One of the most consistent things that I hear from small business owners is that they don’t feel like their business is “big enough” to do PR, that they need to wait until they’ve grown more, that they don’t think journalists will want to hear about them, or that anyone would be interested in what they’ve got to say.
This just isn’t true – and the proof of this is The PR Set’s DIY PR Members who are totally smashing it and getting coverage for their business left, right and centre.
And what’s the difference between their businesses and the ones who don’t think they’re big enough? Well, on paper, absolutely nothing. In practice, I believe that a lot of it comes down to mindset.
I see it time and time again (and it’s not just doing your own PR where this applies), but often it’s our mindset that holds us back from achieving things within our business. We tell ourselves it can’t be done and then we don’t give it a go. Trust me, I’ve been there and got the T-shirt.
So let’s look at this from two sides.
Let's look at it from their perspective.
Their job is to report on new, interesting things for their readers, to be the first to discover trends, or insight, to write about things that will inform, educate or entertain their reader. To keep them engaged and coming back for more. So it doesn’t matter if you have a big business, a small business or anything in between. What matters is the story, what you have to say, the insight you can give them, the new exciting products or the human insight.
Let me say this again, when it comes to doing your own PR, or any PR for that matter, It doesn’t matter on the size of your business, it’s the story that counts.
So rather than thinking about whether your business is big enough, think about the stories you have to tell within your business, the insight you have. This is something that we spend lots of time on in my DIY PR Membership because it can be hard seeing them for yourselves.
In a recent brainstorm with the brilliant freelance journalist Louise Burke, we came up with lots of different angles that members could use to tell their story, from research to using key calendar dates as a hook, celebrity links and the human story.
Can you look at your own business and pull out the stories? One of the ways to do this is to think less about what your agenda is (the media aren’t looking to give you an advert for your business) and more about how you can help the journalist to do their job. What insight do you have, what trends can you connect to? What human story is in there?
The second place we need to look is at your mindset. How are you talking about yourself, why do you think that no one will want to hear from you? Why are you making that decision for someone else? Why don’t you try giving them the info and let them decide for themselves.
I think one of the reasons we talk ourselves out of pitching to journalists is that we’re scared they might say no. The fear of rejection paralyses us from doing anything. But let’s reframe it – what if they say yes? What would that do for your business? And also, if they do say no (or don’t get back to your email), does it really matter? At least you’ll know and can move on to the next thing.
The reality is never as bad as how we’ve built it up in our minds.
I would see this a lot when I was editing a consumer magazine. The small businesses who didn't really believe in themselves, or trust that they had something important to say, would be the ones who apologised for being there and taking up space. Compare that to the founder who was passionate about why they'd started their business, who believed they had an important story to tell, the confidence oozes through. And as a journalist you'd much rather tell that story. (And this is why in my DIY PR membership, we focus as much on confidence as we do on the knowledge and skills you need to do PR for your small business).
And finally, I want to show you that it can be done. That small business like yours CAN DIY Their PR, that they can go out and get coverage for themselves.
And it's not just about product businesses either, there's lots of opportunities to DIY your PR for service businesses, whether you're B2B or B2C, like coach Emma Kangis in Psychology Now Magazine, or Sarah Tobin from Tapping For Mums in Platinum, Interior designer Sam Grigg in places like The Metro, Real Homes, Woman and Home and the Telegraph.
And there's plenty more where they came from.
So hopefully I've shown you that it can be done. That you can DIY PR your small business and get amazing results that will help your business to grow.
All that you need to do now? Just Do It. Go on, I dare you.
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