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June 11, 2019

How to do your own PR 

I'm Vicky Shilling

A wellness business mentor, podcast host, author and I help you start and grow a successful wellness business.

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Here’s why this is important: Being seen as an expert in your field can open up opportunities and help promote your business, but how do you get seen?

Read on to find out some simple ways to self-promote, gain access to journalists and become the go-to expert in your field.


Getting PR for your health and wellness business is a great way to spread the word about what you’re doing, without having to pay out for expensive marketing or advertising. 

PR is all about being seen as an expert in your field and getting in front of the people who need you the most.

It’s about associating yourself in the right places with the right network and being recognised as someone noteworthy when it comes to what you do. 

If you’re able to secure online press and links back to your website, it’s also great for SEO (search engine optimisation) which means you’re more likely to be found online. Not just through that one link, but by simply having more links back to your website, Google thinks you’re the real deal and will boost you higher up the search. 

 

How to start a wellness business

 

Before I dive in to some tips on how to do your own PR I do just want to say this: getting PR can become quite time consuming (which is obviously why people are paid to do it!). 

Don’t let the pursuit of gaining PR for your business get in the way of more active things you can be doing in your business, like reaching out to leads and creating your own content on your blog and social media.

PR is like the nice icing on the cake, its not the bread and butter of your business.  

 

How to get PR for your health and wellness business

Sign up to Help A Reporter 

There are several round-up services that you can sign up to as an expert in order to contribute quotes and articles to publications seeking new writers. 

Here are the ones I use:

Help A Reporter (HARO)

Source Bottle

HotKettle

 

A small warning: these emails will come thick and fast and it can be overwhelming. Create a filter so they drop into a separate folder or make a rule with yourself to scan and only pick out the really specific ones to you and discard the rest. You don’t want this to become a time drain. 

Not a journalist request per se, but I’d also highly recommend signing up to contribute to pieces written by Thrive Global. They have a weekly theme which they ask for short quotes and contributions to which they email to you. Sign up here – you’ll need to contribute an article first which I highly recommend doing anyway.

 

Building a health and wellness business

 

Search #JournoRequest 

If you’re a Twitter user, set aside a certain amount of time each week to peruse the hashtag #JournoRequest

This is where journalists search for experts to help them put together articles they are working on. Often they’ll just want a quote or for someone to be an example to use in an article. Sometimes these are paid opportunities but more often they’re free but great exposure. 

Journalists from some of the big newspapers and online outlets use #JournoRequest so it’s always worth checking. 

This hashtag is also a great place to find journalists who write about topics that you can help contribute quotes to. Make sure to follow them (maybe create a list within Twitter) so their future requests come up in your feed and you can respond to them quickly.

 

Write your own press releases and approach journalists directly

Obviously you don’t always just want to contribute quotes to other people’s articles, you want to be the story too! 

If you have a really noteworthy story or launch that you think the press should be covering then you should definitely put together your own press release to see if you can get a write-up. 

I’m not the expert on this but the woman who can explain how to do it is Janet Murray, a former journalist herself, turned online marketing expert.  

Watch Janet’s video on how to create a press release. If you’re going to go to the bother of sending out something, you want to know it’s right. 

If you don’t want to write a whole press release, it might be worth sending a much shorter, concise ‘pitch’ to journalists to get them interested in your story.

Janet’s top tips summarised are:

  • Use the subject header to ‘sell’ your story
  • Skip the introductions – because journalists aren’t interested in your business (sorry!)
  • Get your top line right – summarise your story idea in the first line of your pitch, ideally in ten words or less.
  • Use an informal, conversational style with strong, visual imagery and examples
  • Don’t include attachments
  • Offer images
  • Add a bio at the end

 

Starting a wellness business

 

Create a database of reporters and journalists 

Once you’ve created a press release you’re going to need people to send it to. I’d highly recommend putting together a database of people you can target for those moments when you suddenly have something to say and need to get it out quickly.

Think about the publications you want to be featured in. Where are your ideal clients? What are they reading? Where do you need to be seen to get the recognition you deserve? Make a list of the publications you’d love to feature in and then go searching for the specific people to pitch to by searching their websites and using Twitter and LinkedIn.

Make sure your database includes what publication they write for, direct email addresses (they’re usually easily discoverable in their social media profiles) and also the journalists’ Twitter handles so you have them all in one place. 

The thing is, it’s not always about quantity.

Realistically your best way of getting press coverage, same as anything in business, is to build a strong relationship with a handful of journalists who really know, like and trust you. 

If you can become these journalists’ ‘go to’ for quotes on a particular topic, then you’ll be able to use that connection when you have something you’d like to promote.

  

EXTRA:

If you’re prepared to invest just a tiny amount, I recommend Lightbulb Entrepreneur & Press Hangout on Facebook which has some fabulous opportunities and gives you space to pitch your story too.

 

What do you think? Have you started getting PR for your business? Do you think it’s important? Will you be trying any of these tips and ideas?


Want someone to do the searching for you?

As part of the Just Start Now community, you’ll get access to a regular round-up of handpicked #JournoRequests and opportunities I spot that are tailor-made for health and wellness experts like you.

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