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Five ways to leverage winning an award

December 14, 2015 by Shweta Jhajharia

Five ways to leverage winning an award{{}}One of the tried and tested ways to establish your business in your sector is to win an award. An industry accolade is an independent evaluation of your firm and a public recognition of your worth - and it's something that your customers are more likely to trust than your own marketing material.

Most business owners already know this - and yet many fail to take full advantage of a win and leverage it for the massive authority building that it provides.

Here are five ways to get more mileage out of an award:

1. Write a press release

Writing a press release can be one of the best ways to leverage an award. Not only does it increase your media exposure, but it also provides core content that you can adapt and use in a wide range of marketing materials – such as on your blog, on social media channels and to send in emails.

2. Add it to your website

Potential clients often visit your website to look for proof of what you do, and the quality of what you do. An awards section will help this tremendously.

Convert your press release into a blog. Details of your win will persuade anyone that is sitting on the fence that you are credible and it will further reassure those who already believe in what you do.

3. Add it to social media

Share links on your social media channels to your press release, any media coverage and your blog post. Share a snippet from your press release; something short, sweet and compelling, in line with the tone of your business.

Include a picture from the awards night. Social shares with photos tend to capture attention better than those without. Sharing to your social media is essential as many consumers look to social channels to find out more about you and gauge your quality.

4. Send an email to existing contacts

Using your press release as a starting point, write a short announcement to those who have opted in to receive your emails. Upload any relevant photos to your Facebook or other social media platforms. Then place a link to the album within your email. This helps encourage readers to share via their own channels.

Gaining social shares contributes not only to your authority but to your "social signals" which is great for search engine optimisation (SEO).

Towards the end of the email mention how to get in touch, or flag up one of your latest offers, to encourage prospects to convert.

5. Celebrate with your team

Take a break in your day-to-day activities and really celebrate this achievement.

This is an opportunity to build authority with the public and to foster a sense of achievement amongst your employees. It is their win as well and they need to see that you appreciate their contribution to the business.

This will allow you to get to know your team better and have a good time with them. Plus, it will contribute to motivating your team to keep your business on a trajectory of greatness.

Putting into action these five steps whenever you win an award may take some time out of your schedule. However, the time taken to leverage something like this is worth it for the authority building that has far reaching effects with your customers and with your team.

Copyright © 2015 Shweta Jhajharia, principal coach and founder of The London Coaching Group.

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How to get journalists on side

June 15, 2015 by Ashley Carr

How to get journalists on side{{}}If you are doing your own PR then you may well be having a hard time figuring out why you are not getting a huge amount of coverage.

It’s tough getting journalists excited enough to write about you; unfortunately that wonderfully crafted product announcement or client case study you just sent out to your contacts in the media won’t immediately hit the front page, no matter how market changing you believe it to be.

Why? Firstly, it’s because understanding what a journalist wants is difficult. Secondly, there’s a chance that you aren’t communicating with the media using the right language.

Speaking to them as if they are a prospect is the quickest way to get ignored. Take a moment to imagine just how many marketing or sales people send out stories to journalists in the hope of getting covered; after all, you frequently read stories about your competitors and their life changing products, right? But look again; in the cold light of day, the press release, case study, or opinion article has probably been submitted by a PR.

Understanding editorial sensibilities

The reality is that any decent journalist is not going to publish anything promotional. Ever. That’s the place for advertising and never the twain shall meet – oh, and don’t go suggesting to an editor that you will place an advert if they place your promotional copy; that’s the quickest way to offend editorial sensibilities.

It takes an in-depth understanding of the world in which the journalists operate to get the relationship right. They take delight in turning the dull and mundane into entertaining prose that will engage their readership so that they keep coming back for more. Give them a hint of sales and marketing and they’ll run for the hills, but give them an engaging piece of insight that tackles a thorny issue that their readership is struggling with and you’ll have them eating out of your hand.

Language matters

You PR agency can strike that (almost) impossible balance between what you would love to see written about you and what the journalist could be convinced to write about you. It’s still “promotional”. It still features you or one of your clients. And it still talks to your market about the market, positioning you as an expert. The difference is the language used, as the copy will be written in a specific way to engage an audience on neutral ground, outlining the issue and a potential solution examining as many of the scenarios as possible to give a balanced view.

Of course there is still a place for breaking news – that announcement that will have the market in shock and awe. However, the fact that one of your clients has just placed an order is not necessarily news. The truth is that any journalist may consider a news story if it has a great brand associated with it, but they are going to be far more interested if there is an angle that dares to challenge the status quo.

In reality, even PR 101 needs a sprinkling of magic, but the good news is that the magic can be found amongst the skilled and experienced PR professionals out there. It’s not that you aren’t trying, it’s just that you might need a little help to speak the right language.

Copyright © 2015 Ashley Carr, founder of Neo PR.

Eight secrets to help you get press coverage

April 22, 2015 by Amanda Ruiz

Eight secrets to help you get press coverage{{}}Have you had your fingers burnt when hiring PR agents or agencies? Did they tie you into an expensive six-month retainer but didn’t deliver the results you were expecting? Or do you just want to do your own PR but don’t know where to start?

Fear not – here are my secrets on how to get into the press.

When I first started on my entrepreneurial journey, a friend (who runs The Mumprenuers Networking Club) said something that really struck a chord. She said: “Every day you must do at least one promotional activity in order to drive customer and brand awareness”.

So with those words ringing in my ears, I really went to town and mastered how to get into the press.

Through huge amounts of perseverance I secured press coverage in many of the major glossies and national newspapers. Here’s my step-by-step method to ensure you get results.

  1. Find your “golden nugget”: the thing that makes your business interesting. Then decide on your press angle: is it a product launch, profile piece, something seasonal, a local story, or a reaction to recent news?
  2. Research your ideal client: where do they hang out, what do they read online and offline, where do they shop, what are their hobbies, what’s their income? Find this out and create at least three mood boards to fit each type of client. Now target publications that fit these profiles.
  3. Research your competition: don’t reinvent the wheel, see where your competitors have got press mentions and which angles they used. This will inspire you to think of more new angles.
  4. Research your target journalist: read their articles, look them up on and LinkedIn, and follow them on Twitter. Contact them about the things they tend to write about and mention their latest article to show you’ve done your homework.
  5. Create a PR toolkit: including professional photographs and strong copy. Make sure your website is up-to-date website with clear contact details.
  6. Write a press release: and make sure it is newsworthy. Consider why the readers want to read about your business. Include: an eye-catching headline, short sharp paragraphs, a quote, verifiable facts, relevant statistics and full contact details. Share your press release via social media and make sure it’s easy to find on your website.
  7. Make a PR plan of action: be targeted. You will get the best results if you focus on your key targets and do quality follow-ups rather than doing a mass mail-out and hoping something will stick. Create a plan of action listing: contact details, date of contact, feedback, action to take.
  8. Develop a PR campaign: Practise your pitch before you go to the big guns. Never leave a voice-mail as journalists are busy; keep calling them, but try not to come over as a stalker! Be persistent and polite.

Once you have got into the press, make sure you say thank you to the journalist. Then add the piece to your website and share it on social media.

Copyright © 2015 Amanda Ruiz is the founder of She runs online courses for entrepreneurs that want to get press coverage.

Why you need some golden nuggets to get press coverage

June 25, 2014 by Amanda Ruiz

Why you need some golden nuggets to get press coverage{{}}You have a fabulous service, brand or product that you, your family and friends and a growing band of customers love — but why can’t you get the press to fall in love with your offering?

You may fall into one of these categories:

  • You don’t know where to start and feel overwhelmed at selling yourself to the press;
  • You have had a lucky break and managed to get one really cool piece of coverage and you don’t know how to get more;
  • You can’t seem to find your USPs — the golden nuggets that can give your news a “hook”.

The feeling of overwhelm can be powerful. But as a business mentor told me at the very beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, you need to do some promotion on your company each and every day. If you aren’t going to do that, then no-one will (unless you pay a PR agent). So go and do what you do best — enthuse about your business to interested parties.

Building on coverage

If you have already had some press coverage by being spotted at an event or via Twitter, you must ensure that you maximise this opportunity as much as possible. Firstly, thank the journalist for their piece — you never know when you may need to speak to them again.

The next step is to politely ask them for the PDF version of the news story. If you can’t get hold of this then buy the publication and include a scan of the piece in a dedicated Press section on your website. You could also add the newspaper or magazine logo to your home page to give you extra credibility. Then share the image or promote a link to the coverage across your social media platforms.

Golden nuggets

When you are in the thick of running your business, you often neglect to articulate your USP. It’s worth asking friends and customers to take part in a focus group to establish what makes your business special. These are the kind of questions you should be discussing:

  • What is your big “why”? What drives you?
  • Why are you so good at what you do?
  • Why are you better than your competition? What makes you stand out?
  • Who is your competition? What do they do that you really admire?
  • What is your mission?
  • What are your major strengths and opportunities?
  • Who is your target audience and why?
  • What do the client testimonials say about you time and time again?
  • What did you do before you launched your company? The press love a good story…

Once you have done this brainstorming, I can guarantee you that some lovely golden nuggets will have appeared. Now use this information to write a simple sentence that describes what your company does. Don’t forget to include your golden nugget. This sentence will then work as your elevator pitch, whether you are selling, networking or pitching to a journalist.

Amanda Ruiz is known as the ultimate door opener. She is the founder of, a marketing and PR agency.

How to raise your profile as an entrepreneur

February 12, 2014 by Marc Duke

How to raise your profile as an entrepreneur/Richard Branson{{}}Every entrepreneur needs to focus on PR — as founder you are often at the centre of the PR story.

You have to make sure that as many people out there know about your product/service/company as possible and make this happen as cheaply as possible. PR is the answer. It’s cheap and its power immense. But the question is how do we do it? More to the point, what exactly are we “PRing”?

Image: Richard Branson, courtesy of Gulltagen on Flickr.

Technology start-ups

Many technology start-ups rush to appoint a PR bod or an agency to spread the word or to build the profile of the founder. I have heard many an expert tell me that for a start up to be successful the PR has to be great, even better than early revenues or a killer product. Get your company mentioned in Mashable, TechCrunch and VentureBeat and it’s job done.

But how? That’s the tricky bit. You love your company, in fact you live for it, that is why you are an entrepreneur. Chances are everyone you know will have heard the elevator pitch, even if you are nowhere near a lift. But to get PR your story needs to be different and relevant to your audience. What if you are whizz in developing a product, devising the strategy but don’t see yourself as a celebrity entrepreneur — then what?

PR targets

Think carefully. Before you appoint someone, think about payment for results and how you will use the coverage they generate. Exactly who do you want to speak to, and what publications/titles/sites do you want to appear in/on. It’s all about the targets.

One final point, you might not think of your story as interesting but the fact that you have the guts to be an entrepreneur is, without bragging, an inspiration to others so always talk to journalists about what you are up to. You never know where it will lead.

Marc Duke is the founder of Marc Duke Consulting.

Further reading: 

Posted in PR | Tagged start-up, PR, entrepreneur | 0 comments

How to get press coverage in 2014

January 29, 2014 by Amanda Ruiz

How to get press coverage in 2014/PR on wooden cubes on newspaper{{}}If you run your own business you need to juggle many balls — the financials, stock, display (online and offline), networking, social media management, staff… the list goes on.

But one thing that all entrepreneurs must try to keep on top of is brand awareness — so that new customers can discover you easily and so that your existing customers feel good about seeing your company getting mentioned in the press. This kind of visibility will encourage customers to pick up the phone and order your product or services again.

Press coverage is free editorial — not paid-for advertising. If you haven’t tried to get press coverage to date, here are 12 essential steps that will help you get your company some valuable media coverage in 2014.

You will need to roll your sleeves and go for it, because if you don’t employ a PR agent (either in-house or on a contractual basis), then no one is going to do it for you. The fact that you are passionate about your product or services is a great start.

So let’s dive straight in and get some press for 2014.

Create the right mindset

1. Have a thick skin and be persistent: you could get plenty of push backs, but keep on trying, don’t be put off by rejections from journalists, the next journalist you call may love your product.

2. Be creative: try and think outside of the box to come up with interesting angles for your media approaches.

3. Have confidence: pick up the phone. If you believe in your product and are passionate about it, that’s half the battle.

Get your tool kit straightened out

4. Good images, both high and low resolution, are essential.

5. Strong copy: make your words punchy and to the point in order to catch attention.

6. Prepare your website: add a new page with links to your images and the news you are promoting.

Do your research and find an angle

7. Buy the target magazines or newspapers or read them online to find out more about their approach and to get the key contacts details.

8. Follow journalists on Twitter: You will see up to date information on what they are covering. You can also check out these two hashtags:  #journorequest #PRrequest.

9. Identify your story: Is it a product launch? Profile piece? Case study?

10. Come up with a grabbing headline and use this in your email subject box and as the title for the press release.

11. Use statistics where possible, this gives credibility to your story. Provide a quote and if possible get one from a satisfied customer as well.

12. Always say thank you to the journalists when they publish your story.

Good luck and go for it!

Amanda Ruiz is the founder of, a marketing and PR agency.

Posted in PR | Tagged press coverage, PR | 0 comments

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