THE TRUTH BEHIND THE 6 MOST COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT PR
by Simone Sauter
PR. We’ve all heard of it, and we all have predetermined ideas of what running a PR campaign will be like. As with any subject, there are many misconceptions about PR.
Determining fact from fiction can be a challenge, especially for fledgeling coaches. Researching PR can often mean wasting time trailing between web pages, which often include mistakes and conflicting information.
So, to make it easy to separate fact from fiction here’s the truth behind the 6 most common misconceptions about PR all in one definitive article.
Click on play and listen to this episode:
#1: I NEED TO BE AN EXPERT TO DO MY OWN PR – FALSE!
So, one of the most common misconceptions about PR that I always hear is, ‘I need to be an expert to do my own PR and get featured in the media.’
But I can guarantee you, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it’s actually the other way around. How did the biggest coaches around the world get their expert status? They got themselves seen in the media, and became household names.
Obviously, to be considered as an expert in your niche, the two things you absolutely need are expertise and client results. But in terms of reputation, you don’t need anything to start off with.
Audiences recognise how selective the media is. Guest opportunities on talk shows and blogs are limited, and if you get an opportunity, this immediately sends signals to the audience that you know exactly what you’re talking about. This amazing third-party endorsement will give you expert status.
So, if you think you can’t do your own PR, because you don’t have that expert status yet, that’s completely false. Change your mindset, and get started.
#2: MEDIA OUTLETS WON’T BE INTERESTED IN MY COACHING BUSINESS – FALSE!
So, another of the most common misconceptions about PR is that journalists won’t be interested in you and your coaching business.
This is not true at all! Especially as a coach, you have so much to offer journalists, blogs, podcasters, and other media outlets.
Unfortunately, something that often holds people back from getting started with PR is a false belief that their business is not interesting enough or big enough for a PR campaign. Some feel they don’t have a big enough social media following to be of interest.
The thing is, this actually isn’t relevant to journalists. Social media following can be important at a later point, but certainly not in the beginning.
Journalists are primarily interested in stories. They have to write so many stories every day. So, if you can offer them an interesting story that will engage their readers, they will be more than happy to use it.
It’s all about finding the right story to tell. Media outlets don’t care about the size or following of your coaching business. They care about inspiring, innovative or unique stories that will interest their readers.
You might believe you don’t have this, that your business is in no way unique or inspiring, but you’d be surprised. The truth is, people look to coaches for help, because they want to understand how to improve their lives.
Did you start your business at a very young age or did you reinvent yourself as a coach during middle age? What’s the most challenging experience you’ve had as a coach? Did you start your business after a personal experience – how did you come through that difficult time in your life?
Sourcing a story from your own experience will be of great interest to readers who want to understand how they can change their own lives.
Trust me, if you’re a coach, you will absolutely have amazing stories to interest readers.
#3: PEOPLE WILL JUDGE ME IF I’M FEATURED IN THE MEDIA – SOMETIMES TRUE, BUT WELL WORTH IT!
As a coach to the coaches, I’ve talked to a lot of coaches who are scared to get themselves out there. One of the biggest misconceptions about PR is that being featured in the media creates a lot of negative attention.
When you get featured in the media, you get a lot of eyeballs on your business all at once, depending on the size of the media outlet that features you. Suddenly, lots of people become aware of you and your business overnight. And that can be incredibly overwhelming for coaches.
A lot of coaches fear they will be judged. Not just by strangers, but also family and friends who will see them in the media. This will especially be the case if you’re sharing a personal story for your publicity.
The level of negative attention is never as high as people imagine. At the most, there may be incidents where you receive a negative comment on social media, or backlash from friends. There are several ways to manage your fears about negative attention.
For one thing, remind yourself that your visibility in the media will help other people. This is the reason you started your business – to change the lives of others. Broadcasting yourself to the world is scary, but a good first step is to put personal emotions aside and always keep in mind the people you want to help.
The second thing to remember is that whatever you do in life, people will judge you. It doesn’t matter what you do. People will always voice their opinions about other people. Nothing you can do will please everyone all the time.
The best way to manage this isn’t to avoid doing what you want, but to change your mindset. Better to be judged for something you want to do, than to do nothing. Better to be judged for something you bring to the world. Better to be brave and share your message.
I know it’s scary, but it’s best to overcome that fear for your ideal clients. You can’t impact lives if you never speak out.
#4: PR WILL NOT WORK FOR MY BUSINESS – FALSE!
Sometimes, I have people coming to me saying, “Simone, I did PR. I hired a publicist, and they sent out press releases, but it didn’t work.”
For one thing, press releases don’t work. This is something I plan to talk about in-depth in another article. One of the most common misconceptions about PR is that PR is just press releases. I don’t use press releases in my PR campaigns, and it’s also not something I’d recommend you do either. Never send a press release.
However, I can guarantee you, if you do PR the right way, it will work for your business. This is especially the case for coaching businesses because you have all these amazing stories that journalists are going to snap up.
You just need to know the right story, the right way to approach journalists, and the right way to pitch to them. If PR hasn’t worked for you in the past, I can guarantee you it was because you didn’t know the right way to do PR.
#5: TOO MANY COACHES ARE ALREADY TALKING ABOUT MY NICHE – FALSE!
Another of the most common misconceptions about PR is: ‘There are too many coaches already talking about my niche for PR to be viable for me.’
If a particular niche has a lot of competition, then this is often seen as a bad thing, but this is a really big misconception. In many ways, competition is a good thing. If there are a lot of coaches out there doing what you do, that means there’s a market out there for what you offer.
Competition means you have a potential clientele base and reporters who will be interested in your story. Competition means you have every reason to get started with your PR.
In fact, your competition should be your incentive to start your PR and get free publicity, because then you set yourself apart. Not every competitor in your niche is going to put the effort in to get featured in the media, and this will really make you stand out.
#6: PR IS TIME-CONSUMING – SOMETIMES TRUE, BUT WELL WORTH IT!
Now, this is one of the most enduring misconceptions about PR. It’s true that if you do your own PR, you need to invest time and effort.
But think about how you try to get your clients now.
You probably spend hours on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Maybe you write a blog, run a podcast, do webinars, go to summits and networking events. Now, this isn’t wrong at all. Events and social media can be really helpful for building up your coaching business.
Altogether, though, they can become very time-consuming. Not to mention the amount of effort it takes you.
With PR on the other hand, you can, in a very short amount of time, reach huge audiences and make such a big impact that would be impossible otherwise. Social media, for example, takes an immense amount of time to build. You need to be juggling multiple channels to make it viable, and this means you need to employ a team.
PR, meanwhile, is something you can do solo, and it’s really effective.
It took me roughly one and a half years to become the No.1. breakup coach in Germany. But in under two years, I had 1 million people visiting my website organically. No advertising required. You can imagine the impact this had on my email list, my revenue, and my client base.
If you’re short on time and, like me, you have kids, then you need to plan how you invest your time very carefully. You need to be sure you’ll get something back for your time and effort.
So many coaches invest a lot of time in social media and get very little out of it. If you invest the time in doing your own PR instead, then you will have much better results for your business.
You might be wondering how much time a PR campaign takes. In the beginning, it obviously takes more time. If you’re up and running, however, you need only invest two to three hours per week, and you’re set to get featured in the media on a regular basis.
So, how do I start an amazing PR campaign and get clients super fast?
Now that you understand the truth behind the most common misconceptions about PR, it’s time to start thinking about your own PR campaign. The next step is to understand the right way to approach media outlets and get free publicity.
Want to learn how to get featured in the media? Sign up for my free PR masterclass, in which I share with you my Publicity Rockstar method!
What is my Publicity Rockstar method? I hear you ask.
This is the method that my clients and I personally use to get featured in media outlets, from Marie Claire to Cosmopolitan to mindbodygreen.
Sign up to the free masterclass today, and discover how to raise your coaching business above the noise online, and get amazing new clients.
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