Public Relations 101 for Freelancers and Small Business Owners | Susan Palmquist | Skillshare

Public Relations 101 for Freelancers and Small Business Owners

Susan Palmquist, Author, Dream Inspirer and Writing Guru

Public Relations 101 for Freelancers and Small Business Owners

Susan Palmquist, Author, Dream Inspirer and Writing Guru

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10 Lessons (25m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. PR Versus Advertising

    • 3. Setting Goals

    • 4. Finding Your Target Audience

    • 5. Important Elements of PR

    • 6. Customer Service

    • 7. Connecting With Your Audience

    • 8. Social Media

    • 9. Measuring Success

    • 10. Class Recap

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About This Class

Do you struggle to gain publicity for you or your business? In this beginner's guide to public relations you'll learn how to finally get more focused on reaching your target audience. How to set specific public relations goals, find the ideal way to reach your customers, how to keep them and how to gauge and tweak your results.


Meet Your Teacher

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Susan Palmquist

Author, Dream Inspirer and Writing Guru



I’m Susan Palmquist and for the last 20 years I’ve been an author, freelance writer, editor, blogger, teacher and tutor, (and before that I was a publicist).

It feels like I’ve squeezed a lot into two decades and it’s my tips and experience that I’ve learned along the way that I’m now happy to share with you here at Skillshare.

I’d like to show you how you too can write for fun or even for a living whether it be fiction or non-fiction.

Getting published wasn’t easy for me but I’m now the author, (under my own name and pen name Vanessa Devereaux), of 100 plus books and counting. There’s nothing I love more than helping others do the same thing.

I have my own coaching and critiquing business... See full profile

Related Skills

Marketing Business

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1. Introduction: Hi, My name? Susan Palmquist. And welcome to public relations 101 On who is this class suitable for while First of all, I think it suitable for everyone, but especially freelances and business owners, newly launched businesses and even people who have an established business but want to take their public relations campaigns upto another level and maybe reach and you target audience . I'll tell you a little bit about May I'm a freelance writer and also, but before that I worked in public relations, mostly for non profit organizations. I was a publicist for three years, and after that I ran my own PR company for a couple of years before turning to my writing career. I have no formal training in public relations, which I feel is a very good thing because I learnt the ropes by, I think, being thrown in at the deep end. And sometimes that's the best way to learn from your mistakes and really, uh, gather great information that you've not been taught from basically 1/3 party. So I'm hoping I can share some of that with you. Your English class I'm working for nonprofit is, ah, really good training ground because you've got a limited budget, so you learn to be creative with what you have. So what will this class cover? I'll be going over the difference between PR and advertising. How to set your PR goals. Finding your target audience, being consistent with your PR campaigns, the role of customer service in public relations. I'm working with the media, social media and then finally, how we measure our success with any PR campaign. So I'll hope you'll join me and I'll see you in less than one where we're focused on the difference between public relations and advertising Hope to see you there. 2. PR Versus Advertising : Hello and thank you for joining me A in this class. And in this first lesson, I'd like to touch briefly upon the differences between public relations and advertising. I know lots of people get the two terms mixed up, but there is an easy difference being that public relations is completely free to you. Never have to pay Teoh engage in any public relations activity, whereas with advertising, you have to pay to money and decide where you want it placed when on the media you're going to use on. The one thing I like about public relation, as opposed to advertising, is because you're not paying for it on 1/3 party. That's the media considerate worthy to run it in the newspaper or area on their TV station . It comes across to your audience basically your potential customers as much more credible and reliable, which I think always translates into more cells for you on it. It's almost as if on independent persons opinion in the endorsement of your business or product, is there ready built in for you. So I I'm not saying you don't, you know, never go with advertising, but if you have a choice. I always like to go the public relations route because I think that it is that built in credibility. And you're gonna win more customers, more repeat customers, which translates into more cells. So if you have the choice light, I go the PR route on DA and see how that goes before you invest any money in advertising. That's it for this brief lesson. And then the next lesson, I'm going to tell you all about setting goals for your PR campaign on. I'll see you then. 3. Setting Goals: hello and welcome back. And here we are at lesson to which is all about setting goals. Andi, Just like every other task you do in your business, you need to sit down and write down what your goals are before you start each and every one of your public relations campaigns. For example, what do you want to achieve? I'll use the example of maybe someone who has a fashion line. It could be that you want to target a new segment of consumers with your new line of clothing you've just designed. Let's say it's designed for busy moms of Children under 10 years of age. But let's get more specific. And I say the more specific you get, the easy it's going to be to know who you're gonna target and how you can reach your audience. Ah, so remember the more target specific you get, the more chance you have of connecting with the audience. That's going to be more receptive to what you're selling. So in this example, I just mentioned your goal would be I will target all media outlets that cater to mothers with young Children in the 5 to 10 age range on in the next lesson, I'll tell you how we're gonna find those media outlets to reach that specific audience. So I'll see you then. 4. Finding Your Target Audience: hello and welcome back without the lesson about finding your target audience in the previous lesson, I told you that every public relations campaign needs a specific goal. Now I'm going to show you how we find your target audience. I'm gonna use the same example I did in the previous lesson. That about the clothes designer who's targeting ah moms with Children in the 5 to 10 age range on the first step is to think about this specific group of people within the general population. Think about where you're going to connect best with these women. For example, do the majority off them read parenting magazines? Maybe they watch talk shows, Or do they spend most of their time online on sites like Instagram? Think about where your time energy should be focused on. You'll discover. Maybe mothers don't have time to read print magazines anymore. Um, then you know you shouldn't send press releases to ah, that segment of the media because you'd be wasting your time. You wouldn't be up to reach your target audience. Maybe you found out that they spent a lot of time on Instagram. Maybe it's while they're waiting to pick their Children up from school on. That's where you need to focus your time, maybe posting photos of your new line of clothing, gaining followers and building your list There. On. In the next lesson, I'm going to tell you about some important aspects off the PR campaign that you need to do every time, and that's building trust and consistency once you found your target audience or see you there. 5. Important Elements of PR: Hello. I'm welcome back. And in this lesson, I'm gonna tell you about three important elements of the PR campaign and every PR campaign and your PR strategy over over. You know, overall, I know a lot of people probably would say, Oh, maybe, you know, I'm a bit picky about this, but when I but worked in public relations, I really thought that these three things were, ah, a way of setting the organization. I represented all the client I represented from their competitors. So I really want Teoh kind of stress. This lesson is probably the most important of all. And in the previous lesson, we follow the long, so far with the self employed fashion designer who has a new line of clothing for moms with Children in the 5 to 10 age range on with narrowed down her perfect place to connect with her intended audience. And that's instagram. So in this lesson, I'm gonna tell you what you need to get do to continue to connect with the audience on and , you know, keep that relationship going and on be a reliable source on the first thing is consistency . Once you've connected, make sure you stay connected. I know a lot of people make that connection, and then they just go away. So don't post photos and interact with your followers for a few weeks, and they're not post anything or done. Interact with them until you have a new product. That's that's not the way to go. If you think about when you make a new friend, you don't talk to them. Maybe, you know, just for a few days, and then they don't hear from you for a year, and then you pick up the phone again. I think that's an easy way to lose a friend, and it's an easy way. Teoh lose a customer, too. Eso the same goes for your audience, and the second thing is reliability. Your audience has to rely on you of a source of a product or service that doesn't just deliver greatness once in a blue moon. But every time they do business with you, they have to rely on you to give them top notch customer service, to which I'll be touching on in another lesson and which now leads me into the third thing that you should always establish. And that's trust your audience has to trust you enough to be consistent, a reliable business, and you know you're competing with lots of other businesses. So if say your competitors offers them a lower price, you know they're going to stick with you because you've become that consistent, reliable business that they just absolutely love. So those three things working together can really set you apart from your competitors and translate into more cells. So in the next lesson, I am going to touch upon customer service and why? I think it's important to get ahead and stay ahead in the public relations game, so I'll see you then. 6. Customer Service: hello and welcome back. And this lesson focuses on customer service. And I truly believe that any class on public relations wouldn't be complete without mentioning the role of customer service in gaining and keeping customers who are going to buy your products and services. I think it's really important on. I probably don't have toe tell you that every every organization from banks. The airlines have recently kind of dealt with negative publicity because of their poor customer service decisions, so it really is vital. I always feel that customer services kind of like the backbone of populations on. It's a waste of your time trying to gain exposure for your business if you you're not gonna be respectful of your customers, because let's face it, without customers, you don't have a business. So always keep that in mind on. I know you're always going to get people who are complaining. As you know, no matter what you do, they're gonna complain, or they're gonna want to refund or you know they're gonna wind to you about something you've done on. It's kind of par for the course for being a business owner or freelance or whatever. Even you know, as freelancers have clients and we have to deal with people who aren't happy with our work , and maybe they want us to rewrite something. But as I said, it's par for the course and those people are kind of a minute segment. And it's the other 99.9% who you know, you want to give good customer service two. And you also I should I'd want to give good customer service to the wine is too because, uh, once you get a negative reaction, that kind of spreads quicker than if you do something good. So, uh, whenever you do get a complaint, always ask the customer, you know, what can we do to put this right? Or how could we have? How could we do this better next time around? You'd be surprised how that really can calm down. Even you know, the angriest off customers or clients because we all we will think our opinion is valuable . And when someone thinks, you know, like, oh, I took time out to ask them what they thought, what I could do differently. It's kind of like really praising them and thinking all this is this this makes me feel good on that, In turn is good customer service. So ah, adopter, that the customer is always right Philosophy and kind of Get everyone in your company if you have other employees on board and kind of set the standard for customer service and and , uh, kind of establish how you gonna approach people may be a difficult customer and what your outlook is on customer service and what you can provide to keep everyone happy. Because there again ah, it's a very business is very competitive no matter what element you're in, whether it's, you know, fashion design or or, you know, selling maybe office products. Um, keeping your customer happy is should be the bottom line on Uh, please don't overlook this element when you're putting together your public relations campaign. So that's it for kind of like how to keep the customer happy. And in the next lesson, I'm gonna show you some easy ways. You can use the media to connect with your audience, so I'll see you then 7. Connecting With Your Audience: Hello and welcome back on in this lesson, I'm going Teoh, tell you how you can connect with your audience on the role of the media in your campaign. And while you can connect with people directly now and talk to the involve social media, the true way to reach the masses is through the media that TV, radio, podcast, newspapers, magazines on a popular vehicle for doing that is the news release. It's sometimes called a press release, and I'm not going to get into too much of that here because that's not the focus of this class. But I will direct you to another class or have on skill share, and that's called getting noticed on. I do go into more detail about what the press really should and shouldn't include and what makes a good one. But basically it's the what why, when, where, how on describes an event, a product launch or maybe a new service you're offering? The only drawback to the press release is that you know the media really get flooded with them. I don't know what the statistic is on how money they receive every day, but I know it's a lot so there's two other ways that I always used to use that kind of, Ah, I call it the backdoor approach. You know that instead of sending the news release, I'd send them a kind of a question and answer format. I'd write down a set of questions that they probably would ask my client or the organization I was writing, and then I provide the answers for them. Ah, the next thing I used to do was be a ready made article. Maybe someone in you know, the organization was getting on award for their volunteer efforts or one of my clients was launching a new product. I'd write an article about it and just send it, as is to say, a newspaper or radio station. And, you know, with the radio station, I was hoping that maybe it would turning into an interview, but with the print media, sometimes they would. They would run it as in and the same goes for the question and answer on the bottom line is , you know, the meter. Very busy. They're bombarded with different stuff, especially now with ALS. The social media is going on around everything on if you have something ready made for them . It could be your opportunity to get in, you know, segment that other people won't be doing because they'd be going the new use release around on. No, this weigh on. You can really kind of sneak in there and also get on the good side of the media because sometimes they have for gaps to fill, maybe in a print magazine. Or, you know, an interviewee didn't show up. And I need someone really quickly. And if you're there at the ready, you've said the day you're the hero and they will remember you the next time around. So, you know, it's a way of getting in their good books, too. So don't overlook the question answer and the ready made article. And in the next lesson, I'm gonna focus more on the social media side off the public relations campaign. So I'll see you then. 8. Social Media: hello and welcome back. And in this lesson, I'm going to focus on the social media side off your public relations campaign, and I'll make a quick admission here. When I worked in a public relation, I guess you'd call it back in the day of the dinosaurs because social media as we know it today just did not exist. I had to kind of do everything the old fashioned way on. The thing I do like about social media is that it does enable you to do a lot of your public relations work on your own. You don't need a newspaper or TV to reach your audience, so I think that's great. And it would have made my job a lot easier when I worked in public relations. But just like the old days, you even now you got to figure out where is your target audience and where do they hang out on how you're going to connect with them? So you want to look at where the outlet is, the way your kind of customers hang out. It could be maybe Facebook or it might be Twitter on. Do you know, don't focus on Facebook if you know that everyone you're trying to sell to or connect with is on Twitter. So kind of do you research and that that should be one of your specific goals is trying to figure out where they're, whether hanging out at and always make sure that you adjust each public relations campaign , maybe like using the example of the fashion designer. This time around, it's instagram because that's where those young mumps hang out. But maybe she's got a line off clothing for maybe a, you know, an older population, and maybe they're hanging out on Facebook. So, you know, mix and match in and adjust as you launch a new product or launch a new public relations campaign because that that that makes it really successful. So in the next lesson, I'm gonna tell you how weak engage whether your campaign has been successful and if it's know how we can tweak it and adjust it so I'll see you then 9. Measuring Success: Hello. I am Welcome back. And this is a brief lesson on how we measure success in every public relations campaign. And measuring success is important because, um, it not only tells you whether you're on the right track, but kind of condemn erect you in the right area for the next next time around. And if you remember the first lesson when I told you about setting a PR goal on, uh, you know, when you put bright that down also want you to write underneath what the outcome off that girl was, whether you consider it successful or not. Like the fashion designer, one of the examples there was maybe posting some photos of the new line of clothing on instagram. And then maybe you'd write down go 300 new followers, 50 of which purchased at least one item for my new line. Maybe under the Twitter that she tried connecting with showing got five new followers on like translated into zero cells. So you know that Twitter didn't work, but instagram didn't. But I should add that's for that public relations campaign. The next one. You know, if you got the different line, it may be that Twitter works like I mentioned in the previous lesson on social media. But this is a good way to gauge where you're going. Was it a success? And, you know, uneven where you feel comfortable connecting with your audience. I have some people don't like using social media, but it does help. You kind of paved the way for future public relations campaign. So, you know, definitely measure success and see how that kind of tied him with your goal and maybe what you can do differently next time and never give up because some campaigns or works, some don't. And public relations unfortunately, sometimes all about learning from your mistakes. So that's it on this lesson. And in the last lesson, I'm gonna recap everything that I've covered in the cloth, so hope to see you then. 10. Class Recap: hello and welcome to the final lesson, which is a close recap. I'm going to go over everything I've covered in the class. The first thing is, remember that PR is free. You shouldn't have to pay to kind of get the word out to your audience. Where is advertising? Isn't the mind thing to remember is always set goals on plan and be a specific, as you can really target in like the example I used of the fashion designer who had the new line of clothing for young mothers with Children ages five through 10. The more specific you can get, the more you'll be able. Teoh kind of connect with that target audience. Another important thing is, once you're connected with them, stay connected with them, don't engage with them and then go away and you know hope that they're still there When you decide to come back, that's that's the wrong approach you need. Teoh keep that kind of connection. Onda almost like a friendship going on. Don't let it kind of fall by the wayside. The next thing is, I want you to treat your customer like they were a king. That's the most important thing of the easiest way Teoh lose everything that you build up is to, uh get, you know, word of mouth that, oh, you offer bad customer service. So I think that, you know, that's a waste of your time and everyone's time on. Put together a customer service plan for your company. Get everyone on board, get everyone on the same page. So you know how to deal with the problem when it arises and before it arises and use the right social medium platform is so much out there. I know it's confusing Twitter Facebook, but find out where your audience hangs out on, you know, don't wish to time going on. Ah, platforms where you know you can't make a connection on finally gauge your success and tweak it if necessary. Like I mentioned in the last lesson, a lot of public relations, especially public relationship to yourself, is kind of learning by your mistakes. X. And you get better at it as you go along and get more confidence to. So, you know, always gauge how successful you being. Well, that's about it. And I want to thank you very, very much for taking this class And if you do want to look at my other class called getting noticed, I cover some of what I've covered in this class. But there's a lot more stuff. If you really want Teoh, you know, Launch, you're on public relations campaign. I just want to learn more about public relations and working with the media and connecting with the right people. So I'll, you know, direct you to that on. And once again, thank you very much for taking this class. If you have any questions, leave them for me. I'll get back to you as soon as I can. On I wish you every success with your current and future public relation campaigns. Thank you again and take care.