Public relations is about helping to make people aware of your start-up and make it stick in their mind so that when they need to buy from the industry in which your business opeartes, they think of your company first.
However, with no budget to hire a swanky public relations agency and no experience of running a PR campaign, how do you compete with the big hitters? Here are our top five tips to doing your own PR.
Personalised press releases go a long way in making connections with the media. If you're contacting a journalist out of the blue, make sure your product or service are relevant to them. Then give an example of why your product fits in well with their publication. A generic press release without the journalists name and no mention of how your product suits their industry will almost certainly be binned. "Know your subject," says PR guru Lynne Franks the founder of Lynne Franks PR. "Keep to the truth and understand the market and philosophy of the publication or media you are dealing with."
Be social and follow
Social media is obviously a brilliant way of getting your brand in front of potential customers and it gives you a platform to engage and connect with them. "Being social on Twitter has garnered me follower numbers of over 4,000", says founder of Gower Cottage Brownies Kate Jenkins."These followers and customers have been instrumental in shouting about my product and leading celebrities literally to my doorstep in some instances."
Make fun videos
Setting up a YouTube account is free and it effectively allows you to film your own advert. If done well, it can even result in your clip going viral and racking up millions of views. "Making a nice video results in the clip getting tweeted and shared," says Will King, the founder of King of Shaves. "We did a short video with a fake Andy Murray beating a fake Roger Federer using giant razor's instead of tennis rackets. It cost us a sensible amount to make and It helped to get's people exploring, laughing and talking about the brand."
Show off your clips
Having a page on your website that shows off all of your media coverage can help you to get even more press. Have a media page that includes photos, videos and contact information in addition to your clips. This makes it easier for other journalists to get in touch and it shows them examples of how your business has already been covered. Having a media page can also impress customers and will result in them trusting you more.
Silence is not a rejection
If at first you don't succeed, then try, try and try again. Like everyone else, journalists are busy people. Even though they may not have replied to your first press release it doesn't mean they didn't like your start-up. Every time you have a new angle, you should drop them another email, as you could get in touch just when they need a good story what they are looking for. Timing is important, but making yourself a 'pleasant pest' can be the most effective approach - just remember the emphasis should be on 'pleasant.'