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As a product business owner how do you stand out from the crowd and capture your audience’s attention? One crucial aspect that can significantly elevate your brand’s visibility and credibility is Public Relations (PR).

But how can small businesses, with limited resources, generate impactful PR on their own? Podcast guest Rosie Davies-Smith, the founder of PR Dispatch, shares invaluable insights and practical tips to empower you to take control of your PR strategy.

Demystifying PR: It’s Not Just for the Big Players

PR is not an exclusive domain for large corporations with deep pockets. With over a decade of experience running her own PR agency before founding PR Dispatch, Rosie has seen firsthand how smaller brands can achieve remarkable PR success by leveraging their unique strengths and stories. Her platform, PR Dispatch, is designed to provide small businesses with the tools, training, and contacts needed to manage their PR in-house, proving that effective PR is achievable without breaking the bank.

The Power of In-House PR

The most compelling PR comes from those who are closest to the product. Small businesses possess a deep understanding and passion for their products, which translates into authentic and engaging stories that resonate with both the press and consumers. Rosie’s advice to small businesses is to tap into this potential by becoming their own PR experts. By doing so, businesses can react and adapt quickly, presenting their stories in the most genuine light.

“People who are behind the product or maybe a small team working for the brand were so much better at doing the PR than a PR agency. They know the product inside out, they’re passionate about the story, they can pivot really quickly.”

 

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Start with What You Have: The Importance of Imagery

One of the first steps in embarking on your PR journey is to assess and utilise the imagery you already have. Whether it’s product shots, lifestyle images, or founder portraits, having high-quality visuals is essential for catching the eye of the press and your target audience. Rosie advises starting with whatever imagery you have and gradually building your repertoire to enhance your PR pitches.

So what do you actually need to start doing your own PR? According to Rosie, the only real requirement is having good product imagery:

“The only thing you do actually need to do PR is imagery. For e-commerce brands, we talk about four different types: product shots, lifestyle shots, behind-the-brand imagery, and founder shots. You don’t need all four – you just need one of them to start.”

The Strategic Approach to PR

Effective PR is not a one-off effort; it requires consistency and strategy. Set aside a dedicated time each week to focus on PR activities, such as pitching to the press and nurturing relationships with journalists. It’s about creating a constant presence in their inboxes, thereby increasing your chances of being featured.

“PR is about relationships – nurturing those connections every single week.”

Action Step: Set aside 60 minutes this week to gather your best product/founder/lifestyle images and make a simple media list of 5 relevant publications, blogs, or podcasts to pitch to.

Harnessing the Emotional Connection

In today’s market, consumers seek more than just products; they crave emotional connections with the brands they support. Rosie highlights the importance of storytelling and showcasing the people behind the brand. Sharing your journey, challenges, and inspirations can foster a deeper connection with your audience, leading to increased brand loyalty and trust. PR is most powerful when it’s done by the people closest to the product. Consumers want an emotional connection with the brand before they shop.  Putting the founder at the forefront of your stories is really important.

Your PR directly humanises your brand and creates deeper connections with customers.

Action Step: Draft 2-3 different story angle ideas for pitches – one focusing on your product, one on your founder story, and one other creative angle related to your brand.

Going Beyond the Launch

“A launch isn’t actually news to the press,” says Rosie. Don’t just pitch your brand launching, but look for creative ongoing angles:

“Think about really niche platforms that are going to drive people who really care about what you’re doing to your website.”

For example, Rosie mentions a knitwear brand getting featured on the niche “Maker Meaning” podcast about the stories behind makers and their craft.

Action Step: Make a list of niche, hyper-relevant podcasts, blogs, or publications specific to your product category that you can pitch for features.

The Cumulative Effect of PR

PR efforts can lead to unexpected opportunities and long-term benefits. Coverage in one publication can open doors to further press features and collaborations, enhancing your brand’s visibility and credibility over time. It’s a reminder that the impact of PR extends beyond immediate sales boosts; it’s about building a reputable and recognisable brand.

You Can Do It!

“You are completely capable of doing PR. If you run a business, you have all the skills you already need. It’s not rocket science – it’s really easy. Just start doing it so you can start building those blocks.”

Finally, Rosie encourages all product business owners to believe in their ability to manage their PR effectively. With determination, creativity, and a bit of guidance, any business can create impactful PR campaigns that resonate with their audience and the media alike.

In conclusion

Generating your own PR is not only feasible but also a strategic move for product business owners aiming to grow their brand. By leveraging the insights and tips shared by Rosie Davies-Smith, businesses can embark on a successful PR journey, crafting compelling narratives that showcase their unique value and connect with consumers on a deeper level.

You can find out more and listen to the full podcast episode here.

PR agencies have led clients to believe they’re the only ones who can do what they do. Rosie Davies-Smith made it her mission to prove them wrong. After running her own agency for over a decade, she founded PR Dispatch, a platform which empowers in-house teams to become the PR experts.  Since then, over 1200 brands have been given the training, expertise and contacts they need to take control of their PR in house and secure their own coverage at just 3% of the cost of a PR agency.