by Aspect County

PR skills that all business owners should have

At the risk of putting my fellow comms agencies out of a job, I’m going to let you in on a few secrets. Secret one – You don’t need a massive advertising budget to gain some great PR for your business. It may surprise you to know that every single day, TV channels, magazines and newspapers are filled with PR stories about brands that give great content but did not pay a single penny to advertise there. So now I’ve got your attention, I bet you’re wondering just how these lucky brands manage to achieve this. Which leads me to secret two, three, four, five and six… 

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Know what makes your brand unique
Brands, and people that are good at PR, don’t just watch what their competitors are doing, they are acutely aware of their own strengths and unique selling points (USPs). They make sure they amplify their USPs so they can become the go to’ brand for comment or analysis in their field.

Elevator pitch your brand story
Once you know what makes you and your brand stand out, you need to summarise that in a succinct and appealing way. This summary is your elevator pitch’. You will certainly need to hone this in your external brand communications and before approaching media. For instance, if you own a turkey poultry farm, you certainly want to be the brand everyone comes to, to talk about turkey recipes, winter farming stories, or festive news. Are you the largest farm? Longest running? Growing and recruiting? Have another positive story to tell? Can you include that in your elevator pitch and communicate that with passion and fun?

Know your target customer and how to reach them
No two media outlets are the same, so think about the media you want to see your brand in and why. It shouldn’t just be because you like that media outlet, it should also be because your target customer watches, listens to, or reads them. This is how you curate a target media list so you can then think about the best ways to engage those journalists with your brand.

Get over your shyness
To carry out PR, you do need to put yourself out there and get over any shyness for the greater good of your business. Rather than seeing media liaison as something egotistical, see it as a way to reach a greater number of your target customers that will help grow your business. You do not need to be the loudest in the room to become great at PR, but you do need to convey passion for your brand. And reach out to happy customers and ask them for testimonials or reviews that you can then share on your website or in other brand communications. Customers talking about how great you are makes for powerful PR.

My final secret
Great PR takes time and effort, and it’s a darn sight easier if someone who knows what they are doing carries it out. And that, my friend, is why it pays to work alongside a good PR agency.

Fiona is a Company Director of GEC PR,a specialist travel and lifestyle agency.