In recent conversations with some local entrepreneurs, they asked how they could get more visibility for their work and their products. I asked how they use public relations tactics, such as a pressroom or news releases to promote their businesses. Both just looked at me with a blank stare, not quite sure what I was talking about. They are so focused on selling their products and services that they have not taken the time to tell prospective customers about what they are doing. Here are a few suggestions to get started.
Set up a press room on your website.
This is a fairly easy thing to do. You can make it “About us” or a “Press Room”, but create a space where journalists or prospective customers can quickly find out more about you and what you are all about. Use this space to share announcements about your new products and services and upcoming special events. People interested in your business want to learn more about what you are up to. Make it easy for them to find this information.
Related: Why Every Startup Needs a Press Kit
Start sharing news releases.
Creating and sharing news releases is a fairly simple thing to do, once you get the hang of it. If you need a template for a news release, HubSpot is a great place to start. If you want to use a social media news release, Shift Communications has a great template to get you started. There are many reasons to publish a news release including a new offering, an event, or to announce financial results. PRLog.com is a free way to distribute your news releases. Your prospective customers won’t know what is new, unless you tell them.
Use social media in a way that promotes you.
One thing I noticed about one of these entrepreneurs is that s/he had outsourced social media to an intern who didn’t really know the business. As a result, the focus was not on the business, but was just about random ideas such as “hump day” or whatever caught their attention on Twitter or Instagram. If you are going to spend time and money on social media, make the focus on you and your business. Promote your products and services and tie your social media posts to topics that directly relate to what you are doing, your business, and who you are. This is a much better way to increase awareness about your business through your followers who can then repost and retweet them to “toot your horn” for you!