PROACTIVE PR TACTICS ANY BUSINESS CAN WIN WITH
1) The listings piece (aka ‘the listicle’)
People love a list and Google knows that people love a list, so google loves lists too. As I wrote about on this blog, getting on a a good list article (or listicle as they are sometimes known) can get you a ton of new leads.
To summarise: the web is full of useful indexes of similar things e.g. ‘the 5 best places to buy wedding suits in London’. As they are often sources of up to date, well researched information, often google ranks listicles as the number 1 result for a certain keyword e.g. ‘where to buy a wedding suit in London’ or ‘wedding suit london’. As most people click on the number 1 search result for a certain keyword, featuring in a list that is the number 1 result for one of your keywords is almost as good as being the number 1 search result yourself, and it can be a lot easier to get featured on a successful listicle than generating enough SEO juice to break into the top 5 for competitive keywords.
Google your top keywords and see if a listicle on that keyword exists and ranks highly. If it does try pitching the media outlet and seeing if you can get your name added to the list. (N.B. See when the list was published. If it’s out of date there’s more reason for the media outlet to update it with fresh information).
If no list article comes up try pitching a list that you’ve researched to the website in your niche that is a) most relevant to the list and b) has a decent amount of traffic (N.B. it must be fair, even if that means including your biggest rivals).
If you don’t get any takers for your list make sure that you post it as page or blog on your website. From personal experience I know that this is a great way of fairly getting into the top 10 for a particular search query.
2) Invite Journalists to Review Your Product Or Service
Having created your list of media outlets that you’d like to get featured in you may know whether each media outlet reviews of products/services or not. If they do it’s a tried and tested way of getting great PR. In particular product reviews are the lifeblood of blogs and vlogs. If you’re short on time and have a spare bit of money there are websites like bloggers required that can find you bloggers to review your product. But it’s always best to put the hours in and try and approach the places that you think will suit you and your brand best.
3) Are You Doing Something Interesting That’s Not Directly Related To Your Product Or Service?
It’s quite rare to approach a journalist just as they are thinking about writing an article about your niche. However journalists are writing articles all the time that you could conceivably feature in that don’t directly concentrate on your business, but do give you a chance to mention your brand and get your key message in too! This all depends on doing one of two things
a) Watching out for journalists who are putting out requests for contributors to articles. The best way of doing this is by following the hashtags #journorequest , #bloggerrequest and #prrequest on twitter. The following is typical of the kind of request that you’ll see
Looking for UK tech startups that used to be based in a coworking space, but are now based in a traditional leased office #journorequest
— Emily Spaven (@emilyspaven) June 30, 2016
It seems like Emily is writing an article about how tech startups move to the next level. So there’s no reason not to contribute to her article and take your chance to get your key messages in the article.
b) Pitch your unusual activity to a journalist. Maybe your encourage your colleagues to juggle for 10 minutes everyday to improve their concentration, maybe you only hire vegetarians, maybe every single member of your company works in a different time zone? Whatever it is – if there’s an unusual, human interest story in your business make sure you’re telling it!
4) Teach Something
If you’re in business then you must be solving a problem for a group of people. Sharing a proportion of your knowledge or wisdom on how you solve that problem is a classic way to get featured on a media platform. So for example if you are a dog walking company with the ambition to reach a local audience, you can pitch your local news outlet and offer to write an article about the best places in your area to walk your dog. Or if they don’t take guest articles, send in a great press release with all the relevant information and insist on getting a link back to your site. In the current climate of sites being hungry for more and more content, you’ll be surprised how often you will get something published.
5) Opinion Article
Do you have a view on an upcoming big event, or an event that’s just happened that affects your niche? The chances are that many relevant media outlets will be grateful for a well written ‘opinion piece’ on the subject. For example if there’s been a big election in your country or region, the chances are it will affect your niche in some shape or form. If you were a financial tech company with a clientele of small businesses it might be that business tax rates were being lowered, and you had a view on how your clients would benefit from such a move.
If you can’t get an opinion article placed on a 3rd party site, they make great blog articles and great linkedin posts.
These kind of articles are great for positioning you as a thought leader and expert in your niche.
6) Publicity Stunt
Publicity stunts take planning and often require a certain amount of buy-in from journalists in advance in order to guarantee you are going to get the coverage you want. But done correctly they will really boost any PR campaign.
A good recent example is the Mr Burger restaurant in Melbourne, Australia, who promised free burgers for life in their restaurant for anyone who legally changed their surname to ‘Burger’ by the time the restaurant launched.
A good publicity stunt will make people smile. So if your brand is all about being serious, this might not be the best strategy for you.
7) Become A Guest On A Podcast
Podcasts are becoming more and more common. The lifeblood of many podcasts are guest contributors – who often give substantial interviews where they give the audience an insight into their knowledge. If you are a decent talker and someone who has a good media-friendly story to tell you won’t have any difficulty booking yourself on some relevant podcasts.
A quick search on iTunes or stitcher should reveal the podcasts to target. Then it’s the usual task of finding the appropriate contact details and sending an email explaining why you’d be a great guest for that podcast. It usually helps if you can reference a recent episode you may have listened to – particularly for the more successful podcasts.
As well as great publicity, being a guest on a podcast is great for your credibility as an expert and your development as a thought leader in your niche.
8) Enter A Competition Or Award
There’s always stacks of business competitions or awards to enter your business for. If you win, or get shortlisted the chances are that the award/competition itself will have hired a PR company to promote it. So you will get mentions and potentially interviews with relevant media off the back of the competition.
9) Become The Face Of A Bigger Movement / Organisation
Are you part of a niche where there’s a trade association? Or maybe you’re taking part in some kind of government scheme or have received funding from a large organisation? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, there’s an opportunity to contact the relevant body and explain that you would be happy to be featured as a good news story or spokesperson for that organisation.
10) Launch A Competition
This is a tried and tested way to get mentions in the media for your product or service. By giving away a prize or opportunity within your business you can grab some column inches and air time from relevant media outlets. It’s best to do something that encourages talking points amongst your audience and hopefully generates further media coverage. For example, if you were a bicycle manufacturer it would be more interesting to ask people to design a new bike and put it their designs on social media, rather than just giving a bike away. So think about something that would get you talking. Does your idea pass the talk radio test (i.e. can you imagine your competition getting featured as a conversation point on a talk radio show)?
11) Get A Celebrity Involved
A story about your business can be a challenge to get into the media, especially the bigger media brands with the bigger reach. But involving a celebrity in that story will make it much more likely that your business will get featured in the media.
You may think that involving a celebrity in your PR campaign is going to be expensive. And yes, if it’s just straight up promotion work for a product or service that the celebrity might not be interested in then you will probably have to pay them, or at least give away a substantial amount of freebies in return for them lending you their name.
However celebrities maintain their celebrity by getting featured in the media. They need media coverage just as much as you. So if you think you can arrange some media coverage for an event that a celebrity can get involved in – in particular if it puts them in a positive light – then there’s every chance you can persuade them to take part.
12) Run A Survey
One of the best ways of making sure you are part of the news is by making the news yourself. A survey, especially if it delivers a controversial result, is a tried and tested way of getting your brand in the media. I’ve personally used this to get mentions in the Daily Telegraph and the relevant blogs for my niche which drove traffic to my site and increased my twitter and linkedin following.
13) Make A Prediction
The media love a prediction. Particularly if they are controversial. The first guest on my podcast Henry Pryor (who has gone on to make more than 500 appearances on television alone in the last six years and now justifiably calls himself the BBC’s favourite property expert) got his foot in the media door after predicting that house prices were about to fall when everyone else was saying they were due to carry on rising.
So if you have a prediction you can make about your niche or industry, make sure you draft a press release and get in touch with the relevant media as soon as possible.
14) Book a public speaking opportunity
If you’re confident about creating a positive impression through a speech or a presentation this is a great way to make a positive impression on your target market and start conversations off in the real world with real people. The ultimate aim would be to present at a big conference in your niche – and if you have a product or service that is making waves and you have a great story it’s worth applying to speak. However a great place to get your first speaking gigs is through meetup.com . If you’re not familiar with meetup it’s a website that organises different interest groups to get together in the real world and discuss their hobby or interest. There are meetups for almost every subject you can think of and the groups are always looking for speakers and hosts for their events. So approach a few groups that you think contain your target market and offer to give a presentation.
Any questions or queries about this article? Comment below and we’ll get back to you