Getting your business “out there” or known is a bit different than traditional marketing. Good PR requires a different technique, and Christina Nicholson gave us a quick education on how it works, some tips to keep in mind, and things you should steer clear of. And with many businesses shifting their marketing and messaging to keep up with the rapidly changing times, these PR tips and tricks are worth taking note of.
Earning Exposure vs. Buying Advertising
Christina educated us about what it means to earn exposure in the media without spending money. This includes getting businesses in the news, TV, podcasts, and other outlets where businesses are mentioned and talked about. Businesses can have exposure on their website, podcast, and social media, or they can pay for it. What Christina does is help them earn it — through time and effort her clients see their businesses featured in many of these different outlets without having to pay for these coveted spots.
Media Advice Post-COVID
Regardless of the industry you’re in, your business can still get media coverage during COVID. However, the path to get there has changed slightly. While the news and media are highly focused on topics around COVID, there is stil coverage on other topics. Businesses just need to be mindful on how to find the right angle and how it fits in with today’s world.
The story of what your business is doing needs to make a slight shift right now, if you’re looking for some natural and organic press. One of Chrstina’s clients was featured because part of the proceeds from their sales went to a COVID relief foundation. They didn’t have to change their business model or even their customer base — instead, they made a small change (for a limited time) and that alone can draw in your current customer base as well as new ones.
Tips on Getting Coverage
Christina gave us some tips to put to use when looking for media and news coverage, and she also told us what to avoid. So let’s break it down:
What to do:
- Use the calendar: see if you can find a way to be newsworthy in relation to what's happening.This can be based around holidays, seasons, popular days for certain trends, etc. If your business is doing something during a time when people need it the most, the more likely you are to be in the limelight.
- Any company can do it: you don't have to be a large company to earn media exposure. There tends to be lots of red tape for big companies because of how many desks a campaign has to pass through, including legal. Small companies can move faster since fewer people are making decisions and there tend to be less departments to get approval from. So if you’re a small business, don’t shy away from trying to get news exposure.
- Start small, start local: no need to have national sources promoting your business right away. You can work your way up and learn during the process. Christina explains that starting small actually helps businesses get properly prepared for big outlets. Big outlets and media will be expecting your business to be worthy of national exposure, so they will want to see local and smaller PR that you’ve done in the past. It’s kind of like building a resume.
What not to do:
- Do not send the same pitch to many people at the same time. This is an obvious tactic and people can tell it’s not personalized. Take the time to get to know someone and reach out one on one. Yes, it does take more time, but in the end you’ll convert at a higher rate and see more success.
- Don't write a long, boring press release — no one wants to read that. Save time and instead write a quick, short paragraph about why outlets should care about your business or movement. Make it easy for the person on the receiving end to understand the value. The easier the better.
Hiring vs. Keeping It In-house
When making the decision about whether to do your own PR or hire an agency, Christina suggests figuring out if you have the time to do it yourself. If not, do you have an assistant or other team member who can handle it? If the answer is no to both these questions, then it’s time to outsource. But when shopping for an agency, keep this in mind: agencies might do some “no no” practices, due to the volume of clients they have and some old school ways that are hard to break. Hiring a freelancer could be a great option instead, as it will be more affordable and your business will get more personalized attention. Make sure to ask to see a portfolio though and ask questions about tactics used.
Christins is an award-winning journalist with more than a decade of experience anchoring, reporting, writing, blogging, video production, editing, excelling in social media, photography, and live TV. She has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, the Huffington Post, Time, Yahoo!, PR Daily, All Business Experts, on CNN, WTVJ in Miami, WPTV in West Palm Beach, News 12 in New York City, and many other media outlets.
Because of her experience in the communications industry, she’s networked and connected with the best in the business to build a team of true professionals who can handle almost any and every marketing needs a business or brand has.
With a bachelor’s degree in public affairs journalism and more than a decade of storytelling, Christina understands the importance of creating content and delivering it to the public.
Because of her experience, she knows what works and what doesn’t. Her work in the media industry has led to established relationships with journalism professionals on local, state, and national levels. She’s represented a wide array of clients and has earned publicity on national daytime TV talk shows, in local and national magazines, on local TV stations, in newspapers, and on websites and blogs with millions of monthly unique visitors… to name a few. Her and her team have gotten clients featured on the Today Show, the Rachael Ray Show, in the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Men’s Fitness, Food & Wine, Entrepreneur, top podcasts, and much more.
Following Christina @christinalldaythere and check out her podcast, Become A Media Maven.