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Do the groundwork for effective PR for your business

 

Your small business has a great story to tell.  If you are looking to employ a PR consultant to help drive media coverage, make sure you have done your ground work for your best chance of success.

Here are the four questions to ask internally:

1.  Have you nailed your value proposition and business objectives?
Is your announcement newsworthy?  When you are competing with hundreds of other press releases on a journo's desk, you need to be saying something new and interesting.  It might be a new product or service or the unique culture in your business.

2.  Are you ready to respond?
Ensure your online and operational systems are running smoothly.  If your public relations firm gets press coverage for your business make sure you are ready and able to respond to questions, interviews and (ideally) demand.  If you are driving sales, are you prepared with appropriate online functionality (or sales team) and sufficient inventory before going live with a campaign?

3.  What's your goal for your return on investment?
If you are bringing in an external agency, make sure you have defined what you want to achieve and how you will measure success.  Discuss your outcome expectations.

4.  How much can you do yourself?
The right agency will bring you access to key journalists and media in your sector.  They will be honest with you about the best approach and help find a way to communicate your brand to the media in the most effective way.  But there are no guarantees and if a dramatic event happens on the same day as you release, it can be hard to get traction.

However, there is a lot you can do yourself to tell you own story.  Put your great news on your website's blog and share it on your social media channels.  Add social sharing buttons to your blog pages so it's easy for people to share your news with their network.  Does your website have details on the team, information about your business and easy ways to get in touch?  If your press releases stimulates interest in your company, make sure your house is in order when they go online to find out more.

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