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DIY PRby Naomi Mannino
Whether you have a separate PR campaign or not, there is much YOU can do to power up your brand in the media´s and consumer´s eye.
PR Agents agree that whether or not you hire outside representation, there´s a lot you can do on your own to further your cause. And ‘Sharon and Alex´ (as they are known in the industry), of Esche and Alexander Public Relations, have even created a blog at www.beautyPRpro.com full of do-it-yourself PR tips and tactics you can really use. Below, the most important for today´s emerging media from our PR super-heroes:
Get active on social media. Develop relationships with as many people in your industry as you can through Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and other salon networking groups like SalonGalaxy. Position yourself as an insider and an expert. Everyone is talking about brands and you need to be part of that daily conversation — Share your news, trends, tips this way and it gets out immediately!
Harness the power of YOUTUBE. According to a recent survey by Entertainment Media Research, one in four YouTube users has used the site for work to understand more about a subject or topic important for their business, or to search out a particular product, or to check out the competition. While still a small percentage, 16% use YouTube for researching companies and products or to find a supplier of products or services, so create videos of things you are an expert at whether styling, coloring cutting, events at your salon, etc.
Get involved in your community. Contact the appropriate editors and producers in your town. Offer to do hair or makeup for charity events and benefits for no cost. Get involved in causes that are personally meaningful to you. Utilize your salon for outside events like displaying artwork or working with youth groups. Get out of your ‘hair´ comfort zone and attend other community events to meet people.
Invite the media in. Show them who you are and what your salon is about. There´s nothing better than word of mouth and there´s no better PR than an exquisite hair cut and experience at your salon!
Communicate. Constantly exchange information with your PR rep and with the press — it´s the key to developing a constant source of story ideas and contact.
Create a calendar. Think-up special events, promotions, seasonal styling tips, and trends in hair that go with each. Look for community events, charity functions, fashion and bridal shows to add to your calendar. This will give you an idea of what you can realistically do and give you plenty of time to plan events and alert the media!
Employ Search Engine Optimization. Boost internet search engine rankings for your website. Studies have shown that people pay attention to the first page of search results and the ones closer to the top. Check out www.diyseotools.com for free tutorials on the subject.
Subscribe to HARO — Peter Shankman´s www.helpareporter.com is a free service where journalists can find and connect with sources that fit their stories and you can learn what journalists are writing about and answer queries to be interviewed for trends and tips — but you have to respond immediately!
Invest in media training. If you want to be on TV, prepare yourself. Period.
Produce hi-res photos. If you want to make it easy for a smaller magazine to pick up your work, create photos in the format that´s appropriate for print publication which is at least 300 dpi.