by Laura Jenkins @LauraYourForte
“Marketing is telling everyone you’re great in bed; Public Relations (PR) is getting someone else to say it.”
PR is a powerful tool for anyone hoping to build their audience organically through a presence in the media (i.e. print & online publications, blogs, TV, and radio). It is often deemed more valuable than marketing seeing as anyone can buy an ad for self-promotion but convincing a journalist with a great reputation to shout about you from the rooftops improves your credibility.
So, here are my top five tips to save hiring a PR agency and become a DIY PR Pro:
- Timing is everything
Stop being so eager! There is an overwhelming temptation to share the final mix of your new single immediately with no PR strategy in place, but you will feel disheartened when your hard work and talent doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.
Give yourself time to plan and execute a campaign that is relevant, exciting, and genuine; I advise a minimum lead time of six weeks to do this. Contemplate whether you could plan your release or announcement to coincide with a news hook, big event, national day, or holiday.
Get this step right and everything else falls into place; you should even carefully consider the day and time your release will hit a journo’s inbox – it makes a difference!
- Pack a punch with a powerful press release
Keep it short and sweet. If the recipient is interested and wants more detail, they’ll request it.
- 500 words maximum
- Title – Subhead – Most important and/or impressive information – Important information – Quote(s) – Relevant information – Contact details, socials and links to assets
- Keep it completely factual – leave any emotive language for quotes you might include
- If you collaborated with anyone, make sure they sign the press release off before you send it out
- Cherry-pick your targets; don’t blanket spread
Carefully select your targets, ensuring each media outlet is relevant to you and your genre, and has previously covered similar announcements.
Take the time to find out who is responsible for covering releases or reviews, for example, and specifically reach out to them. Don’t send the same email to everyone in the same office; the likelihood is it will be seen as spam and filed in the bin.
Top Tip: When approaching radio stations, don’t email a DJ directly – always go through the producer!
- Get personal
Tailor the accompanying pitch; once you have identified your target, go in with an angle that they will love. Check out their previous work and keep an eye on their Twitter feed to get some ideas of what they’re into – they will appreciate the additional effort and you are more likely to attain coverage
- Be patient
Fame and recognition rarely happen overnight! It takes time to build up networks and relationships with journalists, producers and playlist curators. That’s why PR agencies are so expensive; they’ve spent years growing their networks, so you don’t have to.
The good news is, if you don’t have a magical money tree, but are willing to invest time and effort, being your own PR can be just as effective as outsourcing.