15 Minutes Per Day To Earn Great PR
Imagine you’re featured in the most significant publication you can think of. A contributor/writer, crafting an article about your industry, quotes YOU as the expert reference. How would that make you feel? Would you be more confident in competitive situations? Would you stand a little straighter at local networking events? Would your father-in-law take you more seriously?
Here’s a quiz – which publication needs more content: a website that gets 50 visitors per day or a site that gets 50,000 visitors per day? The latter, right? Your ideal publication will receive a great deal of traffic, and NEEDS to create content to accommodate those visitors. Instead of approaching a PR source that requires convincing, go where an incredible need ALREADY exists and make yourself valuable to those who want what you know.
Now imagine you’re featured in your ideal publication, and your total investment is only 15 minutes. Follow these steps each business day (yes, you can take the weekends off), and you’ll be well on your way to earning great PR for your personal brand.
Before you get started complete these two steps:
1. Sign up for the free subscription to HARO (Help A Reporter Out) at www.helpareporter.com. You’ll start receiving three (3) emails per business day with reporter requests for quotes, advice, and expert opinions.
2. After creating a username and password on the HARO website, bookmark their page. As you start sending pitches, this will become your repository of past submissions.
HARO’s emails will begin arriving in your inbox around 5:15 am, 12:15 pm, and 4:30 pm (all times central time zone.)
Here’s what to do with your 15 minutes per day –
Minute 1 – Scan the HARO queries to see if there’s a specific publication you’re targeting. If so, and the topic is relevant, respond to that query ASAP. Reporters are usually on a very tight deadline, and they’ll typically request a response within 24-48 hours. The more quickly you respond the better. Like anyone else, they want to check something off their to-do list as, “done.”
In this case, good enough is much, much better than perfect. Note – I’ve found that if I don’t respond within literally an hour of receiving the HARO email, it’s highly unlikely my contribution is used.
Minute 2 – If your ideal publication doesn’t have a relevant query, search the queries for a topic in which you have expertise. Choose one. This is vitally important. Start a habit of answering at least one query a day. More on why this is important later.
Minutes 3-14 – Write your answer to the reporter’s query in a word processor. Follow this format:
- Greet the reporter by his/her name.
- Give a one/two sentence bio stating why you’re qualified to answer the question.
- Concisely answer their query. Write your one or two paragraphs in sentences that could stand alone as a sound bite. If the reporter uses your response, he/she will typically extract one sentence as your quote, so be sure each sentence stands on its own.
- Say thank you and leave your contact information, including email, social media contacts, and your phone number.
Important: save this response as a template! Parts 2 and 4 will typically remain the same in your subsequent answers, and you should slightly alter your bio to highlight your experience regarding the specific query.
Minute 15 – Cut and paste your answer into the Pitch section of the HARO website. Why? When HARO facilitates your email submission, this will all but guarantee it’s actually received. If you don’t use this tool, your response might get caught in a spam filter. Read it one more time for typos and press Submit.
What if the reporter doesn’t respond or doesn’t use your answer? Do you ever think to yourself, “What should I be sharing on my website/email newsletter/social media?” Use this! A reporter has told you that there is an OVERT NEED for what you’ve written, so let the world know you’ve written it. HARO is the news that hasn’t been printed yet.
When you habitually answer questions you know are important to your industry, you’ll become a better and better communicator. This simple 15 minute daily process will force you to distill into writing something you only had in your head before. Earning great PR – and the respect of your father-in-law – will only be an additional bonus.
If you’d like a one-page cheat sheet, including the method and script actually used by the author, go to http://www.spencerXsmith.comPR
Spencer X Smith spends most days experimenting with ideas on social media & digital marketing so you don’t have to. He’s been featured & quoted in publications such as Forbes, The Huffington Post, Money Magazine, and of course, Duct Tape Marketing. Spencer has built and sold one company, and is currently operating two others. He’s also an instructor at the University of Wisconsin. He can be reached at http://www.spencerXsmith.com or on Twitter @spencerXsays