I just finished a course in PR this summer when I stumbled upon Guy Kawasaki’s blog. He posted an alternative way of doing PR, which is doing it on your own. This is based on an article penned by Glen Kellman. Excerpt:
Just the other day a newspaper’s technology editor told me, “It’s just so hard to meet entrepreneurs these days. You always get their PR people.” A dozen entrepreneurs sprang to mind who would kill to tell their stories. All have agencies. So what I am recommending is not howto manage an agency, but something more radical: not hiring an agency at all.
Hmmmm, that’s a good suggestion. But I think the bottomline here is that people don’t need to hire PR firms to reach out to journalists. Yes, a quick personal email telling us about your idea would likely get us excited. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy article. We just need interesting facts.
Sometimes, I end up writing stories after getting a short email message from some sources. E-mail remains the best way to get our attention.
And don’t forget to be honest (in telling your story) and be accessible, especially for follow-ups.
But you don’t have to push journalists to write your story. Give it time because you’re not the only one they’re talking to. A good story will find its way in a newspaper or an online news portal if it’s good, interesting, and timely. Be patient.
Finally, here’s something I learned this summer. It’s called the Sunshine principle. Good PR is based on establishing good relationships with the press. Catch them when the Sun is shining. So when storms come, good relationships with the media would spell the difference between getting good and not-so-good stories. Respect journalists, and they’ll respect you in return.