HELPING PEOPLE DO PR FOR THEMSELVES

Not everyone has the budget to invest in detailed PR plans, professional copywriting or interactive social media strategies.  But EVERYONE has a story to tell, the potential to be featured in magazines, to be interviewed by journalists and to get masses of engagement on social media.

If you have the time, the desire and are happy to make a few mistakes along the way you really can do a lot of your PR for yourself.

It’s because of this that Pilkington Communications launched a new Communications Coaching Club this year – specifically for those with little budget but big aspirations; for those who want to write marketing plans, social media content, website copy and press releases, but need a little bit of support or hand holding along the way.

Doing your own PR may not be something you have done before and knowing where to start and what to prioritise can be daunting. Here’s an important question to ask yourself – the answer to which will shape everything you then choose to do.

What is your vision/ your primary objective and are the PR activities you are currently prioritising helping you achieve this?

After her first coaching session Abby, who owns Abigail’s Bead Company (a London based handmade jewellery company) decided her new three-year ambition would be to sell more of her pieces online, as opposed to at the London boutiques which were taking sometimes hefty commissions.

She reflected that most of her social media efforts up to that point had promoted the shops in which she sells her jewellery (not therefore serving her new objective). Since our first session Abby has tweaked and updated her website, written a blog about birthstones (which links to her online shop) and upped her Facebook and Instagram posts, all with links to her site. The results were quick to come. Abby had 10 new commissions in the four weeks that followed – all via her website, and she did all this herself.

Another of our new club members is The Lewis Foundation, run by the inspiring Northampton duo Lorraine and Lee. This charity, which you may well already know about (they are already great at their social media), supports adults in hospital who are undergoing treatment for cancer.

Lorraine and Lee, who were presented with a British Citizen Award in January in recognition of their services to healthcare, came to us wanting to up their positive publicity and increase traffic to their website.

The charity already does a good job with their PR but there is always room for improvement. More PR equals more profile which equals more donations and more support for those patients in need.

Lorraine already posts regularly on social media and highlights dozens of amazing stories every week about the difference a donation has made to a family. Historically though she hasn’t always linked content to the charity website.

So, following her first coaching session Lorraine now plans to up the number of website links she includes – in her tweets, Facebook posts, flyers and press release. The objective is to boost website traffic so, wherever possible, Lorraine and Lee will now will drive people to www.thelewisfoundation.co.uk (I promised Lorraine I’d include the URL!)

We’ll give it a couple of months and will then look at the difference – website traffic, we are confident, will dramatically increase.

So, if you are looking to do PR for yourself think carefully about what you focus on and try not to get distracted by all the other stuff. Only focus on what will really help you reach your goals.

Good luck!

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