All the time people call me and ask if I can get them into the publication of their choice. They want the publicity to help grow their business and they want the recognition for their amazing efforts, but they want that success before they spend all the time and money to earn it. I find clients all the time who want me to guarantee their media placements, which shows me how naïve and inexperienced they are.
You can have a rock solid interview, and if there is a tragedy the next day, your story will get bumped. There are never guarantees with media, but I understand the desire to have a good idea of what you are up against before you start.

After 20 years of doing this, I have a general way to help entrepreneurs determine what their media opportunities are. My PR prognosis can help you understand where you are in the media landscape and where to best apply your efforts.

Poor

I would rate a brand’s ability to earn media coverage regardless of the product/service’s commercial value (ability to generate sales) if there is little in terms of a developed story that would attract media attention.

Example 1: We are selling cute t-shirts. Example 2: We help build websites.

If you rate poor on the PR Prognosis, do not despair. You just need to move your publicity mix away from earned media and news coverage to focus on paid, shared, and owned content.

Fair

I would rate a product or service with a fair chance of gaining media attention if it offers a high commercial value and has a credible industry or market story behind it.

Example 1: We are selling cute t-shirts that offer 100% organic cotton at the lowest prices available anywhere.

Example 2: We help build websites and have a special widget that helps business owners combine SEO and e-Commerce in one package.

If you rate Fair on the PR Prognosis, you are probably looking at things with a clear eye. You just ensure that your publicity mix has less of a focus on earned media and news coverage and a major focus on paid, shared and owned content.

Excellent

For a business to have an Excellent PR prognosis, the product/service has to offer a high commercial value and have a unique industry or market story behind it.

Example 1: We are selling cute t-shirts that offer 100% organic cotton at the lowest prices available anywhere. Additionally, three hot celebrities purchased these and will go on record (providing photos and quotes) as to why they love them.

Example 2: We help build websites and have a special widget that helps business owners combine SEO and e-Commerce in one package. Additionally, three hot companies purchased this software and will go on record (providing photos or quotes) as to why they love it.

If you rate Excellent on my PR Prognosis, I am super excited for you. You have the qualities that journalists will be looking for in writing stories and you can include a robust Earned media program in your publicity mix while continuing to use paid, shared, and owned content.

Why you don’t need a press release

Please do not call me and ask me to write you a press release. And if you find a PR person who will do that, without a conversation about everything I have laid out here, you are probably wasting your money.

Press releases are not needed anymore unless you are a public company and have rules about how you communicate with the media. Publicly traded companies have to share information broadly in the exact same manner to ensure they are meeting laws and regulations. Your business is not required to communicate in the same way. When an entrepreneur writes a press release about themselves it looks pompous and will be a turn-off to journalists. There are a few exceptions, which is why working with an experienced professional is suggested, but please do not attempt this on your own.

The PR Method

Social media marketing and media relations takes time and needs to be planned out in order to develop a following. The PR Method is about how you integrate social media marketing and media relations into your everyday business management processes. I train entrepreneurs and business owners to integrate publicity by providing very easy to follow processes for every aspect of communication. From writing media pitches to engaging via social media, The PR Method helps you to make daily progress toward your publicity goals. One aspect of The PR Method that is very useful is my Time Formula. By relying on your calendar and schedule blocks of reading and writing time, you can meet your communications goals without sacrificing your daily business responsibilities.

The PR Formula: 90/60/30 for 30/60/90

I have a not-so-secret formula to help you get started. This has worked for me and for my clients. It seems daunting at first, but if you do not put in a significant amount of time, you will not see any benefits.

For the first 30 days, you need to spend 90 minutes per day on your preferred social media sites. For the next 30 days (30 to 60 days post launch) spend 60 minutes on your preferred sites. For the following 30 days (60 to 90 days post launch) spend 30 minutes per day on your preferred social media sites. After that, you need to average 30 minutes per day on social marketing and media relations. It is quite a time commitment, but the surest way to garner followers, friends, likes and connections.

Want details? Read through the steps of The PR Method here:

The PR Method: Branding Basics
The PR Method: PR Tactics
The PR Method: Media Relations
The PR Method: Social Success
The PR Method: Blogging Basics
The PR Method: PR Prognosis
The PR Method: PR Formula

For questions about how to make The PR Method work for you, please contact me here or email me at julia@zgrouppr.com.

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