By Meghan Ely, OFD Consulting
Ready to take over the world with your brand extraordinaire? Have accomplishments you’re just dying to share with your audience? Get the word out and gain the attention you seek by investing some time and effort in your business’ public relations campaigns. I’ll even make it a bit easier for you to get started with my top tips for getting the ball rolling and making sure your PR efforts stick.
Before you can begin your first pitch, you need to have something amazing to share. Create a system for gathering background details from your clients, awesome images from photographers, complete vendor lists and consent from all parties as you will need all three before you are able to submit the most common form of public relations for an event business: real wedding submissions. When you find the time to put your submissions together, you’ll always have everything you need right at your fingertips.
Research Possible Publisher Matches
Consider what type of couples your target audience includes and research which print and online publications they frequent most. Those are the publishers you want to target with your campaigns, so add them to your “Media Wish List”. Put together a strategic list of the important contacts for each one, including specifications they might have for PR submissions, as well as deadlines and other restrictions. This will allow you to effectively target your PR efforts at the times you’re most likely to get attention and to exactly the right staff.
Use Free or Low Cost Tools
Make your efforts more efficient by streamlining your process through the use of various tools. Some of my favorites include Talkwalker Alerts which notifies you via email when your feature has been posted so you can promote it and Wufoo, a platform that lets you create questionnaires that you can use to solicit valuable feedback from your clientele.
My very favorite, though, is HARO, short for Help a Reporter Out. This tool brings alerts you, via email, to reporters looking for expert commentary on a huge variety of topics, including weddings. Press opportunities are delivered directly to your doorstep and all you need to do is reach out when you find a good match.
Be Prepared to Promote
When a submission is successful and you discover you have been published, promote your feature via every channel available to you. Post links on your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds and add one to your Pinterest page. Write up a quick blog post too, pointing out the feature and including the link to the full piece. You can maximize each exposure by putting your own outreach to work and spreading the word.
Never Give Up
As difficult as it is to hear, “No” is part of the process. You will get rejected by as many media outlets as will accept your submissions, so don’t let “no” get you down. Consider it an honor to have been considered at all, and think of every “no” as a right of passage.
Follow these five simple tips to jumpstart your PR efforts and start seeing the results of reaching your target audience with news that is relevant to them very soon. Take out that to-do list right now and move public relations efforts to the very top. You will not regret it!
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast. She recently launched wedding PR membership site, the OFD Collective, which combines education with action.