If you want to promote and grow your photography business and haven’t yet implemented any PR tactics into your marketing mix, then read on. In this article, I’m sharing my top 10 tips for how you can become a more PR-Savvy photographer!
What is PR?
Before we get started with the tips, read this article. It’s important that you know what public relations is before we get into how you can do it well.
Done that? Ready for more? Great! On we go!
Ten ways to become a more PR-savvy photographer
Mindset matters: Prime yourself for PR success
Do you find it incredibly tough to blow your own trumpet? If so, you’re not alone. Many photographers struggle with this!
But in order to achieve success with PR, you need to get comfortable with self-promotion. If the mind-monkeys are telling you that you aren’t worthy of being featured in the media, try to silence them!
Recognise that you are an expert in your field with knowledge, skills and experience that have great value, and that your stories and personal experiences deserve an opportunity to be heard.
Related reading: Why are you not using PR to promote your photography business?
Get clear on why you want PR coverage
This may sound obvious, but it’s really important that you are crystal clear on why you want to get media coverage for your photography business. What purpose will it serve? And what are you hoping will come of it?
Knowing why you want to be featured in the media will help shape your approach to PR. It will help you to determine the kind of media opportunities that you should seek out.
For example, are you wanting to become more known in your local area? If so, then it would make sense to try and get featured in local media. If you are wanting to attract fellow professional photographers to attend your training courses, then you may want to consider pitching a behind-the-scenes tutorial that demonstrates your expertise to photography magazines.
Getting clear on why you want to be featured in the media is important as you’ll be able to then focus on only the opportunities that will help you achieve that.
Define your target audience
Knowing who your target audience is crucial to the success of your marketing and that’s no less true for PR-related activities.
Those dream clients who you’re trying to attract to your business will have their favourite newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs, podcasts and radio/TV shows. Do you know enough about them to know what media they consume?
Having this knowledge about your ideal client will help you to decide which media outlets are most important to your photography business.
Related reading: How to define and market to your perfect photography client
Develop a target media list
Which brings me nicely only my next point. Spend time developing your target media ‘wish list’. Completing this step thoroughly will be time well spent, I assure you.
You’ll want to keep notes about the media outlet/publication and the journalist’s name and contact information (email, phone number if available). If it’s radio/TV or podcast-related, note who the relevant producers or planning departments are.
Look on their websites to discover their email address and gather as much information as you can about them. Note what they cover and keep those these observations handy for your reference later.
Pro tip: Also, check Twitter and LinkedIn as journalists are usually active on these platforms and will have contact information available to view on their profiles.
Really get to know your target media
Once you’ve drawn up your media wish list, you’ll ideally then spend time developing a good working knowledge of the media outlets that you are planning to pitch to.
To significantly increase your chances of PR success, you’ll want to know what kind of content and stories they typically publish. Knowing what they’ve already covered or would perhaps never cover is also well worth noting.
An occasional skim read of a newspaper or magazine won’t give you enough insight into the publication, although it’s better than nothing.
Ideally, you’d spend time truly getting to know the publications you’d like to feature in. That way, you’ll gain a good knowledge of how your story could potentially fit in.
6. Follow the news
It’s important to be up to date with what’s happening in the photography industry and the wider world. So, watch the news, read newspapers, magazines, blogs etc. Also, keep an eye on trending topics in Twitter.
With a finger on the pulse, you’ll be able to potentially pick up on stories that you can leverage to your advantage – a technique known as newsjacking.
Related reading: How to use newsjacking to promote your photography business
Think like a journalist
My next tip is to take the time to understand how the media works and what journalists are looking for. This is fundamental to your success with PR and will help you become a PR-savvy photographer!
You need to keep in mind that journalists aren’t there to promote your business. PR is not advertising. There’s no guarantee of being featured in a publication as you would be if you were paying for an advert.
The journalists’ job is to provide topical, newsworthy content to their audience – their readers/listeners/viewers. That is their utmost priority.
Therefore, journalists are unlikely to be interested in anything that is too promotional. So, take time to refine your message and create a compelling pitch which is timely, specific and demonstrates its relevance to their publication.
[Tweet “The media don’t exist to promote your business. What can you offer them that is genuinely newsworthy? @zoehiljemark”]
Build relationships with journalists
Building relationships with journalists is really important to your PR success. I strongly suggest that you aim to make connections so that journalists get to know you and your business.
Also, aim to serve journalists – give them what they want, or connect them with people who can provide what they want.
Taking this approach could pay dividends in the long term as you’ll become a trusted contact and source of useful information.
Get PR resources prepared in advance
A few things you’re likely to need in your PR toolkit are professional headshots of yourself and a short biography of you with information about your photography business.
I highly recommend that you have these ready and available so that if a journalist asks for them, you can send them over quickly, without delay.
Make time for PR
Finally, dedicate time to promoting yourself. A PR-savvy photographer is someone who makes sourcing publicity an ongoing priority in their business.
Ideally, be on the lookout for PR opportunities every single day.
Related reading: How I can help you grow your photography business
Isn’t it time you became a more PR-savvy photographer?
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PR support to promote your photography business
If you’d like to know more about PR or need help with getting publicity for your photography business, get in touch. I work exclusively with photographers, helping them to get featured in the media. Discover my PR services here.