What do you think of when you hear the term “PR”?
Often, it conjures images of huge teams of guys in suits rushing around trying to whip a story together… or an obsessive publicist following a celebrity around to make sure they look good and say the right things… or perhaps a big corporation putting out press releases to maintain the company's brand.
No matter what you envision, chances are it isn't the most positive and attainable image. It seems like only people and companies with a lot of money get
to use it, and there's no point in even considering it as an Expertpreneur®.
Well, I'm here to tell you that PR is a fantastic and economical way for an Expertpreneur® to gain a lot of traction for a very small amount of money and effort. And that's why today I'm showing you the secrets to getting exposure on a budget with PR.
You'll discover just how powerful PR can be in your business…
The secret to putting together a winning press release…
And how you can get the attention of 200,000 media outlets in the blink of an eye…
The Power of PR in Your Business
Before I extol the virtues of PR, let me first explain what it is.
PR is simply “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” Or to put it plainly, a way to connect with your audience that establishes credibility and proof.
You see, PR is generally a very “newsy” outlet. It's written in the third person like a news story and sounds very official. So, when your audience reads a great one, it's just like hearing their favorite news anchor talk you up.
And the beauty is, one press release can generate a huge amount of attention for your business at practically no cost. It's a powerful option in your multi-channel approach to marketing that ties everything together.
A great press release can be picked up by TV stations, news outlets, radio stations, podcasts, blogs, you name it. If they like the story you're telling, they'll share it with their audience. Giving you a presence in front of a whole new demographic.
Beyond that, they may invite you to do an interview or a guest spot. This puts your voice and your expertise directly in front of new audiences and gets them excited to hear more from you.
As an example, I recently landed an interview with BlogTalkRadio due to a press release that had been written for a best selling book that I contributed to. The book, Answering the Call, included my chapter, “Finding Your Money Spot,” and got the attention of the producer of the radio show and they contacted me for an interview.
So, thanks to one press release, I now am featured in an interview on a huge platform. Not a bad payoff for very little work.
The fact is, impactful PR elevates your status because people look at you as an expert. They believe if news outlets and high-profile leaders are sharing your story, you're a big deal. And they want to hear more about what you have to say.
Beyond that, it helps with your digital footprint. Because your story is being shared all over the internet, it improves your Google search rankings and draws a lot more traffic to your social media and website. A win-win all around.
Now, while all of this is great, you need to put together an effective press release to reap the rewards. Which can seem daunting if you've never written one before.
Well, the good news is you can create an effective press release without much experience. All you have to do is gather the few key pieces of the puzzle…
The Pieces of the PR Puzzle
Just like any other marketing strategy, the core of PR is addressing the needs of your audience.
Since you're an Expertpreneur®, you most likely already understand your audience inside out. You've written books, spoken at events, and worked with clients directly. You've also done your research – getting to know their deepest fears and frustrations, as well as hopes and aspirations.
When you put together your press release, you need to keep all of these points in the forefront of your mind. And then showcase how you can uniquely help.
Your unique solution is often referred to as your value proposition (VP). It answers the question, “How does what you do help your target market in a unique way?”
At this stage, you should already have a well-defined VP. If you don't, I highly recommend you read my article about developing one and do that first. It's vital to developing an effective press release.
Anyway, assuming you're crystal clear on that, the next step is coming up with a hook or angle for your piece. How you plan to pique the interest and curiosity of your reader.
Now, this is often the biggest stumbling block for Expertpreneurs®. They believe they have to have a huge, ground-breaking story to get started.
The fact of the matter is, you can spin anything that's going on in your business into an attractive story. All you have to do is think about what sets you apart.
For example, why did you become an Expertpreneur in the first place? Perhaps you have an unusual reason for getting into your industry? Or maybe your products and services are so different from your competition, you can speak to that?
As an example, a colleague of mine works with an online wine club. They recently put together a press release about how the founder got started and their unique way of being able to offer free memberships to loyal customers. And you can bet that media outlets and reporters jumped on the opportunity to talk about free wine!
The point is, anything can be “newsworthy” if you find the right hook. You just have to dig deep and remember that what might seem mundane to you could be fascinating to others.
Finally, you need to understand the structure and language of the press release itself. And, believe it or not, the easiest way to do that is to read through other companies' successful press releases. And you can look to popular distribution networks as great resources, such as PRNewswire.com and PRWeb.com.
PRNewswire.com, for example, has a database of press releases. If you click on “browse news releases,” you can go through and get an idea of what works and what doesn't. The best part is they are typically short, so you can read through a bunch in a relatively short amount of time.
PRWeb.com offers countless articles and guides on how to create a press release, as well as do's and don'ts. These will help you to make sure you've included everything you need and have the best chance at success.
Once you have all of these pieces together, it's just a matter of taking the leap and writing it for yourself. Give it a try and see how you feel about it – you'll be amazed by how simple it is.
Now, all that's left is getting it in front of the right people. The good news is it's as simple as clicking a button…
Getting Your PR In Front of Your Audience
Now that you have all of the pieces of your press release puzzle together, it's time to get it in front of your audience.
The best way to do this is to submit your press release to a distribution network. And the websites I mentioned earlier are two of the best distribution networks out there.
Honestly, PRNewswire.com is the pre-eminent resource and best distribution site around. They are connected with over 200,000 media outlets and 10,000 websites. All eager for new stories to share.
And this is where that wildfire-like success I mentioned comes from. When your effective press release gets in front of these people, they're going to start sharing it with their huge audiences.
You'll see it come up on the top of Google search engine results, and Google News, you'll get invited for interviews, and you'll generate an influx of new followers with just one simple action. Not bad for a little bit of work, right?
Now, the general cost of using one of these major distributors is about $300 – $400 per press release. Not a bad price for the sheer volume of exposure it will get you.
However, if that's too steep, there are countless free resources you can distribute your press release through, as well. They don't have the clout and range of the paid services, but they can still help.
In fact, free press release distribution services are great for your business, because they build on keywords, links, tags and meta-tags, which all help boost your website ranking and inbound traffic. A few great places to check out are PRUrgent.com and Newsvine.com.
Anyway, if you're at all concerned about the quality of your press release, many of these paid distributors will give you a critique before they accept your submission. They require you to meet their guidelines and standards, so you're guaranteed to find out exactly how to put together a quality piece. Ensuring you put your best foot forward each time!
The moral of the story is, for a nominal fee, or even for free, you can give your business a tremendous boost. All you have to do is take a little time to get good at writing press releases and you'll start increasing your visibility tenfold.
Transform Your Business Faster Than Ever
I understand that PR and press releases are scary. However, if you follow my lead and take the time to do them effectively, they can be your best friend.
You'll get the kind of traction and visibility most Expertpreneurs® dream of. All requiring relatively little time and money.
So take the time to start creating and distributing press releases today. Once you do and see just how much it does for your business, you'll wonder why you never did it before. It's that powerful.