The only way to achieve real results from managing your own publicity is by taking an organized approach. Part of your system for telling the public about your products and services is to create and maintain a calendar for getting things done. With an organized and systematic approach, you’ll feel less stressed and get more accomplished in your publicity efforts from day one.
Why You Need a Detailed PR Schedule
Rather than hiring an expensive PR agency, many small businesses and solo entrepreneurs are choosing to handle their own publicity. Doing it yourself saves you money, but it also puts you in complete control of the message you send to the media, and the world.
As part of this system, you need to maintain a schedule for publishing news with journalists, being active on social media, and keeping things moving. It takes a bit of upfront work to set up this schedule, but once you get in the flow, it will save you time and work elsewhere.
Opportunities for Publicity
You need stories to use for your publicity. It’s a good idea to look ahead and mark your calendar for timely events that you can use for publicity purposes.
These could be holidays or events in the news, like Black Friday, the release of a new smartphone, or a sporting event. Mark these ahead of time so you can have your publicity piece written and ready to distribute to journalists well in advance.
It could also be something inside your business, such as the launch of a new product, the opening of a new facility, or an anniversary or other milestone. Each event can be a valuable piece of publicity, but you have to make it newsworthy so it appeals to journalists.
Plan Your Pieces
What are your goals for your publicity? Who is your target audience? What is your key message?
As part of your planning, you’ll need to answer these questions. You can then decide how to go about securing publicity on local radio or TV, in an industry publication, or in an online magazine.
Keep in mind that writers, interviewers, and influencers have their own deadlines and may need a contact from you weeks or even months before a specific event takes place.
This is something you should add to your schedule. There are many steps that lead up to each piece being published or aired, such as pitching stories to journalists and influencers. Each step along the way should be on your calendar to ensure it gets done in a timely fashion.
Events You Can Attend
Events offer an excellent opportunity for publicity. Find events happening in your local area or in your industry and attend each along with a pitch to journalists in industry or local publications. Local events don’t need to be strictly related to your business; something like a food drive can earn you great publicity. Find information on events you can attend and add these to your schedule.
Managing Your Publicity Calendar
Here are some tips on effectively managing your calendar to get the most out of your efforts:
● Integrate your publicity calendar with your other calendars so it doesn’t get forgotten
● Take large tasks and break them up into small tasks you can add to a daily “to-do list”
● Be flexible. You should try to stick to your calendar as closely as possible, but be prepared to make changes as necessary.
● Include regular sessions to monitor your results.
If you want to know more about how to manage your own publicity step-by-step, then head over to my program, PUBLICITY POWER, where you’ll find a fill-in template to use for your page, and much more.
Joanne Rahn is CEO and co-founder of Zanthii Communications, a public relations company based in Australia. Jo’s has generated hundreds of millions of dollars of free publicity for her national and international clients, on TV, radio and leading online publications.