Three Things to Do BEFORE You Start PR
Before you start PR for your business, whether hiring a firm or doing it yourself, there are three things you need to do. Putting these things off is like putting the cart before the horse, and you may not get the most out of your PR campaigns if you fail to do these things first.
1. Do a background check on the Internet.
Once you start getting publicity, you most likely will be getting a lot more Internet traffic. But when people search for you on the web, what will they find? If you don’t know what’s out there, you can’t get ahead of it, so go to different search engines and look up your name, your company name, and even the names of people and companies you work with. If there are any inaccuracies, clean them up. By knowing what’s out there, you can either work to remove it, bury it by pushing it down on a search engine or at the very minimum, have an explanation in place for when you’re asked.
We can’t always control what people say about us, but we can control what we say about ourselves online. Make sure all your social media sites are clean of any pictures and posts that you don’t want media and community to see. When people look you up, be confident that all they will find are examples of your professionalism.
2. Schedule a professional photo shoot.
You need professional photos taken by a photographer BEFORE you start doing any PR. Too often I’ve seen advisors put this off and say they’ll get them done when they’re asked for them. But what if you participate in an interview and after the fact the editor or reporter asks you to provide a photo to run along side your quote – and you don’t have one? You would miss out on a big opportunity. It’s happened, and it’s a rookie mistake.
Schedule a photo shoot and take a variety of shots. Headshots, full body, candid, hands on hips, arms folded, smiling, laughing, serious face… get a variety to choose from. A general rule is that PR pictures should be used for PR purposes only, and advertising/marketing photos reserved for those purposes. Have a lot of photos taken, and have a lot of PR pictures to choose from.
3. Get your contact info and call to action in order.
What do you want people to do when they see you in the media? Do you want them to be impressed with what you said but then carry on with their day? No! You want them to say “She’s really smart – I need to get a hold of her now!” While you can offer whatever call to action you prefer, the easiest call to action is to send someone is a website. There you can give them options for next steps – attend an event, schedule a free consultation, download a white paper, sign up for a newsletter… Get them to leave their contact information so that you can continue market to them.
Completing these three steps before you start a PR campaign may sound basic, or it may sound like a hassle, but you’ll be glad you did them. They’ll help you increase your credibility, which will ultimately increase your profitability! So check off these three tasks and then start your PR today!