Recently our Dance Studio Owners Inner Circle members were treated with an intimate Public Relations (PR) coaching session with the amazing Sabina Hitchen, who delivered so many value-bombs that we couldn’t help but share this sneak-peek into the world of PR with you to jump onto.
Before your competition does.
Now, the term ‘PR’ covers a huge spectrum from print journalism, to TV exposure, and is also a highly untapped opportunity for dance studio owners to gain some wonderful, low-cost coverage.
Here are just a few ideas to get started with your winning local print, radio, and television PR campaign.
Connect with journalists who are already looking for help with stories
When you’re starting out with PR, the idea of writing press releases and pitches can seem overwhelming, so a great starting point is to seek out media professionals who don’t even know they are looking for you.
One hot tip for those of your using Twitter, is that you can type the #journorequest or #prrequest hashtag into the Twitter search box, and you’ll find dozens of requests from journalists and bloggers looking for help with specific articles on every possible topic you can imagine. You should find at least one request (if not several) that apply, so tweet them back or even better, research their contact information and call them to offer to help.
Now for those of you who have worked with me or read my book will already know that I’m not a huge twitter fan, but for this goldmine of opportunities alone I think it’s definitely worth jumping in.
You can also sign up for online media enquiry services like Response Source, Journolink, Help A Reporter Out or Sourcebottle.
By subscribing to these you’ll get regular email updates from journalists who are looking for experts and case studies to feature in their work. Some media enquiry databases are free and others offer free trials, so it’s a great opportunity to start building your media contacts immediately.
It’s worth responding to any request you can help with – even if it’s not not an exact fit for your studio right now. That way, when you do have a story to pitch that relates to your dance studio, journalists will be far more likely to read your email or take your call.
Make yourself more ‘findable’ on social media
Most journalists hang out on social media, often using it as a search engine when they’re looking for help with stories they’re working on. This is why having an up-to-date profile (ideally with a well-monitored contact number), sharing content that relates to your area of expertise and using hashtags – which group together posts on a similar topic – is a smart PR move.
It’s also a good idea to make follow journalists you’d like to connect with. Check in regularly to see what they’re talking about, then start a conversation by commenting on and/or sharing their content. This can help you build a relationship over time, so when you do have a story to pitch, your name should already be familiar.
This is a great tip – now you can set up a Google alert for keywords that relate to your area of expertise (perhaps children’s activities, ballroom dance, all-abilities opportunities, or supporting boys in the creative arts) and you’ll get regular updates on relevant news stories.
If you spot a story where you think you could add value – in the form of expert comment on radio/TV or by writing an opinion article, for example – you can simply contact journalists and let them know you’re available to help.
For our step-by-step Public Relations masterclass and done-for-you strategy and email approaches that you can copy and paste in minutes, doors are now open to join the Dance Studio Owners Inner Circle. We’d love to hear from you!
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