Most people love the idea of PR. But when it comes down to the nitty gritty - the doing what it takes to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and on radio & TV - enthusiasm can often wane.
The thing is, PR doesn’t have to be difficult at all. In fact, if you’re doing it right, it can be as easy as writing an email or making a quick phone call. But it's easy to make it bigger, scarier and much harder work than it needs to be. Then the excuses start. And they just keep on coming.
Here’s some of the most common excuses I hear people making for not doing PR (and why you really shouldn’t be making them).
‘I don’t have time.’
The idea of writing press releases or putting together a media kit can feel overwhelming.
But guess what? You don’t have to.
If you’ve got an idea that’s a good fit for the publication or programme you’d like to be featured in, you don’t need a media kit or a press release. A couple of paragraphs on an email with a compelling subject header should be enough to grab a journalist’s attention. They can always follow up with more questions if they need to.
If you’re going to invest time on anything, spend it on researching the publications and programmes you’re pitching to. The more you understand the kind of content they generally run - and their audience - the greater your chances of success.
‘I don’t have the budget’
I speak to so many people who are putting off PR until they have the budget to hire a specialist. But you don’t need a PR firm to get media coverage. Anyone with a good idea and a bit of common sense can pitch a story idea into the media.
In fact, it’s worth bearing in mind that some journalists don’t like dealing with PR companies. They can’t always answer all their questions, have to liaise with clients to arrange interview times and act as a ‘barrier’ to the people they really want to speak to. This can slow things down, which is frustrating to busy journalists, who are generally working to tight deadlines... so a DIY approach can actually work to your advantage.
‘I don’t want to be criticised’ I hear some people say they don’t want to do PR because they’re afraid of being criticised. They’re worried that if they’re featured in a magazine or newspaper article - or on radio or TV - people will write negative things about them online, which will be harmful to their business or brand. While being featured in the media can, potentially, expose you to criticism, it also can also attract new clients, partnerships and business opportunities. Do you really want to miss out on all that on the basis that somebody might criticise you? ‘I don’t have any news’ I speak to so many people who are putting off PR until their next product launch, event or book (often the one they haven’t written yet) even though they have stories, experiences and opinions they could be sharing in the media right now. In fact, quiet periods in your business are the perfect time to be pitching ideas and building relationships with journalists, as this will give you a much better chance of getting coverage when you do have something new to say. ‘I don’t see the point of PR’ Some people tell me they don’t need PR because business is booming. I can see their point; a one-off feature in a newspaper or radio interview probably isn’t going to make you millions. But a steady stream of newspaper and magazine articles, and radio & TV appearances will help you build credibility, influence and brand awareness over time - which will improve the long-term health of your brand. Being able to tell people you’ve been featured in well-respected titles and TV programmes can help you build the kind of profile that can lead to lucrative speaking gigs book deals and other career-boosting opportunities. Can you really put a price on that?