Absolutely PR's Maggie Chamberlin Holben
wrote this bylined article for the ColoradoBiz Magazine web edition:
Using PR Tactics: Seven Tips To Boost Brand Awareness
Maggie Chamberlin Holben, APR
Absolutely Public Relations
In my opinion, the greatest
sin in the public relations realm is the sin of doing absolutely nothing and then wondering why the media aren’t paying
attention to you (or, in the case of a crisis, are eating you alive). As a small business owner or manager, you can
arm yourself with a copy of Full Frontal PR or Public Relations For Dummies and engage in “do it yourself” PR.
Or, you can contract with a PR consulting firm to assist in the process.
the case, it’s up to you to make use of proven PR tactics to help build awareness and credibility of your brand.
Here are seven tips to help jumpstart your PR efforts, or improve existing programs:
On Your Newsworthy Attributes
The news hook is an important information trigger that actually interests
news editors and reporters, not something contrived or self-serving that you think should interest the media. You’ll
have far greater success garnering news coverage if your announcement is based on a proven news hook, rather than being full
of puffery and information only of interest to you.
2) Keep Your PR Tools Up-To-Date
basic tools for being reporter friendly are: well-written news releases, media/press kit (both online and hardcopy), fact
sheets and Q&A documents, backgrounders and history documents, bios of key employees, milestone recap and related timeline,
photography (high resolution required for print reproduction), and technical documents such as white papers and case studies.
The more information you are able to provide an interested reporter, the more likely your encounter will result in thorough,
accurate and engaging coverage.
3) Utilize Newswire Services
– effectively selected, written and timed – turn up the volume on your media announcement. Specialized dissemination
services -- such as PR Newswire, Business Wire, PR Web, PR.com and PR Leap – can give your news release added exposure
to both the media and potential customers searching the Internet for your products or services as the release remains posted
4) Become Skilled At E-mail Campaigns
E-mail is, on the whole,
the most preferred form of communication for reaching the news media (versus unsolicited phone calls, text messages or podcasts
to busy journalists). Where do you get the e-mail addresses? Check the contact section of the media outlet’s
website or subscribe to a media contact data source such as Bacon's MediaSource, Burrelles Luce MediaContacts or Bulldog Reporter
5) Make Use Of Leads Services
The leads service is a special
PR tool that allows reporters on deadline to reach out to companies and individuals for information and interviews.
Examples of these services, available by subscription, are PR Newswire’s ProfNet and PRSourceCode. Here’s an example
of a recent Profnet Query: “I am writing a story for a national business publication roughly titled 'Sales 2.0.' The
article looks at how some of the new tools such as LinkedIn, Jigsaw, and other Web 2.0 tech stuff are changing the way companies
prospect for sales, contact and woo sales, close sales, and then keep customers happy. I am only interested in talking to
small and medium-sized businesses (with 1,000 employees or less).”
6) Share Your Expertise
Bylined articles, like you’re reading now, are when you write articles
for the print media (usually at the invitation of the editor) about your area of expertise. Opportunities can range
from a 250-word squib to a 2,000-word feature. A short paragraph at the end of the article usually recaps the author’s
credentials, explains his/her company or organization title and affiliation, and provides the reader with website contact
7) Win Awards To Attract Attention
of an industry or community award is a legitimate news hook that can help attract the attention of editors and reporters and
ultimately gain valuable media exposure. The focus of the award gives the recipient a reason to expand on the particular
topic by providing additional information and related photography. Quite frequently, the prestige of receiving one or
several industry awards offers the “awareness lift” necessary to secure a profile or full feature about your company
A skilled practitioner can assist you with your PR initiative and
help you understand the many tactics available to you. PRSA Colorado offers its Find a PR Professional Directory at
its website (http://www.prsacolorado.org) to connect clients in need with PR consultants who can help.
awareness building of your brand!
About the Author:
Maggie Chamberlin Holben, founder of Denver-based
Absolutely Public Relations http://www.absolutelypr.com, is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America and a member of its
Counselors Academy. A Colorado native, Holben has served two terms on the board of directors of the Colorado Bioscience
Association, receiving the association’s 2006 Partner of the Year award. In 2005, she was certified as an industry
analyst relations practitioner.