Business Plan / Career / Women Entrepreneurship

PR Yourself: 5 Ways To Promote Yourself Without An Agency

. 6 min read . Written by Aakanksha Gupta
PR Yourself: 5 Ways To Promote Yourself Without An Agency

Mystified by the strange, new world of personal branding and public relations? Aakanksha Gupta – founder of PR company The Other Circle – simplifies what PR means, and gives us her top tips on managing PR for yourself or for your business.

Branding is one of the top professional words of 2020. But getting your personal brand on point, communicating what it is successfully AND getting work by doing your own PR sounds difficult, right?

Sure, it does sound difficult. But it can be easy. Here’s how you can take your PR game from 0 to 100, and become a pro at DIY Communications!

If you want to know more about DIY PR, sign up to the Kool Kanya community to watch Aakanksha Gupta’s session on ‘How To Do PR FOr Yourself.’ Sign up now.

aakanksha gupta

Let’s start with the basics…

What Is Public Relations (PR)?

Click here to jump straight to the section on how to manage PR for business without professional knowledge.

Public Relations is essentially everything you see about your brand in public, whether it is third-party credibility or opinions about it.

On a larger scale, it is a field in which businesses and individuals actively develop and nurture a positive public reputation. They do this using a variety of paid and unpaid avenues, all of which are centred around communications.

public relations

The avenues include traditional media, such as billboards, print and television; social media, such as digital press releases and influencer marketing, and in-person engagements, such as public participation. PR can also help businesses and individuals when their credibility is in question.

Everyone from politicians to CEOs achieve their positions using PR. People are hired based on how they do their own PR and products are sold depending on their PR strategies.

How Does PR Affect Your Brand Or Your Business?

PR impacts your personal brand/business in more ways than one, and you will need different forms of it in different stages of the life cycle of your brand/business.

Every time someone speaks about your brand, they are exercising some form of influence, and this influence is generated by well-thought-out and tastefully-placed PR strategies.

You just have to learn to implement PR in your own life and career to help your professional brand benefit from it. Your PR strategy will depend on your product/service, your launch plan, your cash burn, the areas you work in, languages you sell in, product innovation, and more.

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How To Manage PR For Business Without Professional Knowledge

paper cups

Public Relations is not just a job, or a space for your business to dip in and out of. It teaches you resilience, research, adherence to deadlines, time management and more. Learning how to do your own PR is a great way to not just expand your business, but to sharpen your ability to run it.

Here are 5 ways to kick off PR for your business at little to no cost.

Do Your Research

Good PR is backed up by an in-depth understanding of what your client/demographic wants/needs. Knowledge of political, economic, legal, environmental, social and technological aspects will help you develop better strategies and implement them.

Learn what you can about the space your business is in, and what strategies work for your client/demographic in terms of reaching them, building your reputation, and generating conversions. Then watch how others have implemented it, and take notes. 

Businesses cannot be built in silos. If someone else is doing what you do, or something similar, then look into their professional reputation, online presence and professional network. See what you can do similarly, and what you can do differently.

Pro tip: Quora, Reddit, Youtube, Instagram and Facebook posts and comments can give insight into the ever evolving consumer base.

Make Bite-Sized, Crisp, Visual Content (But Stay Creative!)

Digital media is the present and future of PR. So if your business is new, then it’s good to get onboard ASAP. There are tons of free tools and softwares available online which can be used to demonstrate, rather than just tell.

beads spelling out content

Explore all the avenues you can to find, settle into and grow the best possible one for your business. The avenue could be communications, digital marketing, content creation, influencer marketing, campaigns, events, and many more.

Focus on the action, not just the aesthetic. Don’t divert all your resources on the look of your brand. Focus as much on the feel and experience of it. It’s better to build a good product that sells itself easily, than a semi-decent one that needs a whole lot of mind-numbing strategising.

PR should begin where the product ends, not where the product fails.

Develop Your Communication Skills

People management is imperative to PR, and to running a business at large — it’s pretty much an industry agnostic skill.

Learn how to lobby for yourself, skills and products. It’s worth developing your confidence, public speaking capabilities and communication skills to get yourself and others talking about your brand! For quality PR, focus on building a network that can serve as your third-party credibility. 

Pro tip: Do as many favours as possible, because favours always come around in forms of positive payback.

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Networking is everything. Make the growth of it a part of your business strategy. You can grow your network professionally on platforms like the Kool Kanya Community, while your personal network will involve people with platforms who can be enlisted to advocate for your product.

Tell as many people as possible about your business. You never know who’s listening or when an opportunity might knock on your door. Relevance is in the eye of the beholder, so be willing to carry your own soapbox wherever you go.

Stay Relevant, Stay On Top Of Trends

Don’t allow yourself to lose sight of current affairs, especially in your industry.

Your PR strategy should be ever-changing, so you have to be nimble-footed, and change track as and when necessary.

Read, read and keep reading. Read every book you can about PR, listen to every podcast, and take as many notes as possible. 

Coursera, LinkedIn and numerous other platforms have a variety of paid and unpaid resources, courses and more. These can help you learn more, and perhaps better, when you don’t come from a PR background.

Don’t Just Stick To Traditional PR

Pro tip: Old forms of influence and public reputation are dying out. Hyperlocal can take you places.

speaker with likes on it

Print positioning is no longer the one and only way, and focussing on building localised credibility can be important, especially for small businesses. 

Hyperlocal PR can help generate better leads, improve your marketing strategy, and heighten your credibility.

Be willing to pay a little bit to market yourself or your business locally, as that’s where the conversions usually start.

Doing PR is very rough-around-the-edges, but your public reputation itself should not be. So focus on building bridges. Every step of that bridge building matters; from getting the right architect, to choosing the correct location, to acquiring the necessary construction materials and equipment, to roping in the perfect person to cut the ribbon on the day it opens to the public.

So go out there, and PR yourself! Your business deserves a little PR love, which can help it grow and help you achieve your business goals!

If you want to know more about DIY PR, sign up to the Kool Kanya community to watch Aakanksha Gupta’s session on ‘How To Do PR FOr Yourself.’ Sign up now.

aakanksha gupta

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