PR Secrets that work!

Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz

More and more, businesses are resorting to the power of PR to get their businesses noticed.  Public Relations is a great way to create awareness, but most importantly, credibility.  It is a “pull” marketing strategy where the prospects are identifying themselves and reaching out for more information based on a soft-sell, non-biased representation of your business.  When are featured on a newspaper, radio or TV, you might not necessarily think about selling your products, but the magic of third-party endorsements (somebody else saying how great you are) is far more powerful than any other “push” marketing strategy (i.e., advertisements, mailers, etc).  If you have the ability to hire a PR professional, that is the best way to do it, but if you don’t, here are some tips that you can use to get your business noticed in 2011!

Choose the right angle

There is nothing more important than choosing the right angle for your story.  Media doesn’t necessarily care about your products or services, but how your offerings make a difference in the community or more specifically, their audience.  With so many ways to target media, however, how do you know if you have the right angle? Every story, every opportunity is unique.  Find out what the media is talking about by watching TV, listening to the radio, reading local newspapers or researching the Internet.  Then strategize to see if your business has any correlation to some of the most relevant topics being discussed.

Make it all about the audience

The fact that you have a new product or service might not be of relevance as much as what the solution of that product or service is.  What does your product represent to the audience of the publication that you are trying to reach?  When targeting publications or electronic media, it’s important to customize your story to the needs, current topics or editorial calendar in order to have a better change to be featured.  For example, if the publication will be writing about “10 ways to keep your holiday shopping simple,” and you offer a recyclable, multi-function shopping bag, you might want to reach out to the media to see if your product could be solution #4 on their list.

Paying forward pays off!
If you are a for-profit business, it might not be a bad idea to partner up with a non-for-profit organization.  You might choose a local organization that resonates with your belief system, personal experiences (you or somebody in your family suffered from a condition supported by the organization) or one that makes sense with your business.  For example, one of our clients who suffers juvenile diabetes recently partnered up with JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and has become an advocate of the cause ever since by hosting JDRF fundraisers, participating in races, etc.  Due to the partnership, our client was featured in several publications editorially, which helped raised awareness of the cause and drive business to our client as well.  The idea is first and foremost, is to give back to the community, but gaining some exposure and free publicity is always a great.

Follow up

This component of any PR initiative is crucial.  Producers, editors and reporters get bombarded by hundreds, if not thousands of press releases.  Not following up with the media makes your release go unnoticed and even obsolete (if it’s a time-sensitive announcement). Media relations, is all about that, relations.  Building genuine relationships, sending quality information and following up promptly.

Market, market, market

PR can help you gain awareness, exposure and credibility.  PR combined with marketing can help you multiply the results.  For example, once if you are featured on a local publication, you can market it by placing the link to the PDF article on your website, emails, newsletter, email signature, blog, printed flyer, postcard, etc.  As a rule of thumb, there are at least 3 ways to market each product, service or event.  Market today!

PR is a great component to your current marketing efforts as it sets you apart from the thousands of advertisements.  Start incorporating PR into your marketing efforts, it might be the difference between gaining exposure and business and not.

If you are ready to talk about how to get your business noticed and increase sales, please give us a call at 630-786-6116.  We have recently featured clients on WGN Channel 9, Fox, CBS 58, Crain’s Chicago Business, The Business Ledger, Daily Herald,, Food & Wine Magazine, among others…

Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz

Make-it-happen Director & Author

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