We all know how valuable and important PR and earned pressed are in the growth of our business. But for many of us, it feels out of reach. We tend to believe that earning press is reserved for the big leagues and large businesses. The thought of pitching to a publication or news outlet overwhelms us and mindset blocks start to set in.
Gloria Chou, a US diplomat turned PR guru, joins Her Life, By Design to shatter misconceptions about PR and earned media. She is here to make PR more approachable and accessible, teaching entrepreneurs of all stages how to earn press for your business.
How to Earn Press for Your Business
No matter what stage you’re at in your business, nothing establishes credibility and growth quite like earned press. PR and getting placement in the press is hugely important to small business owners, coaches, and even bloggers.
Gloria came into PR non-traditionally having never worked at a PR or marketing agency in her life. In fact, she was a US diplomat with a passion for helping female entrepreneurs tell their stories, getting them opportunities that isn’t reliant on ad spend.
Gloria realized her ability to write a powerful pitch. She effectively captures that one juicy angle that gets journalists and media outlets excited about covering a story at the first point of contact. “The essence of a pitch is not your entire life’s story, it’s just one way to spark a conversation with an editor.”
Earning Organic Placements VS. Paying for Ads
Many new business owners avoid pitching to journalists and media outlets. Instead, they rely on paid ad placements to get the word out about their products and services. Don’t get me wrong — ads are an important component in building your business. And although marketing and PR has a lot of similarities, Gloria has a great analogy to illustrate the major differences.
Imagine a man and woman on a date. During their time together, the man tells the woman what a great catch he is. He tells the woman a list of all the great stuff he’s doing in order to hype himself up. This is akin to marketing.
But the woman gets home from the date and talks to her closest, most trusted friend. This friend starts raving on about how great the guy she went on a date is. She ensures that he has a great reputation and is a great guy overall. “That’s the power of PR. It’s someone else vouching for you without you having to vouch for yourself.”
While ads will help to grow your business, PR will establish you as a thought leader in your industry. I’ve seen huge progress in my own business since earning media through outlets like CNN and Forbes.
In the episode, Gloria encourages listeners to start cold pitching, despite fears of rejection. She shares her own story of cold calling her way through hundreds of news outlets, waiting for that one yes that eventually leads to another. Through rejections, she was able to pick up patterns on when her pitch was successful, and when it was ignored.
Preparing for the Pitch
Before you start pitching to media outlets, Gloria highly recommends making a list of all the journalists and people who are in the position to tell your story. This can be created in a spreadsheet and organized by first and last name, email, as well as social media handles. Gloria recommends turning to social media profiles to pitch, considering many journalists receive hundreds of pitch emails in their inbox every day.
There are multiple tools you can use to help you build your list of media contacts. For instance, paying attention to Google News Alerts about your industry’s most popular keywords will help you identify reporters to add to your list, as well as the types of stories being told. It’ll also help you understand what headlines regarding your industry tend to look like — allowing you to adapt and create a powerful messaging. Additionally, using a database like Haro will help you source inquiries daily.
Gloria shares several actionable tips for building your media contact list in this episode. She shares how you can get started easily without having to hire a PR agency.
Earn Press with These Three Easy Steps
Once you have a media contact list, it’s time to take the leap and start pitching. Gloria has created a proprietary pitching method she calls “CPR”. It stands for:
- Credibility – why are you in the position to write this pitch
- Point of view – what unique perspective do you have of where the industry is headed
- Relevance – why journalists should cover this story right now
It’s important to remember that journalists care about the bigger discussions being had in your industry. While entrepreneurs are familiar with their product pitch, there’s a fundamental difference between pitching a product and what the journalists care about. Gloria advises listeners to take 10 steps away from your product and focus on the larger industry trends. “A lot of times what you think is unique might not actually resonate.”
This is why staying up to date with the latest media coverage of your industry is so important. It allows you to zoom out and read about your industry from a generalists’ point of view. “The more you read news across industries, the more you’ll be able to understand the intersection of all these stories.”
Tips for Crafting Your Pitch Email
In this episode, Gloria shares several tips for crafting the perfect pitch email. Starting with length — Gloria suggests that shorter emails are better than longer ones, however, they require a lot more skill. She recommends starting the introduction of your email off by setting the tone of why your industry is at a tipping point. From there, dive into 3 to 5 bullet points of the advice you’re giving. Close the email with a concluding paragraph and sign off with your contact information and a link to your website.
Gloria advises listeners against attaching anything to the email because it could trigger their spam filter. This includes your media kit, any case studies, or slide decks. Again, it is important to step back from your product and what you’re promoting. Instead, focus on industry trends and the larger picture.
But more importantly, Gloria reminds listeners that “you’re only as good as your subject line”. If your subject line doesn’t inspire your reader to open your email, your pitch will never get read. Unfortunately, your name and company mean nothing to journalists. Instead, focus on writing a punchy, attention-grabbing subject line that is short and sweet.
Tune in to hear some of Gloria’s examples of effective subject lines. We also discuss additional email tips like bolding important points to ensure your message gets across.
Handling Your Own PR and Earning Press for Your Business
Like a successful pitch email, this episode of Her Life, By Design is short, sweet, and to the point. If you’re ready to establish your authority and propel your business forward, consider taking PR and earned press into your own hands.
Thanks to Gloria, the misconception of needing an enormous business before you garner press coverage is now over. Gloria proves that press coverage is accessible to everyone, having worked in the PR industry without a degree or prior experience at an agency. She has helped countless entrepreneurs at all stages of their business earn media coverage. And today, she’s here to share how you can start doing the same, getting your name out there by working smarter, not harder.
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Gloria’s website: https://www.gloriachoupr.com/
Road Map Link: https://learn.gloriachoupr.com/starter
Free Webinar Masterclass: https://www.gloriachoupr.com/webinar