Public Relations stories!
Yes, you can make R5,000-R6,000 a week from home. PR is the art of getting free exposure through newspaper articles, radio shows and TV programmes. Swanky agencies charge thousands for doing what you can do cheaper, better and more profitably from home.
1. Every company needs PR but medium-sized businesses are your best clients.
Target clients in your immediate area. It’s easy to get free exposure for local companies from your local newspapers, for instance. They’re crying out for good stories to fill their pages.
2. Agree to a new PR story with your client every Monday morning. The best stories include:
- A new product or new lower price.A big deal that’s just been signed.Charity donation.Your client’s take on an important local or national story.”How to” information leading to a recommendation for your client’s services.Leadership or specialist advice (from the company’s MD).
3. Now write that story up into a press release.
- Use the firm’s stationery.Write “News Release” in capitals across the centre of the top of the page.Place the words “Release Date” a few lines below this and put the date.Lead with people, names, local interest, exciting headlines and newsworthy angles.
Don’t over “rave” about the company you’re representing. Good publicity is inferred rather than stated.
- Make sure the press release includes full contact details for your client’s business.End with your contact details in case the journalist wants more information.Write in the style of the publication you’re targeting.Ensure the company you’re working for approves every press release before you send it. It’s embarrassing and unprofessional to have to withdraw a press release before the publication you sent it to goes to print.
4. Mail, fax or email newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations that match the target market of the company. Wednesday and Thursday are good days. Journalists are often desperate for space fillers at the end of the week.
5. Develop a relationship with the editor of your target publications. Issues are usually planned three months ahead. So ask for their features list and see if you can contribute a “space filler” that will suit these articles. But don’t expect every article you submit to be published. If an editor doesn’t like your piece, ask for some feedback so you can submit a better article next time. But don’t harass the editor!
6. Bill your client. A short paragraph or 20 seconds of airtime can literally be worth R5,000-R50,000 free advertising to your client. So, even as a newcomer, you should charge R1,000-R1,300 for writing one press release. Build a base of five regular clients and you’ll earn R5,000-R6,500 each week from part-time home PR. (It’s also a good idea to charge per article to start with and then move onto a monthly retainer fee thereafter.)
7. Keep a clippings file of all published press releases to build your own personal portfolio. And don’t forget to send your client a copy too.
Even one or two hours worth of work a week could secure you as much as an extra R6,500 a month!