Time and time again, public relations is often overlooked and undervalued in regard to raising an individual’s profile. In all honesty, it can be a complete game-changer for a business and even position the individual as an expert and thought leader within their field.
Personal PR can positively impact the bottom line by increasing both brand awareness and engagement within a business. In today’s modern world, people buy from people, so it’s crucial to ensure that every business – whether B2B or B2C – puts a face to the brand to ensure that prospective customers know exactly who they’re buying from.
At its very core, public relations is about gaining third-party authority and recognition to validate what you and your business have achieved. And what it is capable of achieving in the future. With a face and personality, it can do so much more.
Let’s explore the true power behind personal PR below.
What is personal PR?
Most of us will understand what public relations is regarding businesses and their public image. But, as soon as the word “personal” is put in front of it, it becomes unknown.
In fact, it’s just as important – if not, in our opinion, more important – as general public relations. Done correctly, it can help to catapult an individual and their subsequent brand into a positive light. Done wrong, however, will have significant implications.
Personal PR activity can help to build your reputation, gain exposure within your industry, alter public opinion and implement crisis management if things go awry.
How does personal public relations work?
Just like any other public relations, it’s paramount to establish a PR strategy. Getting this strategy in place for personal PR helps to create a plan moving forward and gives an indication of what things look like in the future.
Whilst it might be a rough idea, due to unforeseen events, it can help keep most things on track and ensure that a timeline is kept to.
This strategy can cover several different things, including the format of the PR outreach will be, how it will be constructed, the target audience, the specific angle and hook, the story, and much more.
For example, say you want to write a press release with a news story about you as an individual. The plan can outline everything that needs to be thought of in order for this to happen.
Once all areas have been evaluated and recognised, it puts you in a much better position when media coverage is secured. It delivers the right messages and is a powerful tool for boosting a personal brand.
The power behind personal PR
PR is what distinguishes people apart from other entrepreneurs or businesses that do not have it.
At Monumental, working with entrepreneurs on a daily basis, most businesses and entrepreneurs have no public relations strategy. This technique is non-negotiable if you want to differentiate yourself and your market in order to stand out.
Most small companies and entrepreneurs overlook the opportunity because they regard it as solely a social media power play, which could not be further from the truth.
One of the things we frequently discuss with our clients is the fact that you can have the best product or service in the world, but if no one knows about it, no one will buy it.
Public relations is a very effective approach to attract people to notice your company and gain clients.
When we talk about public relations, we usually mean getting included in a publication, which will bring not only traffic but also eyeballs to your brand. Greater eyeballs on your business usually result in more traffic to your business, website, or social media pages, as well as conversions from your audience.
This is not necessarily something you can see directly.
People may become aware of you as a result of an article posted a month ago. They monitor your social media accounts, stay up to current on your brand, and then enter your marketing funnel.
As a result of receiving that stamp of authority from a third party, PR establishes you as a thought leader.
PR is the most effective technique to distinguish yourself and demonstrate the validity of your accomplishments. Spread it all over your social media to underline your brand’s credibility.
Do you think you’re PR-ready?
The first thing you should do is figure out what your brand’s story is. Get clear on what your narrative is, because not having a ‘hook’ is the number one reason you won’t get included.
If you want to be featured, you must know who you are. You won’t be featured because you have the best product on the market; you’ll be listed because your brand has a fascinating backstory.
Consider what that hook could be for your company through a human aspect, not necessarily product focused.
The different forms of personal PR
Press releases make up only a fraction of what forms personal PR can come in. Each different version comes with its own benefits and advantages, whilst they also come with their downsides.
- Thought-leadership article. This is a great way of sharing expertise succinctly and effectively, discussing a topic that is relevant in the news. It gets across clear messaging and is an alternative to standard advertising as it’s topical and therefore bypasses the commercial team.
A downside to thought-leadership articles is that they take a lot of preparation and time, which some companies don’t have.
- Case study. We’re lovers of a case study at Monumental. This explains your journey as an individual and business and pulls out interesting angles that appeal to certain media contact or outlet.
It forms a great basis for everything that comes afterwards and usually results in subsequent media interviews and opportunities. A downside is that it is very time-consuming and includes so many different messages that it can confuse the media.
- Broadcast media outreach. Getting an interview slot on a TV or radio show is an underappreciated form of personal PR and communications. Never underestimate the power of local radio stations and TV platforms – they carry a lot of weight, and it’s a great way of refining the story in the first instance.
Typically, there’s less competition at the local level, too, so it means you don’t need an extraordinary story to be considered newsworthy. A disadvantage of broadcast media is how unpredictable it might be. The news agenda is faster and can only include so much, so things might get scrapped at late notice.
Where to start?
With most things, the hardest part is getting started. Luckily, we’ve identified how you can ensure that your personal PR is top-notch and gets results from the very beginning.
- Target audiences. Who are you trying to reach? Perhaps you’ve notified a certain demographic has been making more enquiries than any other in recent months – who are they, where are they most likely to be finding information, and how can you reach them?
- Identify the topics you wish to speak on. Establishing where you want your expertise to lie is a good idea. Concentrate on that, combining it with two or three messages of interest to your desired audience, and you’ll be able to commit to this activity fully.
- Discover the media outlets that are interested in what you’ve got to say. This will take some time and research, but you must be meticulous. An inclusion in Forbes might look great – especially in terms of vanity metrics – but it might not be so effective in getting your message across to the right audience that you’ve identified. Sometimes smaller, more niche outlets can be goldmines.
- Develop media interviews. Nowadays, interviews make up a huge proportion of news stories – especially for small businesses. Outlets are looking for experts who can interpret events in a different way whilst providing additional insight that adds value.
- Practice. Practice. Practice. Writing, outreach and interviews might not come as easily as they might do for other entrepreneurs, so it’s key to practice. Once you get the hang of it and begin to generate results, you’ll be on your way to success.
Personal PR should fit within your existing marketing efforts. That being said, it needs commitment to be effective. You might enlist a PR agency to help ensure that it’s done efficiently, helping you improve the image with your current customers and build relationships with future ones too.
PR agencies, just like the team we have here at Monumental, are well-equipped with the tools and know-how to help focus personal PR, support clients with showcasing their services and increase the chance of success.