The Entrepreneur’s PR To-Do List

From glossy social media campaigns to showy publicity stunts, every brand and celebrity these days knows the importance of a rock solid PR plan. Well, the successful ones do anyway. Surprisingly though, it’s often the savvy entrepreneurs who overlook the power a proper PR campaign can give them.

You might have a sellable idea, a sleek business model and a hungry, hungry market. But without the right PR tools it’s not going to go that far. It’s like having a ship with no sails. Building it was the hardest bit and now you need to get it going. But how do you do that?

Find the right words to sell yourself

If you can’t sell yourself, you’re not going to sell much at all. Invest in a little self-promotion and create bios for your website, journalists, investors, and any other business situations you might need to pitch yourself in. The goal is to sell who you are, what you do, your expertise, and all the amazing stuff you’ve done before. Put the best things about yourself at the beginning to snare the reader’s interest and be sure to end on something really impressive too – just to seal the deal.

Build those contacts

When it comes to PR, who you know obviously gives you a razor-sharp edge, especially when you develop a good relationship and reputation with them. Get to know your industry and the movers and shakers that talk to your audience: think journalists, editors, influencers, bloggers, and producers. Familiarise yourself with their work and how they can help you. As you build up your contacts, be sure to update their information regularly. A good contact list is a precious, precious thing.

Get networking

Schmoozing is a skill every entrepreneur needs to be great at. It’s all well and good being at the end of a glossy website or a social media platform. But big business happens in real life in front of real people. And smart business folk care as much about the person behind the business, as the business itself – especially when making a deal.

So get out there and meet people in your sector as often as possible. Go to lunches, launches, trade events, and industry parties as often as possible. It’s not just important for making connections and getting your name out there – you can learn a hell of a lot too, whether that’s advice from people who have been in the game longer than you, or insider knowledge that might impact the way you run your business. Listening is vital.

Get pitch perfect

When you’re trying to get your business, brand or story out into the media, your pitch needs to be bang on. These days journalists get battered with a tsunami of pitches every single day, so it really needs to stand out. As with your business bio, don’t hesitate to employ a professional to put something slick together for you. It’s also vital that you know WHO you’re pitching to, and that they usually cover the sort of thing you’re asking them to. And don’t forget to make your pitches personal – there’s nothing that turns off a journalist quite like a mass email. And there’s nothing that forges a connection quite like being personable.

Learn to strategise like a warlord

When you’re plotting a PR move, you need to approach it with the same foresight as someone going into battle. Know what’s in your arsenal. Look at the campaign successes and failures of other entrepreneurs working in the same field as you. Figure out what has and hasn’t been done before. Absorb relevant news stories. Look at latest trends. Eat, sleep, and drink it all in.

The success of any PR entrepreneur activity or campaign isn’t pure luck – oftentimes it was planned like a military operation, using tried and true tactics, the best tools, and bags of creativity and initiative.

Be likeable

This might seem like an obvious one for success in any area of life, but when you’re an entrepreneur you quickly realise that the reputation of your business rests on you. Every industry is smaller than we realise, and people talk non-stop. So when you’re building contacts, networking at events, making deals and pushing out campaigns, refrain from burning bridges. When people like you, they’re more likely to go that extra distance for you – and that’s never bad for business.

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