Your 5 PR toolkit must-haves
Gaining press coverage is a great way to get your name out there, boost credentials and to increase brand awareness. An editorial mention is so much more influential than paid advertising because it provides endorsement and is seen as more trustworthy. Positive PR is therefore, highly valuable.
As a small business striving to be noticed, it is crucial that you are ready to embrace any PR opportunities that come your way. You need to be armed and ready with the perfect PR toolkit!
So, what are your PR toolkit must-haves?
We asked PR guru Ros Morgan to let us in on some industry secrets! And with more than 12 years of experience working at some of London’s top PR firms under her belt, Ros has some fantastic tips and advice to share with us:
1. Press photos
Every PR toolkit needs high-quality images. Be sure to have the following images readily available:
- Head and full body shots of your business owner(s)
- Your business logo
- Pictures of key products on a plain background (if you are a product business)
Top tip: Have both a high and low resolution version of each image ready. High resolution images should be at least 1 MB.
2. A press release and bio on your business
Ensure that your press release includes a quote from the business owner and that it really sells your business. Your release should:
- Have an attention-grabbing title.
- Embellish on the title in your opening sentence.
- Contain key information about your business: e.g., when and where your business was established, a quote from the business owner and a succinct description of your business including the unique selling points.
- Include your website details, any social media handles and contact details at the bottom of the page.
- Include your logo (I often place this under the title, but not at the bottom of the page).
Top tip: If you are emailing your press release, ensure the image used is low resolution to avoid clogging up a journalist’s inbox. If picked up by the press, a larger file would be requested. Create 2 versions; a PDF and a word document.
3. Product/prices, budget and time
If you’re a product-based business, be sure to set aside product (and prices), budget and time for product placement pages, gifting pages and building celebrity relationships for testimonials. These PR activities are a great way to raise brand awareness and drive product trial.
4. Point of sale
If you’re a brand looking to gain retail distribution – be sure to have created your point of sale. It may sound obvious, but there’s little point in beginning your PR pitches if your point of sale isn’t ready. If a retail opportunity comes your way and you’re unprepared, you will likely be skipped over and miss out!
5. An open mind to press opportunities
As business owners, we dream of getting our names into the most popular and well-known media outlets. But don’t underestimate the power of online publications, regional press and bloggers. In short – don’t be a media snob!
Start with a top 10 wish list of media outlets. By reaching out across the media spectrum, you will achieve a consistently growing online presence, and what will that do? It will attract more attention and demonstrate you have consumer/business interest. You will also be able to showcase all the press on your website which always looks impressive!
Top tip: If you support growing online magazines and bloggers, in turn they will support you.
If at first you don’t succeed try, try again. One pitch or product might not work. Play around with a press release title, lead product or press release content and try again. And don’t be afraid to pick up the phone.
If you are serious about running your own public relations, you must ensure you have time to do it. I advise dedicating time each day to PR activity whether sending pitches, chasing opportunities, social media outreach or researching new opportunities.
Ros Fraser founded Morgan Fraser Public Relations following a 12 year career running successful PR campaigns in some of London leading PR firms. Throughout her career, Ros has built thoughtful, creative and unique PR campaigns for actors, musicians, presenters, authors, theatre companies, artists and fashion houses. Ros prides herself on forging strong, loyal relationships with her clients and media contacts and is highly passionate about what she does. She has two young boys and lives in North London with her husband.
Follow Ros on Twitter: @MorganFraserpr