Nearly everything you need to know about PR in 2020
Dear Lovely Business Owner,
It’s the day before Valentine’s day, I wonder if you have shown any love to your own business?
Well, a wonderful way is through publicity… subtle me hey?
Many of you are still utterly confused about what publicity looks like, how it works, and really what is involved in it.
So, have written this post with that in mind and heart!
I truly trust it helps you demystify this supercharging activities for your business!! If not, do let me know, as I am keen to help!
Let’s set the scene first , now shall we ? !!
Many of you are feeling and thinking many of the following, and then some?!!
🤔BUT I don’t know where to start with PR Carrie?
😥PR is so scary?!
😥What if it goes wrong?
😥What if I am judged?
😥What if it does not work..
😥What if I waste my time, energy and money?
🤔What’s the ROI of PR Carrie?
🤦♀️I don’t understand Twitter?
🤦♀️I don’t have time for Twitter!
Right? Do not worry, you are absolutely not alone, in fact you are in great company 🙂
Let me go through these first.
1. PR is so scary!!
The truth is, it can be and often is, purely because it is not something that you can control.
You might agree to speak on the radio about GDPR, but then end up being invited back after your agreed session to talk a bit longer!
This happened with my client Annabel Kaye who had to cancel her morning schedule as she was required to continue her input on BBC Radio 5 Lives’s audience about GDPR, who described her as “making sense about GDPR, like their favourite Aunty! ” This meant, just as she was due to leave the BBC Buidling, they rang me as they wanted her back on air ASAP!!
And, then wanted her on several other radio stations like BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio 4’s PM show. And there’s more! Right?! Then, they booked her immediately onto BBC News and BBC Breakfast for a few days later.
This going with the flow necessity of publicity can be frankly scary to many people!
The thing is that being flexible and embracing the unknown, is what makes PR so valuable!
Whilst you cannot control the content or when it happens, as you are surrendering to the media’s agenda and showcasing your expertise, what it really means is that actually you are perceived as a far greater expert in your field than those who do not do this!
Like with anything, the more you do this the less scary it actually is!
2. What if it goes wrong?!
Let me not fool you, dearest reader, it can and will go wrong!
I have had personal experience of this, going onto BBC Radio 5 Live, and totally forgetting what I wanted to say!
Yes, this happened….
Even though, I did what I advise my clients to do, and wrote down everything I wanted to say in coloured post stick notes and stuck them on my door to read out, I just got triggered by something one of the Presenters was saying.
Tragically, I lost my train of thought and just sounded like some giggling teenager…
So what happened? Well, those who I work with, and my community actually said that they respected me more because I had put myself forward and tried something showing that I know what I am doing, instead of just teaching the theory of it.
I actually got a number of leads and clients from it too who has listened to me fumble on air and LOVED my flawedness! So, publically through publiciity falling on one’s derriere can actually generate leads and business; who knew?!! Not me!!
Again, it’s all about perspective.
Obviously, things might go wrong in a different way to my story here, yet there is in my own belief; always a positive to be found from things going wrong!
3 What if I am judged?
This is nothing you can do to escape from being judged in life, let’s be honest though!
Of course, being in the media you will be hugely judged by massively more people than you might encounter in your daily life!
Typically, when you appear in the media be it in print, online, on the radio or on the television you will be exposed to tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people which is far more than most people are in their daily lives unless they are public figure or a celebrity.
More often than not, to me is the self-judgement which goes on in the minds and the hearts of those who might consider going in the media or have even been in it is the most damaging..I can totally relate, as I still do this at times, can you?
Nevertheless, my advice to you is, feel the judgement even if self-judgement and do it anyway as what you are doing, or trying to do is far more important and the more people who know about it the better as isn’t that why you are here?!
And remember that beautiful Dr Seuss quote: ” Those who mind, don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind,” is always on which can help you find a bit of courage to go for it, and feeling the fear of judgement and go into the media anyway!!
4. What if it does not work?
Tragically and quite honestly this does absolutely happen.
Some people can spend a lot of money and not get any results, or very limited results, as this is the nature of the media.
No-one not even myself can guarantee a particular result, as PR’s like me, do not control the media which ebbs and flows second by second!!
I have had clients all prepared, ‘suited and booted,’ at BBC Television Studios’ ready to speak on the 6 0’Clock news to talk about property, and quite literally at the last moment the story was pulled, whilst they were in the studio as the BBC favoured speaking a bit more about a reality television show at the time!
Another illustration of this was last year when there was a story about self-made women, and two of my clients were all radio-ready to speak and suddenly a huge political figure from America, was coming to the UK, and that was the end of that!!!!
Yes, they had cleared their schedules, re-arranged meetings with clients, all of the above and then some….
That there is a risk of it not working, of the pitch not being accepted, or your timing being out, or of things just being cancelled makes it all the more powerful when it does work, in my own view.
5.What if I waste, my time, energy and money?
Personally I call publicity: ” The ultimate law of attraction game,’ as it often works when you least expect it, and when you have forgotten about it, or surrendered to the outcome of it!
I do not believe personally again anything is ever wasted and that there is always something to learn, something to gain from each and every experience, and things often come back.
For example: when you might have swiftly responded to that journalist on Twitter but were not quite the right fit, you would be surprised by how many times that has happened to me with my clients . A LOT, being very real, open and honest!
Yet, I was just kind, and patient to them, so they came back to me with another often even better opportunity! For me this is because of my SoftPR™ approach which is to be kind, be patient, be supportive approach all of the time, yes really, REALLY, REALLY. Soft skills are the ultimate disruptor!
6. What is the ROI of Publicity Carrie?
Yes you can get your domain authority before and after, ideally 6 weeks,to look at the hits on your website, you can through some PR software gain some more access to data, to support your KPI’s, this is true.
More, than anything can you personally put a price on brand awareness, which is essentially what publicity is?
Can you put a price of people quoting you word for word in the street, which is what happened to one of my client’s Annabel Kaye about GDPR after she had appeared during the GDPR launch week in May 2018, on the BBC 9 times on the radio and 4 times on the television.
How about being considered as a leading authority, because the international coverage you had got as a therapist so being approached by Corporates for paid publicity opportunities which happened with Senior Therapist Sally Baker, my client, and even head-hunted by the media many times?!
Or being able to double your speaking fees as people now considered you to be far better at what you do? How about having people inbox you out of the blue saying that they were finally ready to sign on the dotted line, which has happened to my clients too 🙂 I know right?!
And finally, being head-hunted by national television after reading about how you became financially-free aged 47 which was what happened with Mary MacRory my client, well that is pretty cool right?
Would you be wanting to clearly measure the ROI of that?
Not everything is actually ‘roiable,’ like trust, like when people actually feeling psychologically safe with you, feel that you relate to them and understand them!
But often, after seeing you in the media, something switches within them, and they suddenly, yes it is often suddenly, (!! ) see how you can help them and they often become ready to part with their cash to work with you!
Right, this is pretty cool hey? So, at the heart of it, publicity can be business-changnig for you, even if the ROI might not be crystal clear, it does not make them any less powerful
7. I don’t have time for Twitter and I don’t understand it?!
You are not alone! If you are considering starting to have a whirl at publicity in 2020 you totally and utterly need a Twitter account and need to start using it!
Why? Well, on Twitter, is where stories literally break, in seconds and so if you want to be up-to-date with the world and your industry and your clients you can find it all out on there, so you need to be on there!!
I spend most of my day there finding out what is happening and builiding relationships with key journalists on there, as well as building relationships with my peers and community, of course!!
Like with anything you have to start somewhere and I would advise you to have a look at it daily for at least 20 minutes,ideally, first thing and in the eventings to look at what is happening on there.
I have run occassional live basic Twitter Masterclasses, which walk people through the basics, which will be relaunched this Spring in a pre- ecorded format.
For more in depth knowledge, I do have my self-pacing ‘Soft PR for Twitter course,’ which does go into more detail here: https://www.theblondepreneur.com/soft-pr-for-twitter/
Whatever you do, know that you have to do the work and it is not just like with any social media platform a place where you are broadcast alone! Heavens no!!
Yes of course you do that a bit, ie schedule tweets, but you need to show up and support others, and chat with them live, as that is where the magic happens yes you guessed it when and where you least expect it!!!!
Yes it takes time, and energy without any clear ROI but the results are priceless, right?!
8. Written blogs really? Isn’t video now the thing or podcasts?
Yes, yes and YES!
When the media are super busy which is like all of the time, they do not have time or headspace to watch your videos, however gorgeously produced they are even with subtitles, nor do they have time to listen to you wonderful podcast. Sadly.
Remember it’s not about you, it”s about them!
They do have time to scan through your written blog posts which showcase your opinions and expertise, as this can be done super-fast!
If you do only have videos or podcasts make sure you have a transcription underneath which they can scan, if you really do not want to write blog posts, or do not have time!
9. How can you make sure the media do not twist your words?
This is not always possible I am afraid!!
As you do not have control over the content- ie if it’s a written piece, there is very little opportunity, for read throughs, and even if you have them they have the final say!
With the live radio, you can speak more freely and television but they still are in control of the timing and they can of course interrupt you and cut you off, and the same with television.
For me though as the lovely Taz Thornton suggested, just go into any media opportunity with the expectation of them not twisting your words!
I am 100% with her on this.
As like with anything fear breeds more fear.
The media are doing their job at the end of the day and more often than not they will want to have you back, so will treat you with the utmost respect as you are literally helping them to do their job. Stop it with the self-limiting, self-judgement right now, as you are worth more!
The big caveat with this though is, that you understand that publicity, is about helping them, first and foremost. Helping them, help their audience and whilst you indirectly are massively helped, you have to give them not only what they want but what they need.
So, if they want 2-3 short sentences about why your business is eco-friendly, then give them that. Do not give them that with a short: ‘ please buy my book about ” How I made £10K in a day,’ when that was not remotely what they asked for, nor wanted! Right? Right.
Their rules, in their game and when you play by their rules, you get to play in their game again and again and again, raising your profile massively, and growing your impact and business. Cool right?! Right?:)
10. How much time does it take?
I wish I could give you a very short answer to this, sadly I cannot other than saying..
For example: if you were pitching to be featured in th Red Magazine for Christmas, you might start doing that in June, and then it would not be out in print until November, if you were successful.
The following up process, the two-ing and fro-ing of this could actually take quite a few weeks too, which is what my clients hire me to do so that they can get on with what they do best be it writing contracts, helping people with mindset issues, or healing, or even overcoming PTSD, for example.
You might be pitching for Mothering Sunday, for a discussion on BBC 5 Live, and do that right now in the middle of February, but you might not hear back from the relevant team until the week or day before! I know right?!
Remember, though, their agenda, their rules, their game 🙂 Okay!!
Yoo could respond to media request on Twitter, you see so much happens on here (!! ) and within hours it is published online. Yes really this can and does happen!
On reflection, I would say the following are lead times:
a) The radio bei matter of hours, most of the time!
b) Then onine newspapers, from half a day up to a few weeks!
c) Then online magazines, which can take up to a month, sometimes slightly more!
d) Television usually 6-8 weeks, although it can be a few days or week, it depends !!
e) The longest are printed magazines and publications which take anything from 3, 6, to 8 months!!
And that’s all foks, if you have any further FAQ’s about PR in 2020 please do get in touch!
I will be leading a select group of ambitious, rebellious business owners and entrepreneurs through my Soft PR for Twitter course at the end of this month for six weeks.
I will be providing exclusive support to you aall, second-only to my VIPS who are my 1-2-1 clients, for a fraction of the price to normally gain access to me, so a for several hundred pounts, instead of several thousand pounds 🙂
So if you are ready to learn how to softly, yet less blondly spring gently but surely into the media this Spring, get in touch, for more information about my early adopter deals.
If you are keen to learn more from me, do sign up to my weekly-ish media trends where I shall insider tips from new stories of the week, and I showcase one of my hand-picked experts, who I wholeheartedly recommend..
And I share exclusively deals only to subscribers- I know cool right? Here’s the link: https://www.theblondepreneur.com/carries-media-trends/
Love Carrie x
p.s Get in touch too with any questions you might still have, remember no question too blonde! Right? Right!