• Hannah @ Hawthorn HouseVA

PR 101: What is PR and will it work for you?

If you’ve heard that public relations (or PR for short) is a great way of boosting your business but you’re not entirely sure what it is and if it will work for you, then this blog was written especially for you…

If you’re an expert in your field or a business owner who has a unique product, service, or story behind your brand then PR can provide an incredible platform to get you and your business seen and heard by your ideal clients. It also works well for those that want to position themselves as the experts in their field. he return on investment (ROI) is often pretty impressive too!

So what exactly is PR?

You’d be amazed at the amount of people who don’t actually get what PR is... For years my mum told her friends I was a PA - and I’m not entirely sure if my husband fully understands what I do even now...

So the easiest way I'd describe PR to a stranger (or relative that should know better): a PR is someone who works with businesses and individuals to uncover great news stories and opportunities to get them in the media. Media coverage is a fabulous form of promotion as it’s trusted by the public – e.g if you’ve had your story featured by the BBC, then what you have to offer must be good!

How does it work?

Unlike advertising, PR is free – you just pay for the PR’s time to help you get the coverage or you can do it yourself!

Seasoned PR's like me use our relationships with the media and knowledge of the stories they want cover to identify how best to get you coverage to propel your brand into the spotlight. Quite often this involves working up a press release to send out to targeted media, but not always.

A PR understands the media and keeps an eagle eye out for opportunities for their clients to comment on the latest news. A PR can help position you as the ‘go-to’ person in your field, gaining you the recognition you deserve as an expert in your specialism. We do this by scouring the media in search of the best opportunities which align with your brand and put your forward for comment.

PR’s are also masters in reputation management and persuasion, so can also pull you out of a scrape should you get into one – but we’ll save crisis management for another day.

Too good to be true?

Well like all good things in life, PR does have it’s limitations. On the whole PR’s can’t guarantee you coverage and they have no control over what is covered or printed – that’s all down to the journalists covering the story. It's also essentially why you pay a premium for an advert as you have full control over what is printed.

PR also takes a bit of work – building relationships with your target media and finding the perfect opportunities which align with your business generally doesn’t happen overnight. But if you find the right PR to represent your brand you shouldn’t have to wait too long to see your name or business in lights.

Why take the risk if it's not guaranteed coverage?

Well, let’s take an example of PR vs advertising...

Some of the high-end glossy mags are charging more than £15k for an advert, but if you get the right story, at the right time, there are ways of featuring in your ideal publications for free! So I would say it’s worth the risk, wouldn't you?

How can I grab a piece of the PR pie?

Well, there are a few ways to do this – you can have a go at doing yourself, or you could save yourself a lot of time and the headache by getting a PR professional to help. Hiring a PR who knows what they're doing and can guide you to the best opportunities not only makes your life easier, but it will also make your campaign more successful.

Check out my Wing Woman plan for £300 which includes a press release, identified media opportunities, liaison with the media, and tracking coverage - further info at https://www.hawthornhouseva.co.uk/services

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Based in Leicestershire, serving businesses nationwide