1. Freebies Only Work Once
My best PR tip: My editor at Sutro Media told me giving away a product really only works well once. Do it more than that people won't buy. Before you do your freebie, position yourself in a social-networking niche. For me, I'm a member of Ravelry, an online social networking community for knitters. I posted about my product one day...and the downloads took off with more than 2,000 downloads in a day. I no longer give away my app, but I now have nearly 5,500 users.
2. Sell Yourself!
My best PR tip: It's actually quite easy to approach large media outlets like your city's news affiliates (NBC, CBS, etc.) IF you treat it like a sales pitch. Every company wants free media exposure, but so many go about it the wrong way. Send a polite email to news reporters on staff explaining why your company should be on TV and what's in it for not only the news station, but their viewers. News stations need good stories as much as you need free publicity so don't be intimidated.
3. Let Them Find You
My best PR tip: We literally just received free news coverage from CBS (discussing our state's ongoing summer drought) by simply having a website that was visible in search engines. A producer found our site, called us, and suddenly we were on TV. By simply ensuring your site is visible in search engines, you open your business up to countless PR opportunities that otherwise would not have been possible.
4. Tip List
My best PR tip: As soon as my co-authors and I started using tip lists, we found the press just reprinting our press releases as short articles. We made sure our tips fit the targeted audience and used humor as well as substance. I later learned a tweak from Joe Vitale--call it 10 tips and put 3-5 in the press release with the words, "For the rest of the 10 tips go to...." and name your website! The press often prints it as is along with your web address.
5. Survey Says STATS of the Union
My best PR tip: Everyone loves the Statistics! This is one of the easiest things to provide journalists, bloggers & media outlets that want sound-bite-worthy content to share with their audiences.
Create a survey offline/online (surveymonkey.com!) & get as many responses as possible to interesting questions tangential to your niche. Do you sell shoes? Survey how many pairs a person owns! Sell candy? Survey top 5 Halloween candies people give out! You get the point.
Put into a press release & send out!
6. Move The Product Off The Shelf
My best PR tip: When I started my company, I was very lucky to have advice from the owner of a very large toy company. He said 'Products Do Not Move Themselves Off Store Shelves!" He told me I needed to drive cutomers into stores to buy my products. A solid PR campaign is the only way to achieve this challenge! I began contacting local, regional, national and international media.I have never looked back and the job is never done, you are only as good as your last bit of exposure!
7. Use Fed X and Make A Splash!
My best PR tip: One of the best pieces of advice in PR and getting noticed was to send your info/product/ideas to the CEO of a company via Fed X. Why?It gets noticed.Whether it's a big company where your package is logged in,or a small firm--overnight deliveries make a bigger impact to decision makers.They cause a second look.Then,it's up to you to follow up.If I ever need to make a splash,I send materials Fed X. And fun ones! Ever send a pineapple? People are intrigued and chances are you will be remembered!
8. Pitch Where A Story Is Needed
My best PR tip: One of the best ways to get PR online and through traditional media is to pitch to places where you know a story is needed. Free services like Help A Reporter Out (HARO) at HelpA Reporter.com, let you know what reporters, freelancers and bloggers need for the stories they're working on.
So instead of trying to get a member of the media interested in a story idea, you've already solved that issue, and can focus on being a resource for a piece that they already are committed to doing.
9. Pick Brains of People You Know
My best PR tip: After having my first article accepted for publication I asked the editor for advice on how to take advantage of artist endorsement programs. She explained exactly what the programs were & forwarded images of my work to the head of marketing for one of the largest manufacturers of my favorite product to use. That one contact eventually led to my becomming a designer/demonstrator & beta tester for that company & led to many other opportunities. Ask the people you already know for information!
10. Watch for PR queries
My best PR tip: I keep up with several sites and emails that offer a list of PR queries where reporters are seeking subject matter for their upcoming articles. I have gotten many good publications this way.
11. write notes
My best PR tip: The best tip I ever received was to take a minute to write a personal note in a notecard to thank your customers. Whether you have their business this time or not, you might get it next time because you wrote them a thank you! Nobody takes the time to mail notes anymore so they really stand out and look like you took the effort and that you care.
12. The PR tip that gets results!
My best PR tip: The best PR tip I ever got was from Sarah Shaw of the Entreprenette Gazette and it says,"Pitch to the shows props or set departments, depending on the type of product you have" and this is the one that kept me going, "Your products don't just benefit your business, but the tv show as well. They want to be the one who discovered your cool, new product, everyone is looking for the next bit thing". This lead to a Material Release signing contract.
13. Friends Have Benefits
My best PR tip: "Make a friend before you need a friend." -Gary Ford of Webster University (I find this is a great truth for social networking)
"If you mess up, fess up and then dress up" -Bob Davidson of Webster University (Again, I apply this to my occupation of social network management.)
14. PR Guarantees Awareness
My best PR tip: When practicing public relations, it is important to note that it's your job to raise awareness of your client, their product, service, mission etc. What you can't guarantee is to "put butts in the seats"...because that's a business goal. I learned that from Dr. Kathy Rennie, the best PR teacher I ever had during my time at Seton Hall University, and I think its very important to realize the seperation becuase too often people misunderstand what it is a true PR professional can, and can not do.
15. Surf The News
My best PR tip: Watch what is happening in the news, add your expertise. Ex: there was just a news blip about PM Cameron (Britain) not tipping an Italian waitress. I pitched media outlets for tips on tipping & international tipping differences. If you are a locksmith and there has been a rash of break-ins in your area, pitch how to secure your house. Think of how your business/expertise correlates to current events (don’t pitch your product!). Know the difference between an ad and a news spot.
16. Deliver More
My best PR tip: To many people, publicists, like lawyers, are a necessary evil. Because most people don't fully understand what we do, there is an inherent element of distrust. So, the best PR tip I ever got was don’t make promises you can’t keep and always deliver more than you promise. Deliver more and you'll have better, longer term relationships with everyone. That’s what good PR is--creating and maintaining strong relationships.
Thanks to: Marilyn Heywood Paige.
17. Be the Tortoise, not the Hare.
My best PR tip: Everyone is busy, especially reporters who have to scan through hundreds of emails a day. In PR, blasting out press releases and generic pitch emails may seem like a great time saver, but you're just shooting yourself in the foot. Take the time to fully research journalists you are pitching, even follow them on Twitter and get a solid understanding of what they cover. Slow and steady wins the race and, in my experience, personal and tailored pitches get more media attention and coverage.
18. Three Times A Week At No Cost
My best PR tip: The best tip I ever received was the website helpareporter.com, known as HARO (Help a Reporter Out). I have tracked the coverage I have received as a result of signing up with HARO in May 2010. It's been 68 weeks. I've been cited in 206 articles in over 150 publications, on-line and in-print. That's an average of 3 times a week. I’ve even started a new service teaching business owners the secret to my success. Go to the Media Center page of my website and see for yourself!
19. Most important thing to rememb
My best PR tip: Be short, concise and relevant.
20. Presentation is Key
My best PR tip: First impressions count - you will form an opinion of someone within a blink of an eye. Same goes for your product and how it is presented. One of the best pieces of advice I've received in my career, is if you want to wow your customer all elements of your brand need to shine - your website, business cards, marketing materials, and how you present yourself in person and in your communication - they all show the face of your brand. This is what has driven my business to the next level.
21. Tailoring is Easy as 1, 2, 3
My best PR tip: When pitching the media, always do your research on the types of articles they write. In your pitch, you need tailor your information and reference a previous article he/she wrote. It shows you know the author and outlet, and you made the effort, which will pay off! Make sure the pitch has the "so what" factor, short, and concise.
Sabrina Kidwai of ASAE
22. One word: HARO
My best PR tip: If you are not a HARO subscriber, you should be. It is essential for any PR department. (I am not affiliated with HARO)
23. Let the media be your friends!
My best PR tip: We all know that members of the media are swamped with emails, snail mail and phone calls. Their deadlines are tight and looming. So, respond to their calls and inquiries promptly. If you don't know the answer to their question, find out! Only contact them in the manner they prefer to be contacted, and NOT on days or times of day that are close to their deadline. They will be more receptive to you when you have a pitch or a story, and may call upon you for story leads more often.
24. Treat it Like a Sales Position
My best PR tip: The best tip I ever received about PR was to always treat PR as a sales position. In that sense, we have one person that is specifically dedicated to PR. We pay commission for every media feature and mention we get into. The amount of commission varies depending on the media and depth of coverage. This way of running our public relations has not only been a great morale booster for our PR person, but it has also garnered a ton a media attention for our business.
25. Getting Journalists to Respond
My best PR tip: Never ever email a journalist asking a question that's open ended. You'll never get a response, because journalists are attacked with emails everyday.
If you ask yourself why you're emailing the journalists and ask a precise question that can be answered quickly, then you'll get a better chance of receiving a response.
Also, talk to Journalists like they're your friends.
26. Heard of Google? Use it!
My best PR tip: My number one PR tip is before reaching out to a reporter, journalist, blogger, anyone, do your research! Obviously you can read their past articles or posts and learn what they write about, but what's even more important is to learn about them. The best way to get their attention is to create an emotional connection. Google them, follow them on Twitter, connect with them beyond just asking for coverage. Bloggers have About Me pages for a reason - find a way to connect.
27. Help a reporter, help yourself
My best PR tip: Without a doubt, the best PR tip I've ever received was to join "Help a Reporter Out" (HARO) Though the site, I have connected with dozens of journalists on behalf of myself and my clients. I truly enjoy contributing-- and HARO makes it so easy to do so.
28. What's in it for them!
My best PR tip: The best tip I ever got was to create a to the point pitch that answers the question: What's in it for them (the readers or viewers)? Answering the so what is most important to a media contact; keeping their target audience engaged and interested is their main goal. Benefit driven messages are always the best approach. Always be thinking of the angle and the benefits to the media's audience.
29. Quick PR results: post videos
My best PR tip: I've gotten fast results posting videos on YouTube, demoing software tools that I've created. I created a YouTube channel for my company's videos, then posted the YouTube links on my website, and e-mailed my clients with the news. Clients e-mailed me about the services in my video demos, and my website now ranks #1 in Google (none of my competitors have videos).
I also have a link on my business cards to my YouTube channel, and can track how many people visit using the link on my biz card.
My best PR tip: The best PR tip I ever received when I started Sage Wellness was to tell my story. Through story telling I have been able to personalize why I am passionate about bringing health and wellness to corporations. I tell prospective clients about the health issues I struggled with in the workplace and my experience in human resources dealing with employees and their health issues. This makes me more relatable and acts as a testament to the benefits of implementing wellness programs such as ours.
My best PR tip: My college professor told me class to tape a Q-Tip to my notebook and always remember, in public relations you have to “Quit Taking It Personally.” I’ve grown a tougher skin over the years but there are days I’ll call a reporter and before I can get out what I was calling about, they tell me they can’t talk, and hang up without a good-bye! They like you; they just have deadlines to meet. “It’s not personal, it’s just business.” Perfectly said, Mr. Trump.
32. Know Thy Client
My best PR tip: The best advice I recieved about public relations was to research your present client. Know what their mission and their image is before you try to promote that client. In order to properly enhance your client’s image you have to know who and what they are and what their reputation is, so you can do the best job for that client. Don't go in blind do your homework.
33. Go for it
My best PR tip: The best PR tip I was ever given was a simple one, but very important. "If you have an idea, pitch it." This might sound obvious, but a lot of people don't pitch ideas because they think someone will steal the idea or they think they will sound foolish & as a result, they just keep the idea in their head & never tell anyone about it. Sometimes, you just need to take a leap of faith, pitch it & see what happens; you might be pleasantly surprised by the great things that come your way.
34. Rich or famous? Your call!
My best PR tip: A few years ago, a friend of mine in public relations asked me, "Do you want to be rich or do you want to be famous?." I think this is a very poignant statement to consider for anyone looking to build their business. For many people, getting their name out is critical but placement is key. Simply getting your name out to everyone is less important than getting it out to the right people. And, simply getting your name out doesn’t guarantee (in any way) that your business will grow.
35. Talk Radio
My best PR tip: I learned how to get onto talk radio to sell books by the undisputed king of talk radio book sales Alex Carroll. He has sold over $1 mil in his own self published books. This is vitally important since so many brick and mortar bookstores have gone belly up. There are over 1000 radio stations having an audience of 100,000 or more. He has this data base with contact info for sale and it is gold
36. Do the Leg Work for Them
My best PR tip: You need to be relevant! Learn what type of coverage the media you’re pitching to provides. Learn the news articles they like to feature, the reoccurring news sections, the type of audience they are trying to reach, etc. Keep in mind where you and your story could fit into their existing media plan. When you pitch them, take the leg work out of it–let them know where you could see your story being featured. Editors and reporters are busy, so the easier you make it for them, the better.
37. Return on Relationships (ROR)
My best PR tip: ROR is the new ROI - Engage on the social networks that make sense, and don't join all of them for the sake of joining. From a PR perspective, your message becomes more potent when it is carefully concentrated rather than just starting random conversations that lead nowhere.
38. Product Review & Contest PR
My best PR tip: When I worked for consmer electronics e-retailer, GoodGuys.com, I sent out 2 digital cameras to an influential blogger/pundit: 1 for review (and keep) and 1 to give away as a promotional item. The ensuing review and contest links generated brand awareness, SEO visibility via links, traffic and measurable sales, which we could track.
39. Help a Reporter Out!
My best PR tip: HARO newsletter comes out 3 times a day with requests from journos looking for sources and it's FREE!
Submitting a press release to journos looking for 'summer must haves' got our Sun protection sleeves featured on segments from Good Morning America, Sonoran Living as well as a number of magazines and blogs.
40. Get Them While Ya Got Them!
My best PR tip: The ONE best PR tip I ever received was build my mailing list. Providing a pop up box or a place on your website where potential customers can enter their names and e-mail address is very important. That is why you have to try to "Get Them While Ya Got Them" visiting your website. This not only allows you to capture their information but also gives you the opportunity to touch and or reach those same people again. Now you are in a good position to offer them other products and services as well!
41. Become an email pest
My best PR tip: Well-- just enough to find connections. I have found a lot of connections through emailing. I have almost become an email pest. It is easy, quick and totally doable. I have found some business trades, partners in projects and other great opportunities to grow my business. First you need to have a purpose for the email. Then, find those who have a good number of followers and email them with your proposal. Don't be discouraged by the no thank you's. Keep going. Eventually you will get a yes.
42. Measure everything!
My best PR tip: Benchmark and measure everything possible. If you're not doing this, there's no way to know which of your efforts are working, or if your PR program is making any difference at all. If your goal is to use PR to increase sales, benchmark metrics such as sales level, inbound vs. outbound leads, the value of each sale and time to close. Then develop a PR program that will drive more leads to your website or physical address. If possible, build in a way to discover where your leads are coming from.
43. Avoid humor
My best PR tip: Avoid humor. Get to the point quickly. Editors and reporters are busy and may toss a release that is a play on words. If they want to be funny, they’ll write their own lines.
44. Practical PR
My best PR tip: When writing a newsletter, press release, or any published print regarding your business. Make the subject or title stand out! If the title is boring, most likely it won't be read. Use your everyday magazines to get your creative juices flowing. Make your titles relevant to things that your target market can relate to.
45. PR Tips: Learning By Launching
My best PR tip: Sign-up for free with helpareporter.com and radioguestlist.com to get daily emails about stories that members of the media are working on where you can contribute. Check the masthead, contact list and the ends of articles for the email addresses of reporters; but it’s best to contact them when they are working on a story where you can contribute; Check editorial calendars. Follow select reporters on Twitter and @reply to select tweets ; perhaps they’ll @reply back or send you a message.
46. No SPAM Please
My best PR tip: It’s better to pitch 10 targeted reporters than spam 100 irrelevant reporters. Creating exceptional media lists is arguably the single most important skill for a publicist to learn. Armed with a good list and in-depth knowledge of the reporters, you can contact journalists who are most likely to be interested in the story and discuss the details that will be most attractive to him/her. This tip will differentiate you from all the other publicists, and will lead to much greater success!
47. Press Release Tip
My best PR tip: Write your press release's first line as if the media won't read your second line. Write your second line as if the media won't read your third line. If your fans, media, and industry can't find the story by the first line, re-write it.
48. The Lazy Man's Way to Get PR
My best PR tip: Help A Reporter Out, known around the web as “HARO”, plays matchmaker to reporters
and sources. Reporters - and other media professionals - submit media queries whenever they need sources for the stories they’re working on. Then, HARO sends these media queries in thrice-daily emails delivered to their subscribers, otherwise known as sources.
Take full advantage of this source! It's brings huge rewards for 15 minutes of e-mailing a day.
49. Help a Reporter, Get PR
My best PR tip: HelpAReporter.com lets you help time-pressed reporters get their story out, while getting your company noticed. Read the pitches every morning, find the ones where you can provide truly relevant information, and write a brief note to the reporter, telling him or her exactly how you can help. You won't hear back every time, but when you do, you'll get a mention and you'll have let one more reporter know what your company does. Plus, you'll build your reputation as a reliable, timely source.
50. Tell the Truth!
My best PR tip: Early in my career, I was working diligently to establish the State of Minnesota as a film location. We were "thinking different" - grass roots marketing, partnerships etc. but we were starting from a position of total obscurity and almost no money. Then, wahoo!! We landed a TV movie - an economic impact of thousands of dollars & work for our crew.
At the wrap party I asked "What was it that clinched your decision to shoot here?"
The answer: "You the told the truth."
51. Make the press come to you!
My best PR tip: Can't get the press' attention? Have them come to you! Create an event or opportunity related to your business and invite an editor of a magazine or anchor of a local news program to be a judge in a contest or the host.
52. PR should be personal
My best PR tip: My favorite PR tip is to make your media outreach truly PERSONAL. Contact editors one-by-one, address them by name, be conversational. Don't worry about trying to "sell" yourself or your products or trying to "sound professional"- just SHARE with them what you do and why it's special (and be succinct about it.) And all editors love to be FIRST to cover a story or product, so if you're reaching out to them first, tell them that- editors love a scoop!
53. Wine Maven Pours PR Advice
My best PR tip: The best PR tip I received was to keep my pitches as short and poignant as possible. Early on I used the services of Expertizing.com, a forum that teaches participants how to create soundbites the media can’t resist (including feedback from established journalists about why a pitch does or doesn’t work). I was coached on how to draw a busy reporter in: to pinpoint like a laser what my company’s story is, why it's unique, and whenever possible, what the local angle is.
54. Embrace Your Inner Happy Voice
My best PR tip: Working in PR means, you are subjected to 100 percent of your pitches being rejected 80 percent of the time. It can become frustrating and easy to take it personally. I've learned the most important PR tip for those pitching is to read short, rejection or any other unsavory response in my best "happy voice" to avoid burn out.
55. Cause A Stir
My best PR tip: Plan an event to be held in a public place. Try to have a large group of people participate in the event. The quirkier the event the better. Notify the press there is an event being held at the location.
For example, plan a giveaway outside an unemployment office and wear something unusual, like wigs or costumes. Give away water bottles, t-shirts, food, whatever.
Alert the press you will be giving stuff away outside the unemployment office. The press will love the feel-good aspect.
56. Relationships are key!
My best PR tip: It's not called PR for nothing! Building and fostering good relationships is paramount for the industry. You never know when you're going to need help from a journalist, cameraman, local business owner, etc. I have found the easiest way to accomplish this is merely by being nice. It surprises me how many acquaintances compliment me for my thank-you notes or remembering the name of their spouse/kids/dog. Kindness is free and I've never regretted using it.
57. Let them drink what they want!
My best PR tip: As a publicist who spends time in the spirits industry and normally is the one giving out PR tips, the best one given to me was from a bar expert, James Moreland, whose press I oversaw for a major spirits company. Our press meetings were over cocktails featuring ONLY OUR spirits brand. Prior to a meeting with a journalist named Roger in Seattle, Mr. Moreland shared his circle of knowledge by suggesting "James, let them drink anything they want, they know what we want,so make em happy!"
58. SEO before SEO was cool
My best PR tip: In 2004, A Press release writing company told me about PRWeb. I began using their service to post online news releases. Prweb was SEO for me and my clients before SEO was cool. I continued to use the service even after it was no longer free. I started sharing my successes via Twitter in 2010. From one Tweet, I had a case study on their website, my photo in their ad campaign, I won a contest, spoke at their conference, and will be a guest on an upcoming webinar. Best advice ever!
59. Exceed customers expectations
My best PR tip: Provide fantastic customer service by exceeding your customers’ expectations.
Give them something for free, by this I mean extend your services or skills. This costs you nothing but gives customers more than they paid for.
As a designer of kids clothing, I illustrated a pdf of gift tags which I attach to customer emails after receiving an order. It's a great way to thank them for being a cherished customer AND the branding on the gift tag continues to promote my business!
60. Relationships + SEO = PR Gold
My best PR tip: Build relationships long before theyre needed and realize the value of your network when it comes to getting press. Reporters are pretty social, make it a point to find them, friend them and help them on other stories. You'll only need to call in favors from them a few times during the early days of your startup so put a lot of good karma in the bank for when its time to withdraw. Also, Does your company name come up in search results for all employees, investors and advisors? It should!
61. Help a reporter, help yourself
My best PR tip: Help a Reporter Out is a free service that puts journalists in touch with experts. Helpareporter.com allowed me to communicate with journalists from MSN, Fortune magazine, Remodeler magazine, etc. Many of these journalists quoted me as an expert in their publications. Once I was in the door, I was able to have some of my own articles published. HARO is a great networking website IF you are qualified at your profession and have the ability to prove it.
62. Story Idea Savvy!
My best PR tip: email writer/target using an attention grabbing new story idea, one they can't resist and MUST open. In the email, give a BRIEF intro - 1 sentence - and 4 bullet points of info that they can use to turn into a story.
Make sure the story idea is relevant to their usual subject matter.
Ex: Mommy Bloggers Catapult Popularity of Kiwi Baby Product - Story Idea
This is an actual pitch that got picked up- got a reply for more info on the same day and story was in newspaper the following week :)
63. Your answers are on LinkedIn
My best PR tip: One of the best PR tips I’ve received is the use of the “Answer” forums on LinkedIn. The “Answer” forums help me notice what professionals are buzzing about in specific industries. I’m able to answer questions, communicate with professionals, all while thinking up different stories/partnerships to pitch potential clients. LinkedIn’s answer forum is a great tool to use when trying to find out what people are talking about, while helping PR professionals target their next lead.
64. Keep Coming
My best PR tip: When I first start contributing to blogs I did not realize you could do it every week. Expert writers and bloggers encouraged me to keep coming up with insighful nuggets of wisdom and share them.
65. Target your Market
My best PR tip: Like targeting your market in marketing, you must also target your market in Public Relations. By this, I mean that you must know the journalists that you are pitching--understand what there publication writes about, what they write about. Read past articles that they have written, maybe research a few of their hobbies. At the end of the day, you should have a solid reason as to why the reporter will care about your pitch, no twisting needed.
66. Reach a Journalist @140CPP
My best PR tip: One of the rules of PR is to contact a journalist the way he or she prefers to be contacted. Often, it is not easy to know what is the best way to contact a journalist, but one thing you can likely count on is that if they are on Twitter, they are likely respond to messages. In fact, many will tell you that they prefer to be contacted on Twitter. And if you don't know what 140CPP means, Twitter only allows you to use 140 characters in a post or a message (CPP = characters per post).
67. Creating A Rolodex to Success
My best PR tip: In PR it is all about creating mutually beneficial relationships. Early on you need to learn how to meet the right people, make a connection and more importantly keep it. The key to your success is having a strong rolodex that you can turn to in any situation.
68. Become More Social, Digitally.
My best PR tip: Digital media is a boundless tool for PR. For example, say you meet a new business contact and give them your business card. Now, take it a step further and connect on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Integrating your PR with social media will compliment your news distribution. Practice proper social media etiquette, and always promote others online. You will find that by taking the extra steps, your contacts will connect you to their contacts. Being social, is a long-term investment for PR.
69. Become a source for reporters
My best PR tip: The best PR tip I received was to subscribe to free services like NewBasis and HelpAReporter.com to stay apprised of publicity opportunities I might not otherwise be aware of. These services are used by reporters and bloggers to find sources for their articles. Responding to their requests can result in being interviewed as an expert source. This can significantly enhance your professional profile and being quoted in the media is third party validation that you’re an authority in your industry