How To Use PR To Raise Your Profile



Why should I raise my profile?



Although some entrepreneurs have built their successful businesses undercover, if you want to expand your business, a solid Public Relations strategy is a good way to go. You need to stop being the best kept secret in your industry.  By raising your profile and securing a steady stream of media coverage you will not only gain more credibility and competitive advantage but also build the ‘Know, Like and Trust’ factors in your business. 

The first step is for people to get to know about you, your products or services, where to find you, understand what you’re offering, etc.  The beauty of PR is that you’re communicating to many (not 1 to 1) each time but, having said that, you can make that as targeted as you wish by choosing the media that your ideal audience is tapped into. 

If you’ve done your research right, you’ll be offering what your ideal prospects are looking for or needing to solve their problem.  Assuming they like it, your most important step then is developing the trust factor to encourage them to purchase.  The more expensive your product/service is or the more complex the decision making process is, the higher level of trust you’re going to need for a positive outcome.  Press coverage, speaking at events or on podcasts, and award wins, are all great ways of boosting your credibility and building trust as they act as third party endorsements. Getting other people to say how good you are or how good your product or service is.  

If you’re looking to be seen as the “go-to expert” or the “thought leader” in your field, a  solid PR strategy will enable you to build and manage your reputation and increase your influence. This in turn will help boost your sales conversions and even enable you to raise your fees when demand increases. 

There are also many hidden benefits of doing PR to be aware of. As you raise your profile, you will find people reaching out to you, for potential collaboration, whether they are retail stockists who want to sell your product, franchisees, investors, or even great talent who want to work in your team.  Also bear in mind that you can leverage the press and media to educate your target audience and potentially even influence them to change their behaviour once you’ve gained their trust.  Any online coverage you secure will also greatly improve your website's SEO ranking and digital footprint.

Do your media research

To successfully raise your brand’s profile, you need to identify what your ideal clients are watching, reading and listening to.  If you’re not sure, then ask them what newspapers or magazines  they read, what podcasts or radio channels  they listen to and what TV or online shows  they watch.   

One thing that holds people back from doing PR is that they think they have nothing to say or share with the press.  I’ve yet to meet an entrepreneur where this is true. 

If you’re looking to position yourself as an expert or thought leader, then it would be good for you to write some articles or share your comments or opinions with the magazines and newspapers you’ve identified as relevant to your ideal clients.  Get in touch with them and ask if they would be happy to accept guest articles and if so propose a couple of topics or article ideas that you could write for them.  Bear in mind it needs to be advice-led, like this blog post for instance, and not a sales pitch or promotional about you or your business.  That’s fine for advertising but not for this type of PR where you’re looking to build credibility and trust. 

If you have a consumer product, then look for the magazines (print and online) that have product reviews or gift guides for example and again put your product forward by contacting the journalist responsible for that section of the magazine. Sometimes, you’ll need to send them your product for review but often they’ll just ask for an image to share so make sure you have great quality images.

Case studies are another great way to showcase your business and share your client’s glowing endorsement of how your product or service transformed their life or solved their critical business problem.  

A common mistake a lot of entrepreneurs make is waiting to be approached by journalists or even to be nominated for awards, but the truth is you have to be proactive and put yourself or your business forward.   

Engage with different Media 

Out of all the social media platforms, the best for connecting with journalists is Twitter. A quick hack to find potential press opportunities is to look for journalist requests.  Simply go to  the Twitter search bar in the #Explore tab and type in “#journorequest” and then a keyword relevant to your business, for instance, “#education” and see if there’s anything that you can respond to.  Often journalists use this when they have short deadlines and urgently need expert comment or opinion for an article they’re writing.  So make a note to have a quick check every day to see if a new opportunity has come up that you can respond to.  It’s completely free of charge and it could be your way into a national newspaper in a matter of days. 

PR is not just about written editorial coverage though.  If you prefer speaking to writing, then definitely reach out to event organisers and podcast show hosts and put yourself forward as a guest speaker.  And if you have something newsworthy to share with the public then it may be appropriate to contact TV and Radio shows as well.  If you go to their websites, they usually share the contact details of the show producers and researchers.  

Sanity PR vs Vanity PR

I like to remind people about Sanity PR vs Vanity PR as they can sometimes get unnecessarily obsessed with being in the top-tier media.  It is of course great to get coverage in the likes of Forbes magazine, national newspapers or the glossy magazines like Vogue.  They are well known and will look great on your website with the “As seen in…” label - this is what we call Vanity PR.  However, they might not be the publications that your ideal clients are actually reading.  They may well be reading something far less glamorous but much more relevant to their interests or business sector. Getting coverage of your business in these ‘Sanity PR’ publications could result in more enquiries and traffic to your website and if you establish a good relationship with them, they are more likely to accept your content on a regular basis. 

For more tips on raising your profile, you can download Alison's free guide on Get Famous in 15 Minutes

For more information: Adia PR

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