How to Get Started with Public Relations
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How to set-up your PR campaign
- First, what are you PR Goals? We recommend using the Worksheet – Goal-Setting to establish your priorities and objectives.
- Next, Open the Business Marketing Plan template, review and edit. This will give you ideas for developing a comprehensive marketing strategy and enable you to develop an integrated and coordinated PR campaign. It also provides a useful document to enlist the support of others. If you are working for someone else, this is the document to dazzle them with – if you are the boss, this is the document you get the right people to collaborate on then execute together.
- See also, Worksheet – PR Planning to map out your publicity opportunities.
- Gather the data for your Company Backgrounder. (See Worksheet-Company Backgrounder) This is something to include in all “press kits.” It provides the background on your company that many journalists may be curious to review.
- Develop your Company Positioning Statement. There will be a short version and a long version. You will use these in just about every PR document. Use the Worksheet – Company Positioning template for assistance in developing them.
- Before you start to pitch your products and/or services, we recommend that you use the Features & Benefits worksheet to fully flesh out the advantages of your products and/or services.
- Next, use the Product Positioning worksheet to develop two short statements about your products/service.
- Got some success stories? Use the Worksheet-Case History template to flesh them out. We help you gather the right information and create an interesting and credible success story.
- If someone has made a positive statement about you, your company, product and/or service, it’s likely OK with them for you to use it; however, you are well advised to obtain their permission in advance. (Ask for their photo too!) If you plan to plaster it everywhere, it would be a good idea (and good manners) to advise them of your intentions. We have provided the Letter – Quote Release to make this easy for you.
- Now you are ready to prepare a Press Release. First, we recommend using the, Worksheet – Press Release to lay the foundation. Publicity Builder contains a full spectrum of press release templates to choose from. Choose the Press Release template you want and edit.
- You will want to develop a list of appropriate media to where you want to be featured. Use the Worksheet – Media Contacts to add and track your media contacts.
- Contact the various publications that you think would be good outlets for your news and ask for their “Editorial Calendar” (Schedule of upcoming articles they plan to publish) and “Media Kit” (their pitch for you to advertise which will also provide their demographics and other statistical information.)
- Mail your press releases to the appropriate writers, editors, etc. There is no need for a cover letter.
Have a Specific Story Idea for a Specific Medium?
Do you have a special newsworthy announcement destined for a specific media outlet / Publication / Radio / TV station? Look to the Pitch Letter and Phone Pitch templates to develop your approach to the right people there. This is not a broadcast announcement, this is for pitching a special opportunity for a single (or very few) media resource.
A journalist contacts you
Hooray! OK, now is the time to be careful, meticulous, truthful and focused.
- First, be prepared for a telephone inquiry. Use the Telephone Inquiry Worksheet to gather your wits and ideas, and develop great responses to likely questions.
- They ask a Technical Questions and you want to respond in writing, use the, Letter – Thank You + Technical Answer
- If they request a review product, use the Letter – Thank You — Review Product to respond.
- If they request a demonstration use the Letter – Thank You — Schedule a Demonstration to respond.
- If the review item is expensive, you may want to use the Agreement – High-Ticket Review Product
- You are invited to meet with the journalist (very cool!), use the, Letter – Appointment Confirmation Also, you will want to work up a meeting agenda using the Worksheet – Meeting Agenda template.
- If you feel compelled to control certain aspects of your story or to enable you to provide certain explanations behind your product/service/company to better support the journalist, but limit their disclosure to a certain point, you may want to use the Agreement – Non-Disclosure template.
- They may ask for a complete Press Kit.
- This is like a complete promo package on your company. It includes…
- Press Kit Cover – perhaps you can produce a nice folder (something with pockets to keep everything together would be good.)
- Press Release(s) – nothing that has previously run in other media. Journalists want to run stories on breaking news.
- Worksheet – Company Spokespeople
- Company Backgrounder
- Product Brochures
- You can create a special web page with everything on it. This way the journalist can immediately copy whatever they need without having to wait or contact you. Also, you can burn your entire press kit to a CD-ROM and include with your package.
After your story runs
Besides the benefits of your story appearing, you can now leverage it in a variety of ways:
- First, thank the Journalist for their story with the, Letter – Thank You – Review Product
- Request Permission to Reprint the story using the Letter – Reprint Request
- If the story is a case history useful to you, use the, Letter – Case History Article Release
- Correcting errors – See the Online User Manual
Stay visible to your customers with a Newsletter
A newsletter is a cheap and easy way to communicate with your customers. Included is a Newsletter Template with an updated layout for content commonly desired in newsletters.
Conferences & Tradeshows
If you have opportunities to attend and/or present at Conferences & Tradeshows, Publicity Builder offers a few Tradeshow worksheets.
- Start planning for a conference or tradeshow with the Trade Show Budget template. It also serves as a checklist where you can map out when each task must be accomplished, by whom, and with budget amounts for cash-flow planning.
- Review with your team the Tradeshow Tactics Checklist worksheet
- Review with your team the Worksheet – Company Spokespeople to be sure you can immediately answers a busy journalist’s questions
- Review with your team the Tradeshow Follow-Up Tasks worksheet
That about gets it for your PR campaign! You are now the PR master of the universe – go forth and promote.