Public relations is not just about getting your name, or the name of your organization, mentioned in the media. It goes far beyond that. As I explain to clients, public relations also has a lot to do with establishing yourself as a credible expert in your field.
Reporters and bloggers are always looking for experts to quote in their stories. And, while those in your field may consider you to be an expert based on your knowledge and experience, getting others outside of your field to recognize your expertise may take a little more work.
Using the following strategies can help you to build your reputation as an expert, which eventually will lead to increasing your media visibility.
Blog: Writing a regular (notice I said regular) blog is a great way to share your knowledge. Many business owners tell me they don’t have the time to write a blog, which is often why they hire me. Others love to write, but don’t necessarily have the skill. If you love to write and can, then go for it. If you can’t, you can always be interviewed and have someone else write the blog for you. Or, you can take a crack at writing it and then have someone else edit it. Whatever you choose, just make sure you blog regularly. Regular blogs are not only great for search engine optimization (SEO) but can serve as a great starting point when trying to get the media to learn more about you and your expertise. As you reach out to media contacts you can send some of the links to your blogs and tell them that if they are ever writing about such-and-such to give you a call. Blogs can be posted on your own website, or you can guest blog for others. You can also share your blogs on your other social media channels.
Comment on other blogs: Reading blogs in your field and commenting is a great way to build on your expertise. And, if you find blogs that relate to a blog you have written, you can comment, provide a link to your own blog and suggest people check it out. Don’t steal from the original blogger’s thunder, but you can say “Wow, this is a great blog, here are some of my thoughts on the subject” and post your link.
Write articles: Articles, like blogs, are another way to establish your authority. Look for publications relevant to your industry and find out if they accept bylined articles. You may be surprised to find many do. After all, they are an inexpensive way to fill space in a publication. However, don’t expect to be paid, most that do take bylined submissions from experts don’t pay for them. Once they have been published, post the articles to your website so others can read them as well.
Speak: Look for speaking engagement opportunities. This can be at conferences and events that take place within your industry, or it can be at events outside of your industry, but where your expertise might be needed and appreciated. If possible, find events attended by your target audience. For example, many PR people are asked to speak at PR and media events, which is more like preaching to the choir. While it’s a great networking opportunity, it may not necessarily lead to new business. On the other hand, speaking about public relations at an event attended by nonprofits or lawyers or those in other fields who might need those services not only would serve as a great networking opportunity, but also might generate new business leads.
Create your own opportunities: Can’t find a place to speak? Why not conduct your own informational session? Set up a roundtable discussion featuring yourself and others in your field. Invite clients and have others invite their clients and other contacts as well as the media. Make sure that those who are part of the roundtable compliment your knowledge, but don’t necessarily have the same expertise.
Becoming an expert doesn’t happen over night. It takes time, planning and dedication. Just like people purchase products from brands they know, people hire others based on their expertise.
Need help becoming that go-to person and growing your media presence? Give us a call or shoot us an email and let’s talk about how we can help.
Susan R. Miller is founder of Garton-Miller Media, a full-service, South Florida based public relations firm. Susan is a former journalist with more than 30 years of experience. She has two daughters, three golden retrievers and two cats, but just one guinea pig who is happy not to have to share his cage or his daily stash of veggies with anyone.
Garton-Miller Media is a full-service, South Florida-based public relations firm. Founder Susan R. Miller has 30 years of experience as a writer, journalist and PR professional.