In the current challenging economic climate, the cost of hiring an external Public Relations agency can be just too much for many small businesses to afford. But without effective and smart PR, how is any business to survive and come through these difficult times? The answer might be DIY online PR.
With a little insider know-how to help you along, your business can manage its own online PR in-house. Below are some PR tips of the trade to help you help yourself and achieve effective PR without spending a penny.
First things first, you need to develop a robust PR strategy for your organisation. This can be as detailed or brief as you like, but there are key points to consider and important questions to answer.
Indentify your audience
Who is it you want to reach? What can you offer them? What is the best way to reach your audience? What interests your target audience?
Define your goals
What do you want from your target audience? Your answer to this will be specific to your particular business but might include: improved take-up of service/product, improved communication, increased traffic to your online resources.
Build your PR strategy
Once you have a clear target audience and objectives, you can begin developing your online PR strategy. You will need to consider the online PR tools and avenues in your strategic approach; these will include Facebook, Twitter, industry blogs, podcasts and website. Consider how you might connect with your sector’s most influential organisations via your online PR strategy.
Key tools for your DIY online PR strategy
HARO is an acronym of ‘help a reporter out’ and connects you with reporters looking for services to highlight in blog, web and print articles. Helping out a reporter is really helping yourself out, so sign up for HARO and give you PR strategy a real boost.
This is an excellent app that will keep you in touch with all those blogs, tweets and comments you’ve been missing. Not only does Hootsuite keep you up-to-date with industry and customer chatter, you can use it to schedule your own social media PR releases and share the schedule with colleagues. A must for all jobs in Public Relations and a very handy tool for the online Public Relations DIYer.
Last but by no means least, teach yourself some Search Engine Optimization. You might have excellent written content on your website and posted out there on blogs, but SEO copy is what you’ll need to really support your online PR strategy and increase your traffic. At a high level SEO is something of an art, but by teaching yourself only some of the basics you’ll still reap the rewards of more SEO-friendly copy.
There are many excellent tools available to support your online PR strategy, making the DIY approach effective, affordable and a lot less mystifying than you might have thought.