What is PR and why is it so important?

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What independent third parties say about your business is very important when it comes to increasing sales. Peter Ibbetson of JournoLink tells us what PR is, and how their service can help start ups to build relationships with the press. 

More than 19 out of 20 online consumers use customer reviews before they make a buying decision, and the majority take more notice of these reviews than they do of friends and family recommendations.

Because of this, what independent third parties say about you is now more important than ever, to help your business increase sales.

Encouraging third parties to make positive references to your brand is what PR is all about, and this involves just two basic steps:

  • distributing press releases to relevant journalists and bloggers, and

  • engaging with journalists when they are writing articles that you might be able to contribute to.

So how do you do both, and what help is available to you?

On distributing press releases, the two most important things are getting the story right and getting the timing right.

PR should never be seen as ‘free advertising’. Journalists hate businesses that try to get them to advertise their products without an underlying reason – think about their jobs, and what they’re being asked to do for their publication.
  • Create a news story that genuinely hooks a journalist, to get their attention. If someone not connected to you would be interested, this is what you’re looking for.

  • Write a good headline, something short and provocative to grab the journalists’ attention when they glance at the emails on their mobiles.

  • Add a good image, and up to date contact details.

The timing should tie into what is likely to be trending in the news at the time. Then you need to focus on the best way to get your story to the right journalists, which is where you may need help.  There are online platforms you can use for this, JournoLink being the one that is specifically built for small businesses with a small budget, costing not much more than a daily cup of coffee.

The secret is to be available to journalists when they are writing their articles and really need a small business case study, a quote from a business owner or an image to make their story compelling.

Some have their regular go-to contacts, but most reach out through online platforms for input.  To respond to these you need to know which are the most appropriate PR platforms, and be on one of them, to receive the requests in real time.

This means that choosing the right platform is quite important.  There are several, at different prices and built for different sizes of businesses.

Transmit Startups has partnered with JournoLink , the platform designed specifically for small businesses, and through the Transmit Startups link you also benefit from a 10% discount on JournoLink’s advertised prices. There is no cost for you to register and have a look around before committing, and there are no long term tie ins if you find the platform is not for you.

Rebecca Baty

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