As a public relations manager who works for herself, I understand both sides of a very interesting dynamic. On the publicist side, I recognize my value and understand why it’s important for businesses, especially small ones, to invest in a trustworthy PR guy or gal. However, for the past several months I’ve also come to understand the woes of an entrepreneur and recognize that while something may be of great importance, when you’re just starting out it can be difficult to come up with the funds for everything that your small business needs to thrive.
Luckily, I’m here to help! To provide a bit of guidance to my fellow fempreneurs, here are my top three tips for pitching yourself when you can’t afford a publicist just yet.
Identify The Story Being Told
Before you even put pen to paper (or rather fingers to keyboard), make sure that you’ve identified exactly what you’ll be sharing with the journalist you’re reaching out to. Reporters are looking for stories that are interesting, engaging and relevant to their readership, so make sure that whatever you’re presenting to them fits those qualifications. One thing I always try to emphasize to people seeking PR advice is that good pitches tell stories, not tries to sell a product or service. That, hopefully, comes later!
Ask Yourself: Who Would Resonate With This Story?
Consider who would relate to this story about yourself or your business that you’re looking to tell. What does this audience look like? Is she a CEO in her mid-forties or a natural hair influencer? What platforms does she look to for her news? Her fun, escapism articles? Figure that out and then pitch your story to those publications intentionally, so long as it also resonates with that media outlet. You never want to pitch a writer a story that has nothing to do with what they cover! So ladies in tech, try to avoid sending your pitch to Vogue...unless, of course, you developed a dress that can sew itself!
Tell Your Story Clearly, Concisely and Confidently
These three C’s are incredibly important to keep top of mind. It’s so easy to let our stories get away from us. I mean, it’s ours! Naturally, because it’s personal to us, we’re more passionate about it. But, make sure to find a way to convey that passion and zeal for your business or service in a clear, concise and confident manner. Reporters receive approximately 1.2 billion emails a day (according to a statistic I just made up myself), so make sure that your pitch gets right to the point and explains why your story could be of value to them.
These tips are a great jumping off point, but in the spirit of full transparency, nothing can truly replace the value that a quality publicist can bring to your team. After all, true public relations is much more than earned media and reporter outreach. As Danyelle R. Carter so eloquently put in her own C&C advice piece, “[public relations is] not for the faint-hearted.” These pointers should help in tiding you over until your business is in a more solid place to bring a professional PR consultant on board, but that should definitely still be earmarked as a high priority for your brand. In the long-run, that investment will be well worth it.
By: Jordan Cathleen
Jordan Cathleen is the founder of Dawn Public Relations, a boutique agency dedicated to providing affordable public relations consultation, strategy development and implementation, with a commitment to ensuring that your dollars are well spent and quality service is no longer elusive to up-and-coming businesses. Dawn PR takes pride in being a helping hand — or an extra team member — to burgeoning brands, because small businesses deserve big representation. Jordan also serves as the Director of PR for AB Media Group and Director of Operations for Instagram darling, PR Girl Manifesto. You can connect with her on Twitter and Instagram or check out her website at www.atjordancathleen.com.