DEBUNKING 3 COMMON MYTHS ABOUT PR
by Simone Sauter
For coaches starting out with a PR campaign – whether you’re searching information online, or hearing recommendations from friends – there will be lots of conflicting advice about PR.
It can be difficult to figure out what’s a PR myth, and what’s actually true. Many of the myths surrounding PR can put new coaches off from starting their campaigns. That’s why, in this article, I want to debunk 3 common myths about PR.
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PR MYTH #1 – YOU NEED A HUGE MAILING LIST TO START A PR CAMPAIGN
So, one of the most common myths about PR is that to start a coaching PR campaign you need to have a huge mailing list of journalists and media outlets to contact. This is actually not true at all.
It’s not about how many media outlets you have on your contact list – it’s about having the right media outlets on your contact list. Whatsmore, you need to be aware of the outlet’s different departments, so you know exactly which journalist is responsible for your niche. These aspects are far more important than the size of your mailing list.
So, what do I recommend you do to build your mailing list?
First of all, don’t buy press mailing lists.
For one thing, they are very expensive to buy, and mostly people buy them to reach out to hundreds of journalists and media outlets at once. As you might have learned in another of my articles or videos, this isn’t what I recommend doing. Instead, I reach out to every journalist or outlet individually, and pitch individual stories uniquely crafted to suit each outlet.
The next step is to do your research on the media outlets you want to be featured in. Once you find the right outlet, you need to find the journalist in charge of your niche – health and fitness, business, fashion, relationships, etc. – within the outlet.
Next, you need to find their email address. You should never send a pitch to an editorial office. These inboxes are often not monitored, and you are more likely to be overlooked if you send your pitch there. You need to send your pitch directly to the personal email address of the journalist you want to work with.
When you’ve done your research on that person and found out the kind of content they cover, then you need to offer story ideas to them on a regular basis. Rather than just sending one, you need to be sending multiple pitches over a period of time. It can be the case that you pitch a story, and you don’t receive a reply. You might pitch another story and get a reply saying that it doesn’t fit with the outlet.
Don’t give up. Just keep on pitching story ideas that fit the interests of the outlet’s audience, and you will eventually get a hit. It can be exhausting work, but it really, really pays off once you get featured.
PR MYTH #2 – TO START A PR CAMPAIGN, YOU NEED CONNECTIONS WITH JOURNALISTS
PR Myth #2 is that, in order to start a PR campaign for your coaching business, you need to have a lot of media contacts. Many believe they won’t get featured in the media if they don’t personally know a journalist, or have some kind of a connection to one. This is one of the most common myths about PR, but it’s actually a half-truth. However, building a connection with journalists or media contacts is not as difficult as you might believe.
Again, what you need more than anything is a great story. This is what will get you the best media contacts. If you don’t have an emotionally impactful story that is going to entertain their audience – then the best media contacts won’t be interested. You won’t gain anything from the time you’ve invested into your campaign.
So, before you even think about media contacts, you need to have a clear understanding of your story. You need to be sure it has everything that I mentioned, everything journalists want. It needs to be interesting, and it must evoke the emotions of the audience.
Then you start making pitches to your chosen contact. You do this over and over until you’re successful.
And if you’re not successful? You just keep on pitching.
As you reach out to a journalist on a regular basis, offering them content that interests them, they will begin to perceive you as a reliable source of information. At a certain point, they will start coming back to you.
So, having quality content to send to your media contacts is key to building your relationships with them.
Building your contact list with media outlets is very crucial for your PR campaigns, and also for your overall long-term success.
Some journalists, especially freelancers, will sometimes work for several media outlets. If you pitch them a story, there’s a good chance it might get featured in more than one outlet. So, be sure to reach out to your chosen media contact on a regular basis.
Now, if you’re a coach, and you’d like to get new clients by being featured in the media, you can schedule a free consulting call with me to talk about your PR strategy. I’m a PR and publicity coach, and I coach the coaches to rise above the noise online and find their ideal clients.
Sign up to my free masterclass to learn more about my Publicity Rockstar method and get expert status in the media.
PR MYTH #3 – WHEN YOU CONTACT MEDIA OUTLETS ABOUT PR, JOURNALISTS ARE IN CONTROL
Another of the most common myths about PR is that you won’t be on an equal standing with your media contacts. There is a misconception that by contacting a journalist, you owe something to them. Many people believe that, when it comes to PR, the journalist is the one with all the power.
It’s true that the journalist will ultimately be the one to decide what he or she wants to cover.
Never forget, though, that journalists have to cover up to 10 stories per day. That means they are in constant need of good quality stories. That’s where you come in.
You offer your story, and if it fits with the media outlet, you get the benefits of their reach, reputation and impact – and that all moves over to your coaching business. It’s as simple as that.
At the end of the day, despite the anxieties, you might feel at contacting a journalist, if you get featured in the media, it will always be a win-win situation for you.
I hope this article has dispelled some of the most common myths about PR. Ultimately, the best way to challenge myths about PR is to dive straight into your campaign. If you’re looking to get started with your PR campaign, why not reach out and apply for a free strategy call today?