Journalists want to hear from you – it’s just a matter of using the right PR tools to get your small business noticed.
If you know anything about PR (Public Relations) it’s probably that it’s free. Yes, if you do it yourself you’ll need to put in time and effort but the resources and PR tools are all out there – you just have to find the right ones for your business.
So, to give you a short cut, I’ve pulled together some of the essential PR tools to help you get your small business noticed. You don’t need big budgets, you just need to take action.
4 Proven PR tools
1. Google Alerts – this is a great, free, online monitoring service. It allows you to keep up with new content on key topics. You define the keywords you want to track and you then receive email alerts when new content is published online using those keywords. It’s a great way to track news, discussion and debate on topics as well as keeping up with what competitors are doing. If you know that a news story has just been published on a theme that is relevant to you then you have a great opportunity to be one of the first to comment. That’s a great way to get eyeballs on you and your business by people interested in the story and journalists alike.
2. Social media – it’s never been easier to find, connect and engage with journalists. And, social media is the way to do that. Social media gives you the route in to getting on the radar of your key journalists before you pitch. It’s also useful for ongoing research to look at the social media networks they use and how they use them. These days journalists are required to promote their content and you can help them do that and get on their radar at the same time. If you have already identified your relevant press and media then check out where the key journalists hang out on social networks and connect with them there.
3. Journalisted.com – I use this website to search for journalists writing on specific themes and also to do background research on a specific journalist. It is a database of written articles that is free to search. It’s a handy PR tool to way to find journalists who will be interested in what you have to say. If you find journalists writing on your key topic then connecting with them makes a lot of sense, don’t you think?
4. Smart use of Twitter – I saw some research recently that stated that 92% of journalists use Twitter. They use it to share their stories and written articles. They use it too to source experts, information and help for the stories they are working on too. So, if you can find the media requests that are relevant for you then you can put yourself in the right place at the right time to help a journalist out and get great profile at the same time, what’s not to like?
Whether you love Twitter or not you’ll know that there is always a risk that you can spend lots of time on it and not get much for your efforts. So, to find media requests and connect with journalists looking for help from you then ‘smart use of Twitter’ is essential. There are hashtags that journalists use on Twitter to ‘label’ their tweets as media requests. One such hashtag that is used for this is ‘#journorequest’. If you just search for that, however, you could be scrolling through forever and it all feels a bit random.
One ‘smart way’ to use Twitter is to type in the ‘#journorequest’ hashtag when a news story has broken on a theme that is relevant for you and your business. You’ll then see requests from journalists seeking to write articles and find case studies related to the theme of that story. You might remember the suicide of Robin Williams some time ago. When the story broke there was a stream a media requests for people who could speak about suicide and depression – both for those with personal experiences as well as those who provided support and advice.
In a nutshell: PR tools to help get your small business noticed are accessible – you just need to know where to look and to start planning and then taken action.
What PR tools have you used to get your small business noticed, what would you add to the list?
Image credit: Debbie Leven