Habits of the PR-savvy business professional

We think it’s a good idea for every business owner or leader to have a basic set of PR tools and habits they can rely to help enhance their company’s reputation. We’ve come across many leaders who shy away from PR because they have no idea where to start or think it’ll be too time-consuming. But simple steps can make a big difference. Read on for five easy ways to up your PR game…

1. Read your local/regional and trade publications
In addition to your regular news intake, reading your local / regional and industry media is the starting point for sharpening your PR nous. If you’re in the homeware space and you regularly read Style at Home magazine for example, you’ll feel much more comfortable about pursuing coverage. Just the awareness of the magazine’s style and regular features could give you ideas on a story, angle or possible hook, as well as keep you up to date with the latest trends. You’ll also become familiar with the writers you may want to contact in the future. The same applies to local media.

2. Follow journalists on Twitter
… And include the ones from the publications above! Following journalists on Twitter is one of the quickest and easiest ways to see what they’re up to, what they’re interested in and what they’re writing about. Follow the ‘journo request’ hashtag too so you can keep up to date with the hot topics of today and headlines of tomorrow. While you’re on Twitter, make sure you contribute too. Engage in conversation with others, share thoughts and be useful. Raising your social media profile will increase your chances of becoming noticed by professionals at media outlets

“If you know you’re doing something big in six months’ time and it’s media-worthy, create a PR plan. Be intentional in the same way you would be with your sales or marketing strategy.”

3. Sign up to the JournoRequests email – it’s free!
Linked to the hashtag, this useful tool ensures you’re kept up to speed with journalists and bloggers on Twitter, but without having to constantly scan the social media site for coverage opportunities yourself. The email service checks every use of the hashtag too ensuring it’s not spam.

4. Build relationships
Do you know who your local business editor is? The editor of your industry’s trade magazine? Business reporters working in your area? If not, make the effort to find out. You could introduce yourself by email to kick things off (they may not always respond), and – where appropriate – invite them out for a drink or lunch, much like you would a business prospect. Don’t just get in touch when you want coverage, take the time to build relationships more organically.

5. Incorporate PR into your annual planning
If you know you’re doing something big in six months’ time and it’s media-worthy, create a PR plan. Be intentional in the same you would be with your sales or marketing strategy. Identify the right time to approach contacts about coverage. Most of the glossy magazines are published several months ahead of time so doing this will mean you can sell your story in at the right time.

Even following one or two of these pointers will help keep PR at the forefront of your mind, as well as increase your chance of capturing the coverage that’s best for your business.