All businesses need some sort of public relations plan. Whether they are selling products or promoting their services, without a strategic approach that incorporates PR, companies lack the ability to effectively communicate their messaging and show value to customers at their full potential. A well-established PR plan that has been built with close attention to detail, is strategically organized, and tailored to the needs of the organization and audience is how you can make a difference in terms of growing your business online.

Determine Your Target Media Type

Ask yourself, what makes sense for your brand in terms of the type of media you’d like to hone in on with your outreach? In general, certain brands have different media types that are most fitting for telling their story. For example, do you have a spokesperson for your organization that could speak on TV or on the radio? Do your products look visually appealing if photographed for print publications? Do your services speak for themselves or do they need to be highlighted in real-life examples? Are thought leaders or industry influencers important to your customers?

Finding the Right Beat

Once you’ve determined the type of media you’re going to pitch, next you have to focus on the right outlets, and even more importantly, the right contacts at those publications. In general, it’s fairly simple to identify the news site, magazine, or newspaper that you’d love to garner some publicity in, but finding the appropriate reporter or editor that would find your story idea relevant can be difficult. Any experienced PR professional knows how important relationship building with media contacts is, and unfortunately, journalists can be offended if your pitch misses their “beat” (or the general theme of the stories that they cover).

Let it Simmer

Journalists are busy. Let your email settle for a few days before sending your follow-up. In the world of digital PR, a good rule of thumb is to leave 3-4 days between your initial outreach and your follow up message. The inboxes of journalists are flooded on a daily basis, so it’s perfectly normal for them to take a few days before sending a reply.

Online Media Relations

The public relations process isn’t something that can be done instantaneously. Sure, online media relations can be time-consuming, but if it’s done correctly, the benefits can be incredible for building a brand’s presence online.