I love this time of year because it’s so much about reflections, the good and the bad! Seems everyone is in the let’s go full steam ahead to reach those end of the year goals (at least until mid November when then it’s let’s enjoy the holidays and go gangbusters come the first of the year. Am I right?) But with reflections also comes the opportunity to break down your business and see where you are. Since I do PR and marketing for myself and clients, this year I broke down time because honestly, it’s one of our most valuable assets. Here are some thoughts that I hope you will find beneficial.
PR Takes Time – One of the biggest lessons I learned in 2019 is just how much time it takes to do PR Right. Last year I started really taking note of that time and I was truly amazed. For example, one of my tasks is finding the right topics for my clients to write on. We have great success in getting articles accepted because of this. But it’s so much more than just hey let’s write on this topic this month. I review major publications to see what’s current and newsworthy. I review their keywords and topics of my clients to see what’s happening there. And I also review what my client is up to. If they have a new program or are focusing on something, I try and take that into consideration. I also like to offer them options. So instead of just giving them one idea, I normally have several for them to choose from. And although it takes time, it’s so worth it because we normally see success with the articles they choose.
Preparing Media Databases – Cision makes it really easy to prepare databases for editors and the right media connections for newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, blogs, etc. However, once I have the database of all those awesome media contacts, I need to go through them and fine tune it. That requires deleting all those doubles that I might have in other databases, deleting those that even though the topic is on point, it’s not a good fit for our pitch, etc. That takes time. The results speak for themselves when I’m done doing this and have killer databases, but again, it’s not just here you go – send away.
Proofing & Editing – I’m really good at proofing and editing as that’s part of what I’ve done for the past 34 years in business. However, to make sure our articles, pitches, press releases, social media updates, etc. are stellar, it takes time to proof and make sure I didn’t miss anything. And we all know the old saying that we are just too close to it to see things. That is so true. There have been times I’ve read something a dozen times and then still find a typo and it just kills me! (Okay, I might be somewhat of a perfectionists!) To help with this, I have found secrets that work. These are really nothing new, but they help me considerably. For example, my main one is reading it from the end to the beginning or reading it a paragraph at a time from the end. The reason this works is you aren’t anticipating what’s next. Also, triple checking the links to make sure they work. Even if I did that recently every time I send out a pitch or publish a press release to a new database or editor, I check on the links.
Events – Yes or No – Throughout the year, I take part in numerous events (seminars, online conferences, etc.) and help my clients do so as well. And the majority of the time it’s a win/win situation. However, it’s important to review the ROI on these. I’ve done events where I add hundreds of targeted leads to my email list and then others where I end up with a handful. I’ve done events where immediately following clients are knocking at my door and others where there’s barely a whisper. So you can see why I truly take the time to consider if I’ll do it or not. Here are a few factors to consider. 1) Will you need to create new material for it? Some events ask that you create a new bonus or freebie for their audience and are you allowed to only use it for this purpose. This can be a good idea and can get the creative juices going. However, it’s time consuming to create and if you can only use it for this one event, if you only get a handful of new contacts and not much else, you can see how that’s not a good ROI. So find out exactly what is required of you and decide accordingly. 2) How much are you required to do for the event? Most want you to post on social media and share with your list. I totally get that. It’s good for you to do too so others see you active and engaged. However, some want the moon! They want you to post to your social media and newsletter way too much and some even want you to say exactly what they provide. This can be a negative. You know your list best, what would work with them? So again if doing events (which I recommend) just be mindful of what’s required.
And speaking of events, let’s talk about how much effort it takes to get people to come to your event. It’s so much more than my awesome event takes place on this date, please come. Just a few things to consider
- Setting up the website for the event and making sure it’s enticing.
- Setting up how payment will be received.
- If having speakers, securing those speakers and providing them with everything they need for a successful event including marketing materials for their lists.
- Booking the site and making sure all tech will be set up and working.
- Marketing – press releases, paid ads, social media, pitches, etc. It’s time-consuming, but a critical aspect of all events. And this all starts months out.
- And on the day of the event, making sure all goes well.
Events can be fabulous for your business, but again go in knowing there’s a lot of work involved.
So you can see, PR and marketing takes time and energy. But when done right, that’s when the magic happens. Remember you can always enlist the services of a pro who does this all the time to cut down on the time involved and also help you do it right!