busy life as a work-from-home stay-at-home hipster mama and #girlboss.
Check out Amanda’s website at www.afayepr.com, and find her on Instagram @amandafayecowan, @afayepr