What public relations is and isn’t has been a much debated topic for decades. One common misconception about PR, however, is that it’s just about getting the media to write about you, your organization or your product. While that’s one wonderful benefit of PR, the truth is there is so much more.
Beyond media coverage, there are several other tactics that are often forgotten, overlooked, or unknown that can be leveraged to help you or your company standout in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
From influencer outreach and contributed content to awards and speaking engagements, there are many opportunities beyond the surface that can produce big visibility wins for you and your organization.
Build Relationships with Influencers
These days there are countless influencers, whether industry specific or mainstream celebrities, that have larger followings than some major media outlets. One endorsement, mention or retweet from an influencer can open an incredibility fruitful gateway to a very targeted and motivated audience.
Building a relationship with an influencer though must be genuine and mutually beneficial. Take time to discover who the influencers are in your industry. Then learn what they talk about, where they spend their time, how they engage with people, and what is important to them. Begin to build the relationship by sharing their content, sending them articles they might enjoy, talking to them on Twitter, or meeting them at industry events.
Before approaching them about a project or possible promotion, ask:
- What value can I offer them?
- Will their audience benefit from this?
- Am I prepared for the possible exposure?
A few ideas for working with influencers, include: co-creating content like an e-book or blog series, contributing content to their blog, asking for a product review or endorsement, aligning with them on media outreach, and the list goes on.
Land Contributed Content
Chances are you read a piece of contributed content this week or maybe even today at some point. Did you notice? Most media outlets from print to online thrive on contributed articles, opinion pieces and blog posts.
Determining the best place to seek opportunities for contributing content simply requires understanding where your target audience is, what your goals are, and if in fact that particular outlet accepts it.
A few things to consider prior to delving into the world of contributed content:
- Do you enjoy writing? If not, this may not be the best option?
- Do you have time for it? Some media outlets require a minimum article commitment. Know their terms and determine if you have time.
- What is their writing style, tone and type of content covered? This will shape the type of article you pitch.
- Is there someone who can act as your copy editor? A second pair of eyes is invaluable.
Speak in Front of a Crowd
Speaking in front of a crowd, as long as it’s not something that’s more terrifying than death to you, is a great way to establish yourself or your company as a thought leader, as well as build trust with the audience.
To start out, look for speaking opportunities locally or within organizations and associations you may be a part of. What topics are you well-versed in and how will their audience benefit from your knowledge? Beyond local, there are numerous industry conferences that regularly seek speakers. Be sure to plan about a year in advance, as the call for larger conferences typically closes eight months to a year before the conference date.
Similarly, awards can also help validate and lend credibility to you, your product or your service. There are countless award opportunities, with seemingly new ones sprouting up every day. Look for industry, local, national, and even international awards spanning everything from product design to best business practices, and everything in between. Keep in mind, many award application submissions also come with a fee and time commitment.
Each of these approaches can help you take control of your PR strategy to get you or your organization the visibility you want. Rather than putting all of your proverbial eggs in one basket – in this case the media coverage basket – look for other opportunities to get yourself out there. It takes work, but you will soon discover there are numerous ways to make connections and get exposure.
Beth Cochran is the founder and CEO of Wired PR, a PR and content marketing firm that is a new AZTC member. Beth and Wired PR will be sharing five PR hacks every entrepreneur (and in-house marketer) should know at Friday, July 24’s Women in the Workforce event. If you are interested in attending or learning more, click here.