TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #11
WHY YOU SHOULD BE THINKING ABOUT PR
Now, I love social media as much as the next person. I have spent a lot of time and effort building Facebook Groups and LinkedIn connections and I am often to be found whiling away a few moments (OK…hours…) on TikTok. BUT if you’re a purpose-led entrepreneur or a small business owner and you’re NOT using PR as part of your communications strategy then you could be missing a trick.
Generating decent media coverage in local, national and international media (on and offline) will:
- Build awareness of your business and your purpose
- Build your community and your ‘list’
- Build trust and credibility for your business
- Drive traffic to your website
- Establish you as an authority or expert in your niche
I get that social media can do a lot of this too but here’s why I think you should also consider adding PR to the mix: trust, credibility and reach.
In a recent IPSOS MORI study on trust, they discovered that 60% of Europeans trust the news and information they get from traditional media outlets (TV, radio, printed press).
Only half trusted online news.
And fewer than 25% trusted content and information they found on social media.
These findings are born out in multiple other research studies. People LOVE social media. But they TRUST traditional media.
So, if you want people to trust in and believe the information that you put out into the world: traditional media is streets ahead as an outlet.
When you create a post on social media – no matter how fascinating, engaging or interesting it is, it is YOUR content. You created it, you placed it, you promoted it. There is, therefore, an automatic discount applied by the people reading that content.
Think of it this way: when you tell somebody you’re brilliant at something, there’s always going to be an element of ‘Well, you would say that wouldn’t you?’ There’s going to be some in-built scepticism until you PROVE that you’re brilliant. But if someone else, someone they trust, tells them that you’re brilliant: hey presto! They believe it. You ARE brilliant.
That’s how PR works. Because it’s not YOU saying that you’re brilliant or interesting or credible enough to warrant a quote in a media outlet. It’s not YOU putting the content out there. It’s a journalist.
That’s why we call media coverage ‘earned media’. You have to earn your slot in the pages of a newspaper or on a radio show and it is therefore more valuable: to you and to the person reading it.
Everybody talks about the reach of social media. Everyone is impressed by the fact that 2.5 billion people are on Facebook every day – more at the moment as so many people are still in lockdown thanks to Covid19.
But that doesn’t equate to reach for your content. According to Facebook’s own statistics, the average reach for any Facebook page that has fewer than 500,000 likes is about two percent. Now that’s an average and there are obviously pages – with hugely engaging content – that do much better than that. But let’s take a look at one example…32 million people like Ellen DeGeneres’s Facebook page. And yet her most popular post in the last week got 25,000 reactions out of 32 million people that like her page. By contrast her show gets 40 million viewers every time it airs. So, would you rather be on her Facebook page or her show? Or both?!
My Facebook page has 458 followers. Obviously my content is super engaging (even if I do say so myself) because some of my posts get over 200 views. Woohoo! That’s nearly 50% of my available audience – much better than the Facebook average. BUT it takes a HUGE amount of effort to reach those 200 people.
By comparison, over 25 million people read a newspaper or its online site every single day. Metro, the most widely read print newspaper in the country, has a monthly readership of about nine and a half million people.
Now, let’s apply the Facebook statistics. Let’s assume that only 2% of Metro readers in any one month read your story. That’s 190,000 people.
So page three of the Metro is worth more to you than probably 10 Facebook posts – even if you’re doing better than the 2% average reach.
Trust, credibility, reach.
And if you’re thinking ‘Yeah…but it’s really complicated and time-consuming and expensive.’ Trust me. It isn’t.
PR is actually very inexpensive – unless you choose to use a freelancer or an agency to do it for you – the only cost is your time.
And yes, you will have to put some time into but not as much as you imagine. I’ve had clients get brilliant results with an hour or two a week of focussed effort.
As for whether it’s complicated or not. Well..do YOU understand the Facebook algorithm? THAT’S complicated. PR is simple. There are lots of PR experts out there who want you to THINK it’s complex because then they can justify charging you a fortune to do it for you. But really it’s not. You can do PR yourself and I can teach you.
PR isn’t right for everyone but it is useful for MOST. So, if you’d like to know more about just how simple PR is, you should come along to this week’s Masterclass: www.actually.world/masterclass-publicity2
And if you want to learn more about how to use communications including social media and PR – to grow your business, then sign up for our flagship training: How to Actually Spread the Word.
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