If I was down to my last Dollar
There could be some very tricky times ahead, if what’s in the news is an indication, especially for the Middle East. Add to that, summer is around the corner. The first knee-jerk reactions are to go low-key or cut down on communications budgets. This is true for small businesses and start-ups as much as any large organisation. They are, in my opinion (vested as it is), doing themselves a disservice. Good communications do not need to cost a lot of money just a bit of time and thought. These slow times are a good opportunity to think about using communications better and preparing for the rest of the year.
It is surprising how many people do not use blogs to share their own news. Press releases may have gone out of favour (though it is still used here) with journalists (with good reason) but these can be posted on your own site. So, your potential customers and partners can see updates around what you are doing.
Create opinion pieces and blogs that can help media find the right person to approach.
Create a newsletter – make it relevant to your own organisation.
Slow times, especially summers, are great for media relations. With depleted resources, media rely on information coming in from us. This is even more true for the summer. Do not ignore the freelance journalists and reporters. They are always looking for story ideas but more so during the slow periods. So here are some simple tips on what you can do to get the word out.
Build relationships with reporters and journalists by helping them with other resources – they will remember you when they need something that you can comment on.
Check out the editors that cover your sector and reach out to them. I would start with reaching out on email (most major media usually have a link to them) and share information or comment about something important that you are doing that contributes to the sector you are in. If you can’t find them on their site, check out social media.
Have a media pack ready in case of opportunities – this should not only include an overview of what you do (no sales pitches), bios of spokespersons (a maximum of 100-150 words), imagery in high resolution around the spokespersons and around what your company does.
If you have the capability and resources for creating articles, focus and share those. Make sure they are generic (i.e. not a sales pitch) and relevant to the editor you are pitching to. They could also potentially help in future feature articles or interviews even if they are not used immediately.
Be prepared that not everything will get published but learn and ask why they weren’t – it will help you do better next time.
Network and events:
While there are no major events during summer, there are still smaller networking events. Also use the opportunity to check out the events post summer and use the summer months to pitch for speaking opportunities. These could be anything from a presentation (if you have the budget) to being part of a round table or panel. It helps you to meet and understand and be clubbed with your peers.
Whatever you do – make sure its something of importance to the audience you are addressing through media or event. Make sure your social media pages are up to date.
As Bill Gates famously, said, “If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations”. So, use your dollars (and your resources) wisely.
MITA SRINIVASAN / FOUNDER & DIRECTOR - MARKETBUZZ INTERNATIONAL
Mita Srinivasan Founder & Director, Market Buzz International Mita is a Communications Specialist who lives and breathes technology. She set up Market Buzz to help businesses successfully leverage PR and communications to establish a reputation in their key market segments.
Mita is an active proponent of social media – not only adopting this medium for herself but conducting training sessions and workshops to empower her clients, colleagues and networking business partners to maximise the use of these creative tools for communication; successfully building it into PR and marketing strategies.
You can find more information on Mita on http://about.me/mita56