Let’s start right at the beginning because PR is one of those things like ‘social’, ‘marketing’ and ‘advertising’ where you kind of know what it is and does, but you wouldn’t choose it as your specialist subject on Mastermind! So, just in case John Humphreys does try to pin you down in the future, wrap your head around the basics and dazzle him with your PR know-how…
What the heck is this PR stuff anyway?
Google it and you’ll be blinded with stiff sentences full of words like ‘specialist communications’, ‘targeting audiences directly or indirectly’, ‘reputation and influence’ blah, blah, blah. This stuff is written by PR agencies to make it sound really hard to do so that you get scared and shell out a wad of cash to hire them.
In a nutshell, small business foodies like you benefit from PR because it shows:
- The personality of your fabulous food brand
- The special goodies you bring to the buffet
- Why you are the most fabulous foodie compared to others around you doing similar things
PR means that your potential customers see all of these things at food shows, online, through podcasts, in magazines and even on TV if you hit the big time.
If we crack open the nutshell a little more, it also covers the other bits of your brand like:
- Social media
- Customer service
For people getting to know, like and trust your brand, PR means you’ve got to give ’em the warm and fuzzies from every direction.
Be authentic and consistent both online and in person, because people respond well to small brands being their genuine selves.
This is where you have an advantage over the big players. Constant scandals have created a massive distrust (and dislike sometimes) that they’re always having to overcome.
Hmm, you make it sound like doing PR can help my fabulous food business thrive?
PR gets eyeballs on you and your products when you’re not there in person to win them over with your electric personality. That article quote, magazine feature, radio interview or guest blog post are all ways to draw attention to you and your brand. Any of these can either introduce or increase awareness of your products to that particular audience, bringing new customers into your welcoming arms.
How long does PR take to kick in?
Let’s keep it real people – if you send out one tweet/Facebook post/Instagram update, you don’t expect it to go viral. So getting yourself featured anywhere once is unlikely to have you beating Richard Branson in the rich list.
Much like social media, PR is all about the drip, drip, drip effect.
Building up your coverage through blog posts, quotes, industry features, magazines and newspapers all helps to build your brand awareness alongside your other marketing buzz.
OK, I’m getting my head round PR but should I still sell my grandma to hire a fancy PR agency?
But isn’t PR really complicated and don’t you have to ‘know people’?
Here’s a quick checklist to see if you can handle the crazy world of PR:
- Are you on Twitter?
- Can you write an email?
- Can you pick up the phone?
If you’ve ticked the above then you’re ready and here’s why:
- Check #journorequests on Twitter for a daily stream of help-we-need-foodies-for-our-stories tweets from journalists and tweet them back.
- Want to suggest an article that takes more than 280 characters to explain? Ping a short and to the point email to a journalist to find out if they’re interested.
- If you’ve seen a hot topic on the news that you can offer another viewpoint on or, even better, a completely opposing view, call your local radio or news desk and tell them you’re an expert who’s available for comment or an interview.
See? It really can be that easy!
If you’re still not feeling 100% Mastermind ready, then join the 10-day free trial in The Smoothie Bar. It’s the perfect place for fabulous food brands with an itty-bitty budget as I’ll teach you how to do your own PR in 10 minutes a day!