PR Tips — How to Run Your Own PR Campaign

PR Tips — How to Run Your Own PR Campaign

One of the dirty little secrets about public relations is that you don’t need to hire an outside firm to do it effectively. If you have the time and desire, you can easily run an effective PR campaign yourself – and save a lot of money. In fact, when companies hire us to run an earned media campaign, these are some of the most critical steps we take.

    1. Establish a spokesperson. Someone at your organization needs to be able to field calls and answer questions from the media. Choose someone who is a clear writer, knowledgeable about your organization, and comfortable speaking to reporters on the phone.
    2. Refine your message. If a reporter from the Wall Street Journal calls you, what will you say? Your talking points should be clearly defined on paper, so you don’t fumble when the big moment comes.
    3. Build a list of journalists (and this should include influential bloggers). Chances are, there are only a limited number of journalists who really care about your industry and would be likely to write about your organization. In fact, there are probably fewer than 200 of these reporters. So make a list of them and keep it up-to-date.
    4. Embrace Twitter. Follow your list of journalists on Twitter – and, if you have a good Twitter feed, invite them to follow you.
    5. Establish yourself as a source. When appropriate, let those journalists know about your areas of expertise. When interesting stories break, offer yourself as a source of information for their articles.

  1. Make news. When something really interesting happens at your company or in your industry, reach out to your list of influential journalists and bloggers and pitch them. Explain why your story is newsworthy and would be interesting to readers. (Just be sure you’re providing them with interesting news and not veiled advertising.)
  2. Monitor the media. Set up keyword alerts in Google for critical issues in your industry so you’re always up-to-date about who your key reporters are and what they’re writing about. Give those reporters feedback. And if they’re local, invite them out to coffee.

Do this for a year or two, and before you know it, you’ll be on a first-name basis with many of the most influential journalists in your industry. Turning your organization into a go-to news source isn’t rocket science — it just takes time, persistence, and a few good news angles.

Sam Ryan