The 6 Ps on Securing Press Coverage

I’d like you to cast your mind back to when you had that lightbulb moment of setting up your business. Then to the leap of faith you took to make the time and financial investment to get your company off the ground.

At the time of all this excitement and anticipation you may not have been thinking on the exact specifics of how you would build brand awareness… When I set up my first business, designing and importing knitwear from Peru, I was concerned about finding a reliable factory, getting the branding and website set up, sourcing the clothing labels and getting to grips with all the intricacies of importing.

I hadn’t really thought of the marketing side at the time of launch, so no wonder it was a case of tumbleweed when I cut the invisible ribbon in September 2008.

Luckily both my parents were entrepreneurs, notably my mother who was a household name back in the 90’s thanks to all the PR her mail-order business generated (via the help of her Kings Road-based PR agent).

After burning myself out by hosting over 125 pop-up shops (with my car serving as my very own ‘trunk show’), I realised that PR could be a game-changer, allowing me to reach thousands of new potential customers instead of just a handful of people passing by my stalls each time I exhibited.

I needed visibility and fast. My products were seasonal and I had a limited window to get them out there, both physically and exhaustingly with the pop-up shops and virtually with my marketing output.

So I set about pitching to the press, remembering discussions around the dinner table and from assisting the London PR agent during the school holidays and managed to secure publicity in most of the nationals and women’s glossy magazines, meaning I didn’t have to do any more pop up shops as I was building brand awareness and gaining new customers through the power of PR.

Your brilliant business may offer products or services - either way, you 100% qualify to share your profile, expertise and experiences in running your business with the press, as after all, journalists are constantly on the lookout for new case studies, experts, innovative products, thought-leaders and commentators, so now is the time to throw your hat into the PR ring and to get PRing!

Your story can reach thousands, if not millions, but how do you break through all the noise? Here are the 6 Ps to getting press coverage. Use this guide to turn your stories into news that can't be ignored.

  1. PR Zone: Switch your mindset - if you create transformations to people's lives and or business, we need to hear from you. Don't hide your light under the bushel. Plus, journalists need YOU. So don't think you're annoying them, you are fundamental to their work!
  2. Power Backstory: What sets you apart? Each of us has a unique 'golden nugget'—a personal backstory or an aspect of our life that makes us stand out. For some, it might be an unconventional hobby or a life-changing event.
    A female client who has recently secured 5 pieces of coverage learnt to ride a motorbike at 50, the press loves this story, and her day job is a life coach which always gets a mention when she is featured plus, she gets the essential backlinks to her website. My personal story involves wild water swimming, a journey that has attracted media attention multiple times. Your golden nugget isn't mundane (even though you may think it is as you know it so well); it's your ticket to relatability and intrigue.
  3. Press Hook: A compelling press hook makes your story timely, newsworthy, and relevant. It's not always about pitching your business directly but finding an angle that captures the outlet's audience. Whether it's your Power Backstory, recent achievement or ‘pegging’ it to an awareness day or event, make sure that it resonates with the readers or viewers of the platform you're targeting.
  4. Press Release/Pitch: Do NOT write an essay. Journalists need information fast and brief! Keep your pitch short. And have an impactful headline to grab their attention in their busy inboxes.
  5. PR7: This is your Daily 7 minutes of PR work - if you're doing social media already, don't waste that great content, I bet you are sharing some interesting information that you could repurpose in a pitch! So stop the 5-hour social media scroll and carve out just 7 minutes a day of profitable PR pitching.
  6. PR Snowball: One piece of PR can very often lead on to many more features as other journalists, associations and organisations in your field spot you and invite you to their round table/event as a speaker / to their radio show / to write a book for a big publishing house. All these have happened and continue to happen to my clients.

My final and bonus P is persistence. Don’t give up. Remember, the press needs you as much as you need the press so keep your efforts consistent so that you get onto journalists' radars. Your story is worth telling, and there's an audience waiting to listen.