PR Do's and Don'ts

PR Do’s and Don’ts for Small Business

Thanks for joining us. And we’re gonna talk about PR do’s and don’ts for your business. So we’re very excited. It comes right from the blog on Infusionsoft.


And so, we know that you wanna get the word out there, and you wanna make sure that you are hitting all the right points when it comes to publicity.

So we have our expert here, and we’re gonna talk to you about all these points.

PR Do's and Don'ts for Small Business

Point number one is do research. And Laura, what can you tell us about doing research for PR?

I think with any kind of marketing, or any kind of customer relationship, you always wanna tailor your message to the person that you’re talking to. And it’s really important that before you pitch any media, that you do your research and you understand if the topic you’re pitching is relevant to the articles or blogs that they write.

You wanna look at any recent stories that they’ve done to see if you can connect it to the pitch that you’re trying to send in. But the last thing you wanna do is pitch a reporter about dog adoptions when they cover restaurants. So, do your research and know who you’re pitching and what they’re interested in.

Exactly. And there’s lots of ways that you can do research. You can look at them on Twitter, LinkedIn … If you don’t have a specific platform to do that, you know, like a software for PR …  you could definitely look them up on Twitter. I know a lot of reporters post a bio of what they cover, so that’s very important to know.

Here’s a don’t: don’t spam or blast them, right?

Yeah. So there are some tools out there that can get you in trouble. You can mail merge all of your media contacts together and send one pitch to everyone. And again, not all reporters, in fact no reporters are exactly the same, and they all cover different beats and different topics. And so you wanna make sure that you’re not blasting every single reporter or blogger on your media list the same message.

Exactly. Yeah, and then, just try to personalize, right?

PR Do's and Don'ts for Small Business

Absolutely. Yeah, definitely you wanna personalize your message. It can be good to call out, “I know you cover this regularly” or, “I saw a recent article you did and I thought you might be interested in this.” Just connecting it to what you know they cover and what they’re interested in.

Yes. That’s very, very important. And this kind of goes hand in hand with that one. And that is, don’t harass. And what can you tell us about that?

I think all of us are really eager and excited to get our stories out there in the media, and follow up is definitely important. And I’m not saying don’t ever follow up, but I think as a best practice, it’s good to probably follow up just a couple of times, and if you don’t hear back it generally means that they’re not interested.

And so the last thing you wanna do is send them an email, or call their phone every single day for weeks at a time. Because all they’ll do is put you into the junk folder so that all your future pitches never even reach your inbox. They’ll just file ’em away as a “Do not open” crazy-person file.


Yeah. And you definitely don’t wanna be blacklisted. Especially if you might have an interesting story down the line, they just maybe were too busy to respond to the story that they didn’t want to work on.

And I think it’s important too, don’t get down if you don’t hear back. You’re gonna send a lot of pitches and you’re never gonna hear back and that’s totally okay. It only takes one reporter or blogger to write back and to get that one story, so don’t give up if you don’t hear back.

I’ve sent thousands and thousands of pitches and never heard back. But I’ve also landed lot of great stories from pitches as well.

PR Do's and Don'ts for Small Business

Yeah. Okay, so another one, another don’t is; don’t put a lot of investment, or spend a lot. Is this right up front, or in general, you think?

You know, I think before you invest in PR at all, you wanna understand what you’re trying to achieve and what your goals are. And some people make the mistake of maybe hiring a PR agency which can be expensive and it’s not always right for a small business.

And so we recommend that, as a small business owner, you know your stories, probably really well. And you can go ahead and try some PR tactics on your own, and if you see some success there, maybe it’s something you wanna put more investment too.

But, you know, start with what your goals are and what you’re trying to achieve, and start small before you go in super big. Yep.

It’s a big investment. ‘Cause the ROI might not be as big right, so you wanna try it on your own as well.

But here we have a couple more do’s, and then after that we’re gonna open the floor for some questions.

But here’s the do: do set goals and KPIs.

Yeah, I mean I think with any activity that you’re gonna invest in as a small business, you wanna understand what your goals are, and you wanna know that it’s gonna have an impact on your overall goals as a business.

PR Do's and Don'ts for Small Business

And so, make sure that you’re creating some goals around any PR activities that you have, and I would think beyond just media hits, and I would look at things like social engagement. Are people sharing, or commenting, or liking the articles that I have secured?

Or I would even look at traffic. Are the articles I’m lining up online, are they resulting in people visiting my website, or searching for my company’s name? And you can sometimes even follow those through the funnel to see if an article results in customers.

There’s been plenty of times that we’ve tracked an article from the media site to our own website, and followed it through the funnel, and we’ve landed dozens of customers off of an article. But you wouldn’t know that unless you set that up and you made sure to track it.

Right, ahead of time. And it’s very important to know, again, like, speaking of ROI, how many people are coming to your website, or becoming customers because of your PR? So, this is one is actually very important.

And another one, and this is our last tip that we’re sharing live, is: do share your story across multiple channels. And that one’s very important because … I mean, I can give my take but I wanna know yours.

Yeah, I think you always wanna be telling your own story, and you have your own properties that you own, like your website or your blog. And those are great places to feature stories, and then you can share those stories out with the media. And if you’re lucky they may include a link back to your blog, which would be great to get that extra traffic and visibility.

But you also wanna share your stories across social platforms. So if you get an article on a blog, you wanna make sure that you’re sharing that on your social channels to extend the reach.

And I think also, looking at YouTube and some of the channels that we’re doing today to talk about this are also a good idea.

Yeah, and then you have more different angles and different buckets on your social media channels. So if you’re constantly sharing a specific type of post on your Facebook page, and you don’t have a lot of PR on there, it’s really good to mix that in, and then people will see a different angle.

Whether that’s from the media, maybe you got an award, and it’s just very important to highlight across all the channels that you’re on, including website and anything like that.

And I think, you know, a lot of times we pitch the media stories and they write them, but oftentimes they’re just doing their own research and they’re looking for experts.

PR Do's and Don'ts for Small Business

And so if you’re sharing stories relating to a particular topic across your website, blog, or social channels, you’re increasing your chances that someone from the media might find it on their own and reach out to you as the expert.

And we’ve had that happen a lot of times, where someone sees something on our blog, or comes across our website because of a search they did on google, and they reach out to us because they’re doing a story on a particular topic.

We even had the New York Times reach out to us once because they were doing a search on top solutions for small businesses to manage customers.

So you never know where it could land if you’re just doing your extra step of sharing it all across.


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