Early Stage PR

with Julie Crabill

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Fundamentals of public relations

Julie Crabill

Founder & CEO, PR Expert

Lessons Learned

The fundamental building blocks of PR are stories, relationships, insights, and expertise.

Decide where you need to go & build a path back from there.

Build relationships with reporters by offering quotes and meaningful introductions.


Lesson: Early Stage PR with Julie Crabill

Step #3 Basics: Fundamentals of public relations

From the broadest perspective, the fundamental building blocks of PR are stories, relationships, and insights into the market. So I think that takes the form of who cares about what at what time, how can we be part of what they care about and be helpful to them as well as what's going on with major competitors, what are the trends, what do people care about now, macro-economic issues, global concerns, things like that. And then the expertise—so where should you be speaking, who should you be talking to, how can anyone make sure that the person who is the figurehead of the company is getting the right kinds of attention from the right kinds of people?

So, with storytelling, that first building block, the next step is the medium with which you tell the story. So I think it can be anything from news to articles you write, to social channels like Twitter and Facebook, and even the way that you tell your story on Instagram and things of that nature, knowing that there are all these different media that you can use to your benefit to tell your story to the right people at the right time.

Where do you need to go and how are you going to get there? And then building back from that, what are the tools that you need to make that happen? So what are the themes that you want to touch on? Who are the people that you want to get to know? So it might be that this year you saying that you want to be on stage at TED as a lowly entrepreneur who just started out doesn't really make sense. But it doesn't mean that we can't get you there, that you can't help yourself get there. So, knowing the path to get there.

And then, all of the tools that you need will also be your messaging, your brand positioning, how do you want to talk about yourself? How do you want others to talk about you? I've seen companies say, "We're the Apple of X. We're the Pixar of X." It makes my skin crawl. Don't say that yourself. Say things that get somebody else to say that about you. You don't want to be quoted saying that about yourself, but you would love for the headline of the article that somebody writes to be that.

Again, how you start with PR really depends on your needs¬¬—what is your budget, how much do you have to spend, if you don't have anything to spend it's totally fine. I think it's, again, asking for that advice from somebody, saying, "This is not a hobby for me. This is a real business that I'm planning to build. This is the big bet that I'm making. When does it make sense to invest and how much and at what stage is it really, really critical to create that hockey stick effect for my business,” and finding somebody who you can trust to give you clear advice on that.

So, I think a lot of it is building a lot of the foundational stuff yourself so that there is that good story being told, and that can be talking to that handful of one or two press people early on. It can be doing things that don't necessarily help you in the short-term but can pay off in the long-term in terms of offering quotes to media, or interesting data and research that you might have, or even saying to a reporter, "Hey, I know you're working on this story. I can't personally help you, but I can actually introduce you to this guy who will have interesting stuff to say. So using that kind of network effect and tapping into that to offer introductions and things like that would be great.

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