We have been inspired to create a list of top tips for kick-starting your own PR and social media campaign from speaking to directors of international firms to entrepreneurs selling their own products, as we regularly hear the same story when it comes to people promoting their own business: lack of time.

 “We don’t have time to create news for a chance of getting in the newspaper.”

“We don’t have time to Tweet, who wants to hear about our day?”

“I run my business alone, my time goes into creating my products and speaking to customers.”

Sound familiar?

The Approach PR team is absolutely on board with the feeling of time running away, but we do have some time-saving tips which might just give you the ability to plan PR and social media activity to fit around you.

Step 1. “How do I create a PR strategy?”

Plan, plan, plan. This sounds daunting and it will take time to think about a six month PR strategy but it will make all the difference in the long term. Take a half day out of the office to think about your objectives. Do you want more customers, need footfall at an event or profile a director in your key trade publications? Identified goals are much easier to work towards than hoping for the best – a tick list is your friend.

Step 2.  “Do I have to use Facebook AND LinkedIn?”

PR and social media go hand in hand so it’s a good idea to really consider the platforms available to you and include them in your plan. If you’re speaking to the general public, Twitter is ideal whereas those companies reaching out to other businesses may be more suited to LinkedIn.

Step 3. “How do I know what to post online?”

Once you’ve decided on the best social media platforms for your business messages, create a week by week planner to ensure you don’t miss any opportunities. Making a note of online networking hours, awareness days, key business dates and online content resources will make the day-to-day handling of social media much smoother.

Step 4. “What’s interesting about my business?”

It’s great that your business is doing well and you’re celebrating a 10 year anniversary, but what’s going to interest a journalist? Having these important dates listed in your initial PR strategy will mean you’re able to plan ahead and consider teaming up with another organisation to celebrate – working with a charity is great way to shout about your business while raising the profile and funds for important causes.

Step 5. “How do I understand my target media?”

Whether you want to see your business profiled in a regional newspaper or a key trade publication, it’s important you regularly read and understand the press. Many titles have digital versions which are automatically emailed to you – settle down with your morning coffee and spend 20 minutes catching up with the news. Sensing the tone of voice, subject matter covered and preferences of the journalists can make all the difference in securing that all-important coverage.

Step 6. “Is it ok to schedule everything on social media?”

Social media can often be found at the bottom of a to-do list and those in the know are quick to suggest scheduling in posts ahead of time. Dashboards such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are great for this and can help ensure you don’t forget to join in with an important networking hour or tweet about a new product launch. Our advice is always to use these free scheduling sites with caution – check your social media planner in a morning and plan in the day’s posts, but be sure to have an online ‘live’ presence to follow up with any enquiries, comments or engagement.

Of course, the list could go on. If you’re still unsure or feel you need a helping hand in getting your plan in place, we’ve just released our summer term of Approachability dates for PR, social media, media relations and blog training.

Take a look, give us a call and give your business the PR boost you’re looking for!

Approachability training courses are held at the Approach PR offices on The Grove, Ilkley. Each session is 9.30am – 12noon and individual course prices are listed below.

4 June – Intro to PR £65 +VAT

11 June – How to write a press release £95 +VAT

18 June – Intro to Media £65 +VAT

25 June – Intro to social media £65 +VAT

2 July – How to use Twitter £95 +VAT

9 July – How to use Facebook £95 +VAT

16 July – How to use LinkedIn £95 +VAT

23 July – How to blog £95 +VAT