Updated: Dec 12, 2021
Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you have now was among the things you only hoped for‘ - Epicurus
Well said Epicurus! That quote speaks to all of us. As humans we have the tendency of not stopping to smell the coffee. We're constantly striving for the next big thing - without taking our time to appreciate the success we have achieved so far - no matter how innocuous it may seem. To someone else; you success is a mountain that they are still looking to climb. So if you are on the list of the lucky few that have bagged a great press coverage - be grateful. You have received the bouquet of flowers congratulating you for that book or product launch; you have picked your media junket dress and are good to go to face the world. Show some gratitude to your journalists and publicist (if you have one) by using this opportunity wisely!
Now that you're all set and ready to enjoy your blood sweat and tears as an expert and are ready to receive some press love what's next?
Let's talk PR things!
There’s is this hallowing gap between the multi-nationals earning media mentions while the solopreneurs are striving to get noticed for their modest yet very impactful social impact / newsworthy and human interest stories! While the gap in PR services for entrepreneurs is another ball game altogether TBD! For now; let's discuss - the fact that there's a gravitational bias of media houses chasing after the big boys club stories while ignoring the ‘others'. This bias makes it much harder for small businesses to pitch their stories to mainstream media. So why is it that way?
There can simply be no one single explanation to answer this question and explain why there is in fact a huge gap in press coverage! But one thing stands out! It’s Preparedness and budget!
Preparedness or lack of it - is one of the biggest set backs that small businesses suffer from! While they can be passionate about telling their stories and have all the ducks in a row in as far as the pitch goes; once they nail a journalist willing to tell their story, most small businesses come up short when it comes to deliverables such as
a) A responsive website that can handle heavy traffic should their story go viral
b) Access to Brand assets that journalist can easily use to syndicate or publish their stories on time.
c) A Response plan or crisis management plan that i.e. a designated Publicist or spokesperson i.e. a staff member who is on call to receive press inquiries or answer expert questions that arise as their story gains momentum
2. The Budget:
Much as PR is earned free publicity of press coverage, there are numerous costs that must go into the behind the scenes (and even at the front end) PR strategic plans that need to be covered! For example if you are going to publish a book or are launching a product you will need to be prepared to cough out some serious cash for expenses like
a) The Press junket: This is an all day event where you get several journalists and publishers in one place (usually one after another in allotted 15 minutes slots) to ask their exclusive questions that are platform or media house specific or even just unique to their own line of inquiries!!
b) A press junket requires an army of vendors to put together. From the make-up artists that will powder your nose frequently for that in camera interview, to a hair dresser to straighten up your tresses as your forehead pours out into sweat beads that makes your hair want to stick into the side of your mouth - all the way to serious stuff like snacks and beverages to keep everyone happy and hydrated!
c) Finally but not at all the least - you will want to have a Publicist on hand to coach you or help you avoid answering unsavoury questions from a sneaky journalist who are trying it on! Not only will your Publicist help you keep on point and poised to handle any crisis that might arise, they’ll also act as a buffer between you and the many wishers and well-intended fan club around you! So for a myriad of reasons that you‘d need a budget for, this will probably be your biggest budget allocation spend - am deliberately not calling it a cost - as it’s worth every penny!
So before you go jumping into the deep end to earn yourself some PR, consider where you are as a small business and how you might be able to handle your sudden fame before you lose out entirely on an opportunity of a life time due to being unprepared or leaving your media contacts disgruntled because of a bad first impression!
Can I end by saying, a lot of people underestimate the power of PR and think this is something they can do on their own, you will be surprised how much strategic planning goes in behind the scenes and how much money is on the table for you if your PR is done correctly! Unlike big traditional agencies - at Ark & Brook, we work on a NO RETAINER fee basis that’s what makes our PR services more accessible and affordable to people that need it most!
To this end, I’d be happy to have a free no obligation discovery call with you to ascertain if you would want to retain me as your Publicist to represent you going forward and ensure that your interests are at the forefront of what promises to be an exciting time for you in your business. If this is of interest to you Please book me for a free discovery session here
Do you have any questions about this article or need help to get ready for your next launch? Contact us today for a free no obligation discovery call to learn how to fill that GAP in PR like a pro!