…You want to do PR for your company. So what do you do first?

Maybe it was an easy decision, or maybe it was hard; but trust me: You’ve made the right choice. Look, PR is by far the most valuable and cost-effective way to increase your customer base and take your business to the next level. But PR isn’t something you can just dive into blindly if you want to maximize your results. It’s a step-by-step process.

First thing you need to do is identify and create a game plan, and then design your PR campaign accordingly. You need to research who your target audience is and the media venues where they get their information. Once you identify them, you’ll need to decide on a key message and figure out how it’s relevant to them. Always keep this in mind: The media doesn’t work for you; they work for their readers, listeners and viewers. Your message needs to always align with the media’s needs.

In every aspect of your PR campaign, be sure to serve the media’s interests. It’s the only way to really gain the media’s attention and thus, reach your target audience. And one of the best ways to serve the media’s interests is by making their job easier.

Ask any seasoned publicist or DIY PR pro what your first step should be and they’ll all tell you the same thing: Get organized! You need to have all your press materials organized in a way that makes it easy for the media to access them. Online press kits are the best tool to do this. Once you gather your bios, media coverage, news stories and ideas, articles and other press-related materials, you can simply upload them to your online press kit. What’s great is that, instead of sending the media attachment after attachment, all you need to do is send them a single link to your press kit. It’s simple and, not only will it keep you organized, it keeps the media organized and makes their job easier!

So if you’ve decided do PR for yourself or your company, check back often and join the PitchRate community if you haven’t done so already. When you sign up you’ll automatically be enrolled in my free online marketing course Publicity Results! Catapulting Your Business with Media Coverage.