If you have a story that will motivate, empower, or inspire someone — share it! The media is always seeking unique stories that are heartfelt, humanized, and touching.
Welcome to another installment of our PR Strategy Series, where you can learn directly from top industry experts on how you can leverage media attention to grow your business.
Today we are talking about how you can grow your PR career by highlighting parts of a conversation I had over at Authority Magazine with Christina-Lauren Pollack.
Christina-Lauren Pollack is a digital entrepreneur, lifestyle blogger and influencer, business branding consultant, and course creator. As the Founder of Inspiring Brands Academy, she loves educating women about online branding, marketing, advertising, and publicity, and she empowers them to take advantage of those opportunities.
Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
As the Founder of Inspiring Brands Academy, which offers private coaching sessions and online courses for female small business owners, I love educating and empowering entrepreneurs about digital branding, marketing, advertising, and publicity strategies.
One of my favorite topics to teach business owners about is publicity, as it’s one of the best ways to radically increase brand awareness, reach a large audience, drive website traffic, and add credibility to your business.
Because I’m a DIY gal, I’ve been known to do-it-all (from creating content and building websites to writing press releases and handling media pitches). As living proof that you can learn how to DIY your branding and marketing, I love teaching other business owners how they, too, can do-it-all (especially if they’re just launching a company or on a limited budget). The best part is, once you understand the fundamentals, it’s easier to then hire and manage a team.
Which three character traits do you think have been most instrumental to your success thus far?
In my opinion, three character traits that have helped me become successful are ambition, authenticity, and perseverance.
No matter what business you’re in, you need to be a go-getter if you want to make anything happen. That’s why setting goals, motivating yourself each day, and focusing on what you want to achieve will help you go a long way. You have to be your biggest cheerleader in life.
Second to that, being true to yourself and expressing your unique authenticity will help to set you apart. Every memorable leader has their own personal traits and characteristics that make them stand out. If you’re known to be funny and tell great stories, use that to your advantage. Whoever you are, own it. That’s part of your unique power!
Thirdly, never give up. There will always be no’s in life, but remember — a no doesn’t necessarily mean never. In truth, instead of seeing a “no” as rejection, go one step further and find out why. You might learn that it’s just not the right timing, or perhaps you need to improve something first before you hear a “yes”. Don’t let a “no” discourage you from persevering.
For example, it took one of the companies I manage 5 years to land a major chain, and we finally got our lucky break because their previous source of supply wasn’t able to keep up with delivery. So, keep going! You never know when a “no” will turn into a “yes”.
Wonderful. Let’s jump into the part of our interview. What 3 media strategies are typically most effective in generating more business for a national brand?
If I were advising a national brand or a company that wants national exposure, here are 3 PR pro tips I’d suggest.
- Research media sources that reach your niche audience. For example, if you represent a trendy fashion brand or a fashion e-commerce business that serves Millennials, then you’ll want to pitch media sources that align with your market (such as Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Popsugar). Think about your ideal customers and the types of content they are already consuming. What publications do they subscribe to? What podcasts do they listen to? Which bloggers might they follow?
- Get familiar with the editors and writers (and their content). Before sending any pitches, start by doing your research. Read several articles written by a particular editor or journalist, get familiar with the types of topics they cover (and especially if they’ve reported on any of your competitors or similar companies), and even make note of any articles they’ve written that are in alignment with your business. You can even reference one of their older articles (that was published at least a few months ago), that relates to your pitch in some way. This shows the editor or writer that you’ve taken the time to review their work, which gives your pitch a more personalized tone. It also helps you tailor your pitch to best suit them so that they’re more likely to show interest in covering your company.
- Become a go-to source for specific topics. The media always needs credible sources they can quote in articles. While editors might be generally knowledgeable about their niche, they’re not necessarily experts on a particular subject. For example, if you own a beauty brand that specializes in anti-aging treatments, you might pitch yourself as an expert on ingredients contained in your products (like Retinol or alpha hydroxy acids). When pitching the media, be sure to include a bullet list of specific topics that you are highly knowledgeable about. This way, the reporter can reach out to you the next time they’re writing an article that includes one of those topics. One major magazine editor personally told me that she uses her inbox as a sorting tool — she will literally look up certain keywords to pull up potential sources for an article. That’s why making sure to include relevant keywords in your pitch is so important. Your goal should be to have the press think of you as a go-to source for specific topics.
One more before we go: If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
In my opinion, the world needs more “feel good” stories. With so much sensationalized media, it often seems like everywhere we look something bad is happening. But, I believe there are lots of wonderful, positive things happening every day. That’s why stories that uplift and inspire people are so powerful — because we need more of that in this world.
So, if you have a story that will motivate, empower, or inspire someone — share it! The media is always seeking unique stories that are heartfelt, humanized, and touching.
Thank you for sharing so many insights with us!