5 Pre-Announcement PR Tips for Reputation Management
If you’re ready for a product launch, a funding round, or an executive announcement, now is a good time to look at how other people will see your company when they do more research.
Brush up your social profiles pre-announcement.
No matter what your brand or your industry you always want to present the best first impression, your social media are part of that first impression. Ask yourself whether they’d be OK with you lifting a quote from your Facebook or LinkedIn and using it in an article about your business?
If the answer is no, check the privacy settings and do some cleanup. While we’re at it, check your photos and see if there’s anything there that’s off-putting or off-brand.
If you’re not sure whether your first impression is on-brand, ask others you trust in business. Ask yourself if you’re believable and trustworthy to a stranger and to your target audience? What would you think of your business if you just stumbled upon it on Linkedin or another social profile? Please consider these tips as a starting checklist.
Reputation Management: Google Your Executives & Your Company
While we’re at it, when was the last time you Google’d your executives and your business? Do your search while using Chrome’s “Incognito” feature and you’ll get a view of what others see about you first. Don’t forget to do an image search too. When you raise awareness of your company Google searches by the public and the press are fair game.
If you’re not happy with what you see, you can do some reputation management blocking and tackling, which will take some time. So be sure to do this well in advance of any major announcements.
Public Relations: Define Your Key Messages
What are you trying to say and to whom? What truly makes you special and why should anyone care. Remember, when you’re trying to attract press, you need a STORY, something newsworthy. Unfortunately, due to the sheer number, a product launch is rarely newsworthy, that’s not to say NEVER, but usually, there has to be a story to tell along with the launch.
Make sure you’re so prepared with your key messages that no one can distract you from your message, which is wrapped nicely in the context of your business story.
And while you’re at it, make sure that the press you’re sending your story is important to the readers of the publication or outlet your pitching.
Public Relations: Consider Media Training
If you’ve never done press before, it might be more nerve-wracking than you expect. Yes, journalists are people too, but it’s not their job to make you look good, that’s your job.
The journalist’s job is to write a story people will be interested in reading.
Sure, some publications will be very friendly, but all will appreciate your extra level of professionalism.
Spending at least a day preparing by recording yourself in front of a camera with some best practices for PR will pay for itself a million times over, because inevitably, there will be a question you didn’t expect, and having the tools at your disposal to help you keep your cool will give you confidence.
Content: A MUST: Good Photos
Great headshots and product pictures are not a “nice to have,” they are a requirement. Don’t even think about sending a selfie. Make sure the images are high-resolution enough for print. If you have the budget, get a video too since you’ll use it over and over for all sorts of purposes.
You can have some photos done that showcase your business personality, but definitely get basic headshots and product pictures on white and black backdrops.
You’ll be bummed out if you get the press of a lifetime but there aren’t any product shots or pictures of you and your team because they were low-quality or low-resolution.
Managing your online and media reputation is critical to your business, particularly if you’re a new brand, a relatively unknown brand, or your doubling down on an initiative like fundraising or an IPO. It’s shocking how few brands keep up with their own reputation. The thing about your reputation is that when it’s hurting you, you’ll never know because you can’t measure what’s not there. So be proactive about your reputation at all times and it will pay for itself.