On Friday 30 January 2015 The Design Trust organised a very popular PR workshop & networking event with various experts at the British Library in London, one of which was DIY PR expert and coach Paula Gardner of DoYourOwnPr.
This is post 3 in a series of 4 where we share the expert tips from our speakers (you can find all the links to the other posts at the end of this post.)
PR expert Paula Gardner:
10 creative ways to raise your profile (without a press release)
‘Use social media as journalists are really using this, especially Twitter and Instagram.
Don’t just follow the magazines, but also the individual journalists, editors, stylists.’
Tip 2. Pitch your story to the press via Linked In
‘People who use Linked In use it to network, so it’s fine to contact them. But don’t do this randomly: pitch an idea or story.
If you use the premium version, then you will be allowed to contact 10 people you don’t know. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but in fact because you are paying for it monthly, it can really help you to focus, and actually make you do it. (great accountability trick!)
Think quality, more than quantity.
Do your research. Pitch specific ideas that are relevant.’
Tip 3. Send them a gift
‘Do your research, otherwise this tip can become very expensive!
Make an A-list and a B-list of your media contacts. On your A-list are the journalist you have already had contact with in the past, and the B-list is the media people you want to get in touch with.
Have as your goal to move people from list B to list A.
Don’t give up after your first attempt. Stay in touch.’
Tip 4. Build Pinterest boards
‘With Pinterest you will reach both press, trade and consumers, so double results.
Be creative: create a ‘French’ board if you are working on a new France-inspired collection.
Tag specific media in your Pinterest, flatter them a little, and start the conversation there.’
Tip 5. Run competitions
‘There is a wide range of options here: you can do competitions on your own website or on other sites, publications, blogs.
Make your readers work a little (and set this depending on your marketing or social media goal). For example send them on a search throughout your website with an Easter-egg-type-hunt, or let them write a blog post linked back to your site.’
Tip 6. Pick up the phone
‘Speak to people, don’t just rely on emails! Journalists get 1,000s of emails but actually very few calls these days …
A journalist recently told me that she only got about 3 calls a day now.
You might need to do a bit of research to get their phone number, for example collect business cards at trade shows, and build up a relationship through social media and email first, so that they will know your name when you ring.
Have got something to say or pitch an idea.
Make sure that you know in detail what they do.What they have written about recently. Their angle and interests.
Pitch an idea of something interesting. And if they don’t seem interested do ask what they would be interested in.
Practice first with lower impact media such as local magazines and newspapers, to give you confidence, before approaching the big names in journalism.’
Tip 7. Interact on Instagram
‘Instagram is more personal than Pinterest, and its more about your life, your way of looking at the world. It’s your images rather than repinning others’.
Comment on others’ grams. Say something like this to a journalist: “I like your feature on page 25”
Tip 8. Enter awards
‘There are lots of different awards, for new businesses, women in business, technical or creative, local or regional awards.
Make sure that you enter the right ones for you, but you will be surprised how much press you can get from them, and not just for the winners.’
Tip 9. Blog and guest blog
‘Media is now actively looking to work with successful bloggers. They can see how you write and what you are interested int.
But it’s not just about your personal blog content, but they are also very interested in the size and quality of your following!
Do your research and approach blogs with ideas. Its about incremental building up. It takes time.’
Tip 10. Go to readers’ events
‘Many magazines like Living Etc, Red Magazine and Psychologies have events. Go there and its likely you will meet the journalists there in a low-key way. Or ask any of the journalists or staff present at the event for introductions.’
Do you want to learn more about PR and how to do it yourself?
From identifying who you want to contact (and identify 100 contacts and create a database!) to doing your research, networking with journalists, turning yourself into an expert, writing a press release and articles, to making the news.
You can purchase Get Noticed: How To Boost Your Small Business Profile In 30 Days Or Less from Amazon here.
Which tip did you find most useful? Do share with us below in the comments box!
Want to read all 4 PR blog post in this special mini-series?
Part 2: Lara Watson Editor of Mollie Makes magazine