Alastair Gourley from Pickle PR is a bit of an expert on drumming up press interest for his customers. Here he shares his tips to get you going for 2015.
Do your groundwork
Know your local media! Most areas will have a selection of media including newspapers and magazines, radio and information sites. Find out the right people to contact and make some critical notes on what they write about and when their deadlines fall. Create a database to help organise your plan of attack. With the social media revolution, take note of social media tags because they’ll all play a part in your plan. Getting it right from the start will help you get the attention from all the right people and that’s the biggest step on the road to getting them talking about you and your shop.
Roll up, ROLL UP
Be proactive and think deeply about your business – try to identify newsworthy stories, events, and campaigns. Not every story will capture media interest but you’ll find another way to get that story out and don’t forget of course that social media outreach such as Facebook or Twitter is a powerful way to have your voice heard. Pictures too are worth a thousand words, so don’t miss an opportunity to snap relevant images on your smartphone – that image could be useful. See what’s happening outside your salon in music, fashion and local initiatives. Think Movember, the MOBOS, MTV Music Awards, London Collections Men, Oscars, big sporting events…then create quick ‘how to’s’ and send it through to your contacts quick as you can. You are the expert after all, offer your advice.
Be the barbershop that the media want to connect with, find a way to create that personal relationship with the media. Keep in mind that bloggers are relevant to men’s grooming and furthermore offer you an opportunity to create content for your social media as well as their readers. Why not have a blogging event? Indulge local reporters, invite those in to get to know them, if your product partner is happy too, why not gift them the product you use. If your journalist is a woman then extend the invite to an important man and make sure there is a glass of bubbly on offer when she visits. Lastly, don’t let your social media become stale, stay on form, interact and create good relationships. Trust me, it’s how you stay top of mind when the press need content.
So if you follow the advice and feel it’s tougher than you thought then keep going, your hard work pays off steadily. Building a brand is all about consistency and PR is an essential element.