With many clients running startups and strapped for cash, it’s a hard loss for our team and our client when they have to put a midstream stop to the PR program. Media relations takes time. Although PR is so much more than just media relations, for many of our clients, media coverage is the golden ring. Dropping the ring when it’s in hand is especially frustrating.
So what happens when a small company needs to take a PR hiatus? As their team, we feel a sense of responsibility for the client and the product. We can’t let them fully stop PR activities, as it ultimately affects their product’s health. We don’t want to see all our good work to date languish and the brand visibility suffer or become ill.
Granted, media relations is time consuming and founders’ main focus is building the business, but setting aside a few hours each month is imperative to long-term brand health.
So, some advice for clients who find themselves in this predicament: don’t give up your healthy practice! Here is a short “prescription” for palliative PR until they are ready to fully engage again:
Stay in touch with your key media
By this time, we’ve worked out your story and we’ll happily pass along contact information for target reporters and bloggers. A quick email or call with a company milestone can do wonders. Finally going to launch another product or service? Call the reporters who covered your first launch, offer them a sample product or rundown on the new service. While you’re at it, keep tabs on key reporters by reading their articles and following them on social media – there are a host of web tools that will bring them right to your inbox.
Keep those social channels active
Remember that social media strategy we put together for you? Use it! If we haven’t shown you the nuts and bolts of engagement and the many web tools available to make your social life easy, let’s do this today. You should know how to administer your own channels. You should know how to write a powerful tweet and what a hashtag looks like. Do you know how often to blog? Don’t forget images! Check in with what your customers are saying online and talk to them. How do they like your product/service? Is the content helpful? Let them champion your brand and spread the good word. Keep content fresh – two relevant posts each week is a good base. Remember not to make it all about you – share industry relevant news, tips, etc. Again, social media can take on a life of its own and you’re busy with running your business. Pick your top two channels and resolve to keep them dynamic.
Don’t discount the power of a hungry intern
So much of PR is about time and perseverance. There are smart, experience-hungry people out there that can help you for the price of learning on the job. They usually can be found at your local institute of higher education. Seek one out and be good to them. They will be good to you!
Check in with us from time to time
We’re not going to leave you without proper follow up and we’ll always take your calls. We really do care about you and your product/service, so feel free to bounce ideas off of us. We may not be on retainer, but we still have a vested interest in seeing your product thrive. This also will ensure our team still thinks of you when inbound media queries arrive that are perfect for your expertise.
The prescription above can help buoy media presence in the short term, but nothing can replace full PR team experience. We look forward to working with you again soon.