November 13, 2012, 7:12 am -- /EPR NETWORK/ -- You don't need the big personality of Richard Branson or Hilary Devey for your business to make a big splash in the media.
“A larger than life persona is not a good predictor of whether a business owner can successfully do their own PR,” says Phil Turtle, founder of BestPRSelector.com
Instead, the public relations expert has identified three shared characteristics of entrepreneurs who have effectively driven their own publicity machines.
Don't get too close to your business
“Firstly,” says Turtle, who launched online PR needs assessment tool Best PR Selector in mid-2012, “they have the ability to take a step back from their business and see it from an outsider's perspective”.
This, he explains, can be harder than it seems. “We're all familiar with the expressions ‘getting too close to your work' and ‘can't see the wood for the trees'”, he explains. “Well both aptly describe the unfortunate position many business owners find themselves in.
“When you're up close and personal with your business 24/7, it becomes very hard to be objective about it,” he says.
According to Turtle, common traps company owners fall into include using industry jargon, assuming outsiders have lots of prior knowledge, being unrealistic about how important their business is and not being focussed enough on creating and marketing tangible differences with competitor companies.
“It's no surprise that the business owner who will be the most successful at getting publicity is the one who can see their company through fresh and objective eyes each day,” says Turtle. “This is quite a rare skill.”
The second most important skill that enables business owners to do their own PR is time management, says Turtle.
“Public relations is both time consuming and time sensitive. To ensure you don't miss killer opportunities to get yourself in front of the right media, you have to strike whilst the iron is hot,” he says.
“If this means shelving everything else in your diary for that morning to concentrate on a PR opportunity, good owner/PRs have the ability to put everything else on hold – or delegate it - and prioritise that golden opportunity.”
Avid media consumers
The final predictor of an entrepreneur who will make an excellent home-grown PR is that they will be an avid – and analytical – consumer of their target media.
“People who do their own PR well understand what makes a great story in their industry. They are not just regular readers of the key industry media but they are also critical readers,” says Turtle.
“They can spot other PR stories and they have ideas about how to create their own.”
Phil adds that good self-publicists understand what makes a news story, a feature, a comment piece, a photo story, a great reader offer.
“Without this appreciation, you're feeling around in the dark and wasting a journalist's time,” he says.
“A good PR – whether a professional or small-business person - will know the media they are trying to get coverage in like the back of their hand. Read it, break it down and understand the editor's requirements. A big personality is no excuse for not having done your background research,” he concludes.
About Best PR Selector
Best PR Selector is an online assessment tool for business owners' public relations requirements. A 40 second form helps the entrepreneur decide whether they need the support of a PR agency, a freelance PR consultant or are seeking to improve their own publicity skills and carry out their own public relations.
Best PR Selector then recommends appropriately skilled professionals, whether PRs or PR trainers, who will contact the business person.
It was founded as a no-cost service by PR expert and former engineer Phil Turtle, who also runs two PR agencies: Turtle Consulting Group and DateCentrePR.com
Phil lives in Brighton, has an MBA from Warwick Business School and has previously held senior marketing roles with companies including GEC Plessey Telecommunications and the UK's Internet Exchange MaNAP.