Six Signs Your Business is Ready for PR

Jennifer Maloney is the co-founder and principal of Yulu PR

Public relations can invoke trepidation in entrepreneurs, but the right strategy can yield big benefits for your business, says Jennifer Maloney

A well-played PR campaign can magnify a company’s voice and solicit valuable brand evangelists. On the flip side, a poorly executed campaign can bring little to no return on what is often a significant investment for small businesses. Before you call up the press, here are six questions you should be ready to confidently answer.

How am I different?

You wouldn’t be in business if you didn’t think your product or service added market value. When it comes to grabbing media attention, however, the strongest campaigns have an element of unexpectedness.  Think: “what is my company the first at, the best at, the last at?” Then ask yourself how that impacts the general public. 

Who am I targeting?

If your answer is “everyone,” chances are your campaign will not be successful. As much as you want your message to have broad appeal, one PR tactic does not fit all. A successful campaign is targeted at the two to three well-researched demographics. That way your PR team can craft both the message and distribution channels strategically.  

Where does my public get their news?

Public relations is no longer limited to traditional media. When you know who you’re targeting, a good PR professional will make recommendations on how to best reach that demographic. Social media, events, and strategic partnerships are all accessible and often affordable ways to gain great brand exposure.

What makes my message stick?

We’re living in an era of content overload. When preparing for a PR campaign, think what will compel someone to hit the share button. Is your message simple and easy to retell? Does it evoke a strong emotion? Are you in a credible position to tell it? These are strong indicators of how well your message with resonate with the public.

Why does my message matter now?

News stories get shelved on a regular basis simply because there’s not a timely hook. Think of what upcoming public events, holidays, or announcements get covered in the news and how they could relate to your message. Consider timing the launch of your campaign with a relevant date to increase your chances of landing priority media coverage. 

How will my message reflect on my company?

In the hunt of crafting a compelling story, this is a question you should never forget. Every CEO has a different comfort level on how far they will go to spark conversation with the media and public. However, you always want to consider what kind of reflection your story or message will have on your company. An effective PR campaign will introduce your company to a vast number of people for the first time. That first impression is often a lasting one, so consider how you want to come across. 
Jennifer Maloney is the co-founder and principal of Yulu PR. Her media and public relations career spans over a decade. She was an award-winning journalist before transitioning into PR where she has helped dozens of top businesses such as, 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, the Chopra Yoga Center, BroadbandTV, the Vancouver Aquarium and Blast Radius reach their public relations goals.