10 Great PR and Communication Tips
Ride The Wave is a fantastic programme of events designed and led by Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce to provide local businesses with free practical advice. Funded by the Council, Ride The Wave returned in 2014 for a third time and included two workshops specifically aimed at supporting creative industries.
I went along to the second workshop on 19th March which was led by Steve Bustin and focussed on communication: vital to get right for your business to thrive, but often easy to get wrong.
The bottom line is that every business needs a communication strategy and there’s plenty of advice on hand if you know where to look. You don’t have to figure it all out by yourself and then worry if you got it right the moment you press the Send / Tweet / Post / Publish button.
Steve was an excellent and generous speaker, willing to share lots of insights that make so much sense once you hear them but which aren’t always obvious when you’re on your own and under pressure.
Here are 10 great tips (thanks Steve!) :
- Understand how you can best reach your potential customers (if you’re not sure, ask your existing customers what they read / listen to / watch / browse)
- Know what you are trying to achieve before you embark on any form of communication (what do you want to convey and which choice of platform will work best?)
- Explain what your business can do for someone, as they will find that easier to listen to (rather than just telling them what your business does)
- There’s a difference between what you say and what people hear, especially if you use industry jargon (ask your customers what you have done for them, and use that language with prospects)
- The opportunity for PR – getting your name in the press – is open to everyone (decide whether local, national and/or specialist press is best for your business & then research which publications, TV/radio channels and/or websites to target)
- Editorial coverage implicitly endorses you/your business (as it’s written by a journalist, as opposed to advertorial coverage which is self-promotion)
- What’s newsworthy about your business? (there’s a huge appetite for stories but you need to find the right journalist and your press release needs to contain something new)
- When writing a press release, remember the 5 ‘w’ rule (who is it aimed at, what is the story about, where/when is it happening, why will it be interesting to others)
- Know when people are talking about you (you can set up a free Google alert to email you every time a keyword such as your business name is mentioned online)
- Engage with your followers on social media platforms (ask questions to get conversations started, so it’s not a one-way dialogue)
Being a PA I took copious notes on the night (old habits die hard!), which unexpectedly – but very happily – led to me writing about the workshop for the Chamber of Commerce. You can see my recap of the workshop in full on their blog.
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