AMA-PR So you think your business is uncool ... want to know how to get media attention?

Annette Densham
May 11, 2018

AMA about how to get media attention for a small business, especially one people do not think of as sexy

The art of getting media attention is all about finding a great story that grabs a journalist's attention and understanding your target audience.

Are you stumped not knowing what to share with the media?

Do you think you have nothing to share?

Want to find out how to crack that media door?

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Why should an entrepreneur care about video as a small business owner?
May 17, 11:27PM EDT0
Do you think social media marketing is a useful tool for providing customer service?
May 15, 9:07AM EDT0

It has its place.  Message bots are awesome but you can never replace the personal touch. It is so easy to automate things these days but never forget the P in PR is about people and the R is about relationships. 

With so many ways to contact people, it is easy to overlook messages. I suggest setting up processes around monitoring messages so you never miss one.  People are quick to judge and make decisions about a business so it is better manage their expectations right from the start.

May 16, 9:24PM EDT0
Have you noticed any noteworthy trends in social media marketing in recent years and what are they?
May 14, 11:24PM EDT0

The growth of Facebook groups for small business.  Business is all about connections and relationships, and Facebook groups is a really low cost way to conenct with people who need the solutions a business offers.  

May 15, 1:56AM EDT0
How did you get started in PR? Was this something you always wanted to do?
May 12, 4:34AM EDT0

I always wanted to be a journalist. So I did. I did that for over 20 years until I had my kids.  When I went back to work, I went into corporate and did communciations. After my last role became redundant, I realised I had skills I could share with small businesses. For me, PR is all about storytelling - I have the power to find great stories and then find the right media to share the story with.

May 15, 1:55AM EDT0
Why is PR important for small businesses? At what point in the life of a company should one think of hiring a professional PR?
May 12, 3:19AM EDT0

PR gives a small business access to earned media - you cannot buy this. PR is different to marketing/advertising. When a media outlet shares your story, they are saying you are credible. Like word of moouth - we tend to listen to other people saying something is good (it is more organic) than believing an ad.  It is never too soon to use a good PR ... but you have to find one that can grow with you, that offers packages that grow with your business.

May 15, 1:58AM EDT0
What is the most important lesson you have learned in the Corporate Communications industry thus far?
May 12, 3:03AM EDT0

It is all about relationships - across the board. You cannot stay in your department - that creates silos. Talk to everyone because you never know who can help you.

May 15, 2:00AM EDT0
Why do you think some people accuse PR of being the same as propaganda? What arguments would you present against this point of view?
May 12, 12:34AM EDT0

Well, it can be but why does propaganda have to be always be seen negatively? A well crafted message can have incredible power - look at #metoo

May 15, 2:01AM EDT0

I'm looking to get some media attention for my medical center so that patients know how to find me.  How do I do that?

May 11, 7:50PM EDT0

1. Determine your target audience

2. Finesse your key messages - what is you do, why do you do it, who do you do it for and how do you do it?

3. Work out the best media to approach

4. Research your targeted media - who do you need to talk t you?

5. Come up with a great media angle - something newsy about what you do

6. Come up with different ways to spin that message that you can repurpose across different platforms

May 15, 2:03AM EDT0
What is a good email subject to get your mail opened by press?
May 11, 2:46PM EDT0

Let them know you are sending a media release


You have to make sure your headline stands out. To do that, summarise your story with the top points. Check out headlines in newspaper and magazines to get an idea of how to create a strong headline.

May 15, 2:05AM EDT0
What services does Publicity Genie offer?
May 11, 11:42AM EDT0

We do media releases for our clients - we come up with the story idea/s, create bespoke media list and then pitch the stories.

We also do social media content and blog content from the basis of storytelling - not selling.

We also do business award submissions and PR strategies.

May 15, 2:06AM EDT0
How would you handle a PR crisis? What is the first thing one should do? Do you recall any PR crisis issue that you handled too?
May 11, 11:06AM EDT0

The first thing you should do is already have a plan in place.

A PR crisis plan is like insurance. It ensures you are not reacting emotionally but from a strategic place.

I once worked for an aged care business that had a facility that was being evacuated for the third time due to flooding.  We had a lot of media attention and a lot questions about why we had done nothing to fix the problem and the wellbeing of the seniors being evacuated. Because we anticpated these questions during our planning, we were eable to send statements addressing concerns.

The first thing you should do is send a holding statement to give you some time to pull in all your stakeholders to form a plan before giving any more info.

May 15, 2:10AM EDT0
You have been a journalist for over 30 years, why did you decide to switch to the corporate communications?
May 11, 7:35AM EDT0

I wanted to work on the other side of the news. I wanted to be able to find the stories and to share with more people than just one media outlet (that I worked for).  

May 15, 2:11AM EDT0
What is the role of communication in establishing legitimacy? How can people differentiate what is legitimate and what's not?
May 11, 7:11AM EDT0

Great question.  You can only establish legitimacy if where you come from is cemented in authenticity.  Great comms, crafting of solid accurate messages, done consistently goes a long way to established a legit business. How people work this out is by looking at an ogranisation's communciations across the board - are their key messages consistent, do they share good quality info, are they transparent, do they walk the walk?

May 15, 2:14AM EDT0
What inspired you to write ‘How to Be Your Own Publicity Genie’? Was this your first book and is there another one in the pipeline?
May 11, 7:03AM EDT0

It was my first book. It came about after running workshops for people in small business. I saw the need to create workbook that helps people step-by-step get ready for PR and then do it themselves.  I have published three other books for other people. I am planning another book - Failing Up - Lessons From A Start Up Newbie.

May 15, 2:16AM EDT0
How closely should PR work with other areas of the company (i.e., sales, product development, legal, etc.)? What's your favorite department to work with?
May 11, 6:54AM EDT0

PR (communciations) is the anchor for the entire business. The PR department shares the stories of the business - with the media but also with the rest of the business. It can bring an organisation closer if done right.  I love working with people are the frontline - the people who are getting their hands dirty.

May 15, 2:47AM EDT0
What would be your top 5 tips for small business owners? What are some of the crucial things that you feel they should focus on?
May 11, 6:30AM EDT0

Have a plan - work out who your target audience is, what your key messages are and what platforms do you need to be on.

Take the time to work out your brand story - who are you and what do you do?

Get your foundations right - do not rush into promoting your business without making sure peple can contact you and find you.

Take the time to get to know the media you want to be in - read what they write, listen to what they say so you can individually pitch your stories instead of a scatter gun approach.

Don't give up - PR is a long term strategy.

May 15, 2:43AM EDT0
Should one go for professional pictures when pitching to journalists or is it more natural to have more social media-like photos?
May 11, 6:15AM EDT0

Go professional especially if you are pitching to print publication - they need high quality images.  And this is your brand you are promoting so you want the images to reflect this.

May 15, 2:31AM EDT0
Why do you think public relations is so difficult to define? Which of the existing definitions seems most useful to you?
May 11, 2:32AM EDT0

Because so many people do not understand it. Because so much of it is intangible. PR is all about perception, something that you cannot touch. For me PR is the art of storytelling, connecting your message with your target (public) and building a relationship through delivering helpful, useful and newsworthy information.

May 15, 2:31AM EDT0
What is the difference between Publicity and Public relations?
May 11, 2:08AM EDT0

Public relations is to act of getting publicity.

May 15, 2:28AM EDT0
What is the best way to get your story published? Should the accent be on the project or the people behind it? What do journalists look for in a story?
May 10, 8:14PM EDT0

It depends on who you are pitching the story to  - to share about the project or the people. What is run as news depends on the value the media places on the story - called news values.  The most powerful stories are the ones that have humans at the heart of it.

A story has to have a strong angle - it cannot be about selling something. How does it impact people? Who has it helped? What can it do?

This what journalists look for - news values:

1. Impact

2. Timeliness

3. Prominence

4. Proximity

5. The Bizarre

 6. Conflict

 7. Currency

8. Human Interest

May 15, 2:28AM EDT0
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