Katie Coates, a well-known public relations consultant, located in California and serving businesses all over the English-speaking world, has created a blog called The PR Secrets, which provides entrepreneurs and business owners with advice on getting the attention of potential online customers and clients.
“Getting media coverage can be life-changing for a business owner,” says Katie Coates, creator of The PR Secrets blog. “It’s a method of obtaining leverage that can provide marketing returns well beyond your initial investment of time or money. There are tons of benefits, from referral traffic to branding to long-term organic traffic growth.”
But she explains that knowing how to approach the media and getting their story published can be daunting to most entrepreneurs.
Those who plan to hire a PR professional benefit from understanding the process before they do so.
The latest post at The PR Secrets states that the formula for getting publicity is fairly straightforward, with three steps:
1. Write a pitch;
2. Send it to a writer; and
3. The media outlet likes the story and publishes it.
But the article goes on to say that some very important details are buried inside those simple steps. To run a successful PR campaign, business owners need to understand the process and create their own plans, which are explained further:
The highest priorities in beginning to create an effective public relations plan are deciding on a measurable outcome and creating a PR strategy that is designed around that desired outcome.
There are six suggested areas of inquiry to get those interested in this process thinking about the details of a PR plan that will yield results:
#1 — Assess whose attention is desired; specify the preferred audience.
If the goal is to reach a specific audience, the focus should be on outlets that not only reach that audience, but also command high attention.
For example, if the target is Millennials who like hiking, Backpacker magazine may be of some interest. But research might show that they may pay more attention to High Country News or specific blogs like sectionhiker.com.
The PR Secrets suggests finding blogs on all kinds of topics at feedspot.com.
#2 — Analyze whether broad awareness about the brand is wanted.
If so, it is advisable to find the outlets that re-posts others’ content. Getting coverage in an outlet that other outlets re-post and re-publish, will help a brand be more successful at getting broad coverage.
#3 — Decide how the brand is positioned within the market.
If the brand is “boutique” or “elite” brand, getting picked up by a general interest publication may not be helpful. Keeping in mind the target persona, the ideal audience member, is key.
#4 — Figure out if building credibility is a priority.
If so, getting interviewed as an expert or having original information, research, or facts cited by others would be great wins.
#5 — Weigh the importance of backlinks to online assets.
If so, publications that provide links to their sources in their outlets is crucial. Good coverage without links – if links are the objective – would be disappointing and a waste of time.
#6 — If the business owner wants to control the message, a different approach must be taken.
If being in control of the message is important to the business owner, they will want to avoid risking a negative mention by controlling the message. Being interviewed by a writer or editor can be a boon for a business but their participation puts the message in THEIR hands — and the business owner has no control over what they write or how they represent the message.
“All of these are PR goals, but different methods are necessary to achieve them” says Coates. “The goal defines everything. Without a goal, a plan cannot be built to begin with.”
The blog gives readers a weekly “homework assignment” in preparation for the next week’s post.
Those wishing to find out more may visit: The PR Secrets Blog.
The PR Secrets
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Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Fortune Thinker journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.