If you've recently launched your own business, you'll know how important it is to reach the right kind of customers, and that one way to achieve this is through exposure in the media. A lot of people approach us with the simple basic question, "how can I get press for my business?"
Below is a broad, basic introduction to approaching PR for your business, originially published on Quora.
1. Identify the story that your business can tell - what's interesting/ new/ unique/ particularly excellent about it? If you can't answer that, then go back to the drawing board and improve your product before investing your resources in press.
2. Find a person who can tell your story. Is there a celebrity who is a fan of your business and can demonstrate it by using your product? Is there a real life person or is there a large enough volume of people that can tell a good story about your business? Do you have an interesting spokesperson in your CEO or founder whose vision will tell an inspiring story about the idea that the business is communication? It doesn't have to be a specific person - if the volume or type of demographic of people taking up your product in itself is interesting, then those stats can tell the story too. If you don't have people who can tell your story, go back to the drawing board and find them.
3. Find the right moment to tell your story - is there a national or international event that is relevant? Is there a new product or product extension launch that you can announce? Is there a limited time period during which your business is particularly relevant, for example Christmas or the summer holidays?
4. Identify the people you want to hear about your story and by extension your business. Are they mums, kids, men who like motorbikes, urban city dwellers, people short on time, wealthy people, people on a budget? Find the demographic you want to reach and to whom your business is relevant.
5. Find out what and who the people you want to reach, read, watch and listen to; this can be media outlets, blogs, or networks whether online or grouped around membership organisations. Compile a list of the writers, editors and commissioners at the organisations who produce content that is interesting to the people you want to reach.
6. You have now identified a story to tell to the people you want to hear it and when, and a person or people who can tell that story well. You have now also identified the media outlets and other organisations that produce content that the demographic of people you want to reach consume. It's time to write your press release, put together press assets, and compile a list of journalists, editors and other content producers to pitch your story to.
7. Your press release should be as short as possible, while your press assets should be as plentiful as possible. The press release tells the journalist what the story is by answering the following questions: what, when, who, where, why and how? The press assets allow the journalist to tell the story; they are images, videos, spokespeople they can interview, and evidence (like stats) to demonstrate the truth of the story.
8. Once you have your press release, press assets and a list of people to pitch it to, start introducing yourself, your business and your story to the list, giving each journalist a heads up that the story is coming and letting them understand what's involved and when. At this point a range of methods and styles is available to you. You might want to do an "embargoed" release, which means that the news is available on a certain day and time and give journalists the press release some time before them to allow them to write the story. Or you might want to work exclusively with the largest publisher to give them early access to the story. Or you might want to hold an event and announce your story there - this all depends on what your story is.
9. If you do this well, you can then continue to nurture the relationships with the media you have made and continue to work on new stories and moments related to your business to grow your awareness and reputation.
10. You can also choose whether this is something you want to do yourself (full control, full knowledge of your business, but time intensive and you may not have the experience), hire someone in-house (large amount of control, cheaper in the sense that an in-house PR's time will be less expensive than your time), or hire an agency or external consultant (less control, more expensive, but you'll have someone with expertise, experience and contacts to do it on your behalf).