As PR pros, we immediately set out to implement certain strategies to help our clients gain visibility and increase their voice within their respective industries; however, we also find that many individuals outside of the PR world are not familiar with the strategies we execute or understand their importance. What is a press release and why do I need one – and what’s the difference between that and a media alert? Why is my PR team so concerned about creating a targeted media list? What’s the significance of having an executive bio? What’s the point of developing a social media plan? These are only some of the questions we hear from those not familiar with the practice of public relations. So we’re going to give you a peek behind-the-scenes to help you understand the methods behind our madness.
Press releases—Press releases are short summaries of newsworthy information about your small business that are sent to targeted and specific media contacts who may be interested in covering the story. It is usually one page in length and includes a headline, date, and at least four paragraphs. The first paragraph answers the 5 W’s: who, what, when, where, and why. The second paragraph provides additional information to support the facts presented in the first paragraph. Sometimes the “how” portion of the release is explained here. The third paragraph is usually a quote from a key spokesperson in your business that brings life and personality to the announcement. The final paragraph closes with less important information and details of where media can find additional information about the company and story. Media contacts typically enjoy receiving press releases because they are succinct yet informative pieces of information that can easily be used as foundations for a news story.
Media alerts—These are different from a press release but also serve a similar purpose. These are mini alerts that detail the who, what, when, where, and why information of an upcoming event. They are sent to media contacts usually within one to two days of the event date. Since media are constantly running on deadlines and receive lots of emails and phone calls every day, sending out media alerts as “follow ups” allows them to keep events and newsworthy information about your business top of mind. Oftentimes decisions to cover a story or event are made last minute so sending out alerts close to event dates is helpful for them and increases the likelihood of media covering your special event.
Executive bio—Having a solid and up-to-date bio serves multiple purposes. It is a great resource to send to media if they’re interested in covering your small business story and profiling your company’s key team members, but they’re also good to have on file if your small business is interested in applying for industry-specific awards or speaking opportunities. Oftentimes, award and speaking organizations require a bio of the nominee or proposed speaker to be submitted with other pertinent information. It’s important to have them on hand and current so you don’t miss out on opportunities because you’re trying to throw something together at the last minute.
Social media plan—Having a solid social media plan is imperative for managing any social media accounts for a small business client. It should outline the goals and objectives (the results you want to see from your efforts), offer ideas for campaigns and original content, and display example social media posts and recommended hashtags. This gives the client a clear understanding of the social strategy and how it integrates with the rest of their marketing/PR program. It’s also a great guide for a small business so they manage it themselves if necessary.
These are just a few of the many documents and strategies we use to help our clients increase their exposure within the community and help them stay connected with the people who matter to them most.
If your small business is still struggling to identify ways shine a light on who you are and what you do, we would be happy to develop a customized PR plan for you to help you get your name out there. Give us a call at 303.630.9527 or shoot us an email at email@example.com.
Author: Angela Shugarts, PR and Marketing strategist for Orapin Marketing + Public Relations |@angelashugarts
Rhiannon Hendrickson is the founder and CEO of Orapin Marketing + Public Relations, which helps purpose-driven businesses increase awareness and attract clients and partners. She has worked with organizations of all sizes across myriad sectors to develop memorable and effective communications programs that generate awareness, engagement, and, ultimately, support for those that are making a meaningful impact.