The first in a series of three guest posts from Lucy Werner founder of The Wern, this week we are looking at what you need in your media toolkit.



You don’t put on trainers and start running a marathon; you train first. So here are some essentials for you to nail before you start speaking to the media. I will be speaking about this in depth in my book out for pre-order later this year, so please register your details if you would like more information.


Biography

You would be amazed at the amount of times I ask for a biography and company owners don’t have one OR it is so fecking long no-one wants to read it.

Even when you create your biography, it may still need to be tailored for different publications or the end result. Remember one-size fits no-one BUT get your 150 words nailed.

For more info on how to write bios click here.

Headshot – Do’s & Dont’s

  • DO – invest in some decent photography of you and your key stakeholders
  • DO – take against a plain background and don’t overly brand
  • DO – have a mixture of portrait and landscape headshots
  • DON’T – have a random selection of team against different backdrops
  • DON’T – use an out of date image, consider revising at least every six months, if nothing else so that when you google your name you have a mixture or imagery
  • DON’T – be inappropriate, definitely show personality but Putin with his shirt off catching a fish is not the vibe any entrepreneur should be going for (unless ironic)

One-liners – The Great

You need to be able to nail exactly what your business does in one sentence. If you have to take a paragraph to explain it then or your Gran/5-year old doesn’t understand you have failed.

Here are three of my faves, they create intrigue and make you want to no more:

  • Peanut – Peanut shows you likeminded Mamas near you and makes it easy to meet
  • Karma – Find delicious food from restaurants, cafes and grocery stores to enjoy at half the regular price
  • Rainchq – Inspiring more women to invest

One-liners – The Ugly

  • Anon – The agency is dead, long live the club. The rebirth of the for-purpose disruptive agency is here.
  • Anon – It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken.
  • Anon – A body for everyboday (served against one of the least inclusive images going)

Boiler Plate – What doesn’t change

Just like Donald Trump’s hair, boiler plates have existed since the first press release. In fact, the original press releases were written in full onto metal printing plates of prepared texts and were copied as news verbatim. Now it generally refers to the bit of text that doesn’t change. Specifically, in the PR world this is the equivalent of the ‘About business’ paragraph.

  • Keep this short, sharp and succinct.
  • Show it to someone who doesn’t know anything about your business and make sure that they can read it and understand what your business does.
  • Cut out any words or language you don’t need.
  • This should a factual non-pithy marketing paragraph.

Press Release – The Marmite

I mean, who knew press releases could be so divisive? These days press releases are written all too often on the opening of an envelope and it’s not always necessary.

I would say 100% draft a press release. If a journalist or anyone for that matter wants more information you need to have the information prepared. But don’t just write one and then fire it out on a mail merge. It’s not PR it’s called spam.

If you are sending a press release, then make sure you are also sending out a bespoke pitch that is tailored to that specific publication. How to write a press release is a whole blog post in itself. We’ll get onto that for you very soon!.

Want to learn more?

I’m working with Found & Flourish on their first ever PR Power Hour, which is a collaboration with some of the UK’s best female PR experts specialising in small businesses and entrepreneurs. If you want to hear from leading industry experts on how to do publicity grab your tickets for just £35 here: 

All attendees will also have the opportunity for a whole hour of speed networking with all of the panellists, including myself, worth over £100 of one-to-one PR consultancy. This is a great event for anyone who wants some affordable PR quality help without paying for the agency price tag. 

If you want further access to free PR resources, events, tips and general wittering’s from myself then click here.


About the Author

Lucy Werner is founder of The Wern, a communications consultancy for small businesses, entrepreneurs and independent brands.

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