Public relations is all about improving your reputation – and while some efforts DO take quite a bit of time to pull off, there are also some quick wins you and your firm can have without much effort and without a lot of cost, especially with local business trades and dailies. If what you’re looking for is to get your name in print/online national accounting and business trade, that’s equally as possible … you just have to have something substantial to say.
1. Employee Announcements – You may not know it, but you probably have an employee announcement you could send right now to your local business journal. Did you hire someone recently? Most biz journals have a page for personnel announcements, and all you really have to do is send an email to the designated address, provide one line of copy with the person’s name, title/position and firm. Be sure to attach a color 300+ dpi photo. The chances are greater your announcement will be printed if you also send a photo.
Click here for a list of American City Business Journals and do a Google search for publications in your local area. Some cities may not be affiliated with the Business Journals’ network – like Chicago, for example. In Chicago, Crain’s Chicago Business is the publication you would want to target.
2. Firm News – I constantly get questions about what constitutes “firm news.” Firm news is not an announcement that you’ve just opened up a new website. It’s not news that you just held a partner retreat and it’s certainly not news that you just moved your office to another location or even added another location.
For firm news, think about what kind of news you would want to read about. You may interested, for example, in reading about how a firm created a group to work in a specific niche industry, such as farming and ranching. If you work in a niche, what you want to do is send your local media contacts a short email telling them about this niche and how you were able to help your client grow their company or organization, then follow the email up with a phone call. Local business journals and daily publications are very interested in these kinds of stories because they spotlight business growth. If the reporter is interested, he or she will set up a time with you to talk more about the story.
You might be curious as to why I am not mentioning news releases. I think writing and sending a news release is fine, of course – I do it all the time – but think about the number of releases local publications get every day, and that doesn’t even begin to approach the number of wire service releases they also receive. You can stand out from the competition by sending a very simple email. I guarantee you the reporters will appreciate your brevity and straightforward tone without a lot of corporate speak.
3. Comment on a Blog Post – This one may seem out of left field, but when you comment on a blog post, your name shows up alongside your comment – if the site enables you to register as a subscriber. Of course, you’ll want to only comment on postings you feel passionate about – avoid too much commenting or you’ll be pegged as an opportunist.
Here’s an example: comment on this blog post … and let me know your thoughts about how you and your firm manage faster, low-cost PR efforts!