Is PR something MSPs really need to put time and resources into? We discussed why they should in my last post, Why Is a PR Strategy Important for MSPs?, but now you need to decide which type of publication or blog you want to approach, and then improve your chances of getting noticed by them by following these PR tips for MSPs.
Welcome to PR 101, let’s get started.
PR 101: Four Key Lessons
The following PR tips will help you determine which type of media coverage is right for your business and how to access it.
1. Know Your Audience
Before you do anything else, you need to define what audience you are trying to reach with your PR activities. You can’t be everything to everyone so defining a target audience will help guide you to where that target audience is likely to be found. Do you serve a specific industry? Offer technology for a unique set of needs?
2. Find the Right Publications
Once you have determined your audience, you can start looking for publications that focus on the needs or interests of that audience. Say your target customers are medical offices; you’ll be looking for publications targeted at medical professionals. Make a list of these publications and visit them on a regular basis to keep up with what they publish and which writers are most tuned in to what you do.
You can also have a secondary list of publications that are focussed on the type of technology you provide. Receiving coverage from publications like this will give your company credibility with customers in the buying decision-making process, even though these publications aren’t likely to bring in a lot of new prospects. So you can think of this as your more bottom-of-the-funnel marketing and PR.
3. Start Small
The very niche publications may not have a huge audience, but the fact that they are very targeted will work to your advantage. You don’t need to be on Entrepreneur or Fast Company to get noticed by the right people, but if you start with smaller, more targeted publications the chances of getting coverage in larger publications increases over time.
Having some visible coverage will give your organization more credibility with bigger publications, and with potential buyers. A successful PR strategy is rarely an overnight accomplishment, so be patient, but keep going.
4. Build Relationships
Journalists get bombarded with story ideas all the time, and there’s nothing more annoying for them than receiving story ideas that are completely off-base with their area of coverage. Get to know the writers at publications by following what they write and sharing/commenting on pieces when it makes sense.
When you contact a journalist or publication you will want to:
- Contact a specific journalist directly (if at all possible).
- Keep your story suggestions short and concise, while emphasizing the news or educational value that the writer or publication know would be interesting to their readers.
- Introduce your article suggestion by topic, mentioning why you believe this idea would be interesting to their readers based on content they have written and/or shared in the past.
PR Activities Require Patience
PR activities can take a significant amount of time to result in increased business, but it’s a worthy addition to your MSP marketing plan. Potential buyers want to see that you are an active and engaged company that cares about your customers and your industry. Your PR strategy should help them see that.
Stay Tuned: More PR Tips to Follow
You don’t have to muddle your way through this alone though. To go along with these PR tips, there is a multitude of apps and services that will help you with your PR goals. Read my next post in the series, where I recommend 14 PR tools that will make your PR campaigns easier.
Still getting a grasp of the PR 101 basics? Contact TPM today. We’ve achieved successful PR coverage for a number of our clients and are ready and eager to make PR work for your business.