We recently had the wonderful Lucy Werner, founder of The Wern – a PR agency specialising in working with small business and entrepreneurs on their PR needs, hosting a great virtual #ialso100 breakfast.
It was a fantastic session, full of insight and information – thank you to all that attended.
Lucy started the session posing the question: ‘what stops you from hyping yourself?’ The number one reason given was ‘confidence’ and how we hold back and perhaps don’t promote ourselves or our businesses enough.
Leading on from this, Lucy shared her top 4 PR Tricks to do just that – get yourself and your business out there:
Create your own hype
Lucy shared with us how an example of how she struggled to get booked for events, so decided to take matters into her own hands and create her own – bravely pitching the whole event before any speaker was confirmed. Her gamble paid off, and her event was booked and then she strategically set about getting speakers.
She decided on the magazines she wanted to be in and sought to contact the journalists there to ask them to speak at her event, and it worked. She created relationships with these journalists, and was subsequently asked to speak on and host future panels for their publications as a result.
If you want to be seen but can’t get booked yourself, go big and create your own event / webinar and pitch – people are quite happy to speak for free, especially now we’re in a virtual world.
Lucy shared an example of when they offered free PR advice at a business trade show with no catch or buy in. They had people queuing up to speak to them which proved to be a valuable exercise as it showcased their expertise and talent.
Know where your audience will be, and think about how you can stand out and engage with them in a different way.
So many people get bogged down in number of followers. Lucy says, forget it. She shared that for her, she only wants people who want to learn PR and branding tips following her accounts and that’s it as the audience has to be engaged. Don’t worry about follower numbers, just about people that are engaged with your brand. Think about how you look as a brand, do your colours feature in what you look like? Can people recognise your brand easily?
Use Instagram as a billboard for your brand so your audience recognises it’s you.
Email marketing has never gone away so don’t forget to use it. Your email list is always there. Lucy says she only emails monthly, but it is never to sell but to give back and offer tips and insight and cement what she offers.
Always remember who is on your email list and keep in rergular touch with them.
We then moved on to some of Lucy’s Top PR Tips:
If want to write for national newspapers or get a guest post, the easiest way is to use google and write ‘how to write a guest post to …’ and it will come up. Recommend doing this first and seeing what the criteria is before writing your pitch and make sure you have 3 or 4 topics you specialise in. Have your dream piece in mind – so where you’d love to be – but also don’t forget the more niche blogs, as that is where you can often see traction. Places that translate into sales aren’t as obvious as you think – sometimes it’s the smaller blogs where you get the uptake.
Don’t be snobby with where you pitch.
Check out Readly which is an app that has access to every print mag on newsstands and you can search your business on it. Then you will see all your press coverage you have received, and bits that you potentially could have missed, as well as other businesses in your sector to gauge what stories and angles are getting most traction. Then you can adapt your pitch accordingly.
Make sure you know what press you’ve been in and what the reaction has been.
Connect with press
Lightbulb is available for a free trial for 14 days and it’s £5 a month. It is a group for just entrepreneurs and business owners to connect with the press. There are all sorts of levels, but it may be worth paying for a freelance PR’s time to really refine your pitch to make sure you have the best chance of being picked up. A lot of us tend to overcompensate by telling as much as possible whereas actually less is always more.
Be ballsy – tell the story straight to the point, make sure you spell the journalist’s name correctly and get the section of the magazine / paper correct.
Twitter is the best friend for journalists.
Follow the journalists you like on Twitter, make friends with them and get to know their habits. Follow #journorequest, #journolink, #responsesource and it gives you an idea of the type of stories journalists are looking for. This could also open other opportunities that are maybe not in your pitch but you would be good for.
If you are supporting journalists and are reliable and known, they will remember you. Always remember, your story and you are interesting and relevant, and your story is always worth telling.