FREE PR is a term that I hear often and YES while you can generate PR for your business without spending $$$ there is a cost involved and despite what some will tell you, there’s no such thing as FREE PR
In business time is money and among the list of things to fill that time is establishing a media presence to attract clientele and carefully hone your image.
It takes time and consistent effort to ensure your company is presented in the best light to the widest possible audience, regardless of whether you outsource your PR or handle it in-house.
For each moment you spend on FREE PR you are taking away time from your revenue generating activities.
If you are a business owner time spent on FREE PR is time lost on revenue generation.
If you have a staff member do the task for you, their hourly rate and costs needs to be attributed to your FREE PR.
PR is not a quick, one-off effort we make in business. It’s a consistent push that involves:
Maintaining an internet presence: From blogging to LinkedIn, Facebook pages and websites, complete profiles and evolving content for an individual or organisation help them to be seen. These need to remain current, timely and above all reflect your business in the best possible light.
Researching and finding Journalists: The first person you contact in any newsroom is not necessarily the journalist you need. Pitches should be targeted at specific journalists with a focus in your area. These people take time to find and foster a relationship with.
Crafting newsworthy releases: Good press releases that are likely to attract attention boast a number of ingredients, whether they highlight something new, respond to something timely, or promote an event. This means they need to be researched and crafted correctly, in the best format to catch an editor’s eye.
Even weekly blog writing takes thought, great topics and good content.
Pitching the Story: So you’ve found your target demographic, you know the media outlet most likely to run your story and even the name of the journalist you want to contact, now it’s time for the pitch.
And it’s not just a matter of whipping up a release and emailing it through. Pitching often involves a follow-up call to ensure your information has reached them and to see if there is any interest.
Responding to callouts: Occasionally the media comes a-calling, seeking out stories and themes, but there’s no one-size fits all response and this takes thought and effort.
It also takes time to be across callouts and to vary your pitch to suit a media outlet’s angle.
Therefore, time is the “cost” of your FREE PR and that time has a value, whether it is revenue, wages or outsourcing fees.
The benefits of outsourcing your PR
Done once, done well: Solid PR involves a strategy that will span different media channels. Outsourced PR experts will swiftly create that strategy and cater to it through different means and even different styles to suit the publication or outlet. With professional expertise they’re also in the best position to handle it swiftly, in the best format, saving you valuable time.
Angles: Every business has a story to tell but sometimes it takes a professional story teller to find it. PR companies are in the unique position to know what’s likely to get picked up depending on the time of year and can find the angle within your business story to best pitch it.
A PR company is also in the position to see the hook that you as a business owner may not. It’s that point of difference that has an audience sit up and take note.
Contacts: Forget trawling through media contact lists, a PR company has this access at their immediate disposal, boasting a range of contacts they can call on quickly to get your message out. They’ve spent years undertaking this vital networking, utilising their sources each and every day.
Authority: Due to their writing style, or relationship with the media, professional PR companies are often placed in authoritative position to deal with the media.
Speed: A PR company’s job is to produce compelling content, regardless of its destination. Their reputation hinges on getting it done quickly and across the line for publication using a variety of channels at their immediate disposal.
The advantages to Keeping your PR in house:
Direct dealings: Being responsible for your own PR allows your organisation to establish a direct relationship with the media and assists in making you an authority they turn to if you handle it well.
It also allows you to stay across issues in your industry and respond to them directly.
Full control: How, when, and whether you issue a release is firmly in your court, and should you set aside the required time, you can build your own solid media profile across all the channels you regularly use.
Experience: There’s nothing like jumping in the deep end to understand what’s involved. Handling your own PR gives you valuable experience at honing your message to reach the media and its audience.
Building a network: A media network is a valuable commodity. By creating one independently you become the source they think of when issues crop up in your field. What should you do?
A mix of both. Your PR is always going to need some input from you so a mix of both outsourcing and in-house action is a great if you can manage it.
Outsourcing can be as simple as starting with finding the journalists and using services like Media Connections to get your story out there, or taking on a PR Coach to mentor or guide you.
Small steps to outsourcing will FREE up your time to get back to what makes you money. If you want to create Impact with PR book a discovery call with myself or head on over to Media Connections for more ideas.