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2019-05-29 (1)
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PR The Inbound Way

By Mike Midgley Posted 26 September, 2019 In GrowthEngine Community - Article - PR The Inbound Way

In this Growth Engine Daily, I'd like to ask you if you're still either using or considering public relations, PR. 




PR Old School

So, in any small, medium enterprise, moving up through the gears, PR is often seen as a last resort.

If you go and look at the traditional PR agencies, they're looking at monthly retainer fees, where they're pushing out 

  • Your stories

  • Your messages

  • Your content

  • Your announcements

All in return for shared media. 

Now, a lot of people don't see the direct correlational return on public relations, because they think, 

"Hey, I'm paying a PR agency three grand a month, or two grand a month and I might or might not get featured, or my article in a number of press releases."

Now, PR, like anything, there's a skill behind it. 

PR Is A Must, But There's A Better Modern Way

There's a lot of work goes on behind the scenes, but ultimately,  what I've seen a lot of the more of, in more modern and dynamic businesses is that PR seems to have taken a back seat when, in fact, it should really be right up there as part of your strategy. 

If you're already creating content, you may have heard a lot of influencers at the moment talking about repurposing content and making sure that you distribute that content into as many places as possible, and PR is a great way to do that.

I recently interviewed Iliyana Stareva from HubSpot on Inbound PR. 

I highly recommend you go and get that book. Get it off Amazon here. It's on Audible as well. 

Also, check out the podcast with Iliyana on TheOpenMike Podcast Blog

Iliyana’s a global partner manager at HubSpot

However she originally came from a traditional PR background, but what Iliyana's actually done, is she's learned to blend the inbound methodology with PR. 

So, when you look at the PSEO model 

  • Paid - things like Google Ads, Facebook Ads where you pay to get exposure. 

  • Shared - Shared is where people are sharing their own content

  • Earned - is where people are adopting, distributing and printing that in the publications

  • Owned - is stuff like your blog, your websites and the channels that you control

The Importance Of Developing Media Personas

But it's interesting how Iliyana talks about building your persona for inbound marketing, but, also, building a persona for journalists. 

Now, it depends what industry you're in, of course. 

If you're in biotech or sciences, versus food or retail, leisure, things like that, you're going to have different journalists covering different topics.

So one of the first things that Iliyana mentioned was to make sure that you not only create your persona for your customer but make sure you create your media personas. 

And that might be a headache, I get a lot of people saying, 

"Mike, I've only just spent, God knows how many hours creating my personas." 

Yeah, well that's the start of everything. "And now you're telling me I've got to go and do them for PR."

 Well, yeah, because, ultimately, that reach, that share, that exposure to new audiences, bring significant amounts of traffic and influence.

Building Relationships With Media Influencers

There's no such thing as free media because there's either time, energy or money going in to develop your exposure if you're paying a PR agency, but you can actually do this yourself. 

Just search out the top food critique journalists, or biotech science journalists, or construction journalists, or software journalists. 

Doesn't matter. pick a dozen, two dozen, three dozen and direct message them on Twitter. 

Ask them, see if they'll give you a profile of what type of stuff they're looking for, and then build up media persona. 

And it's going to really give you an ability to sort of say, 

"Right, when I've produced a piece of content, it's on my blog." 

And if you set up a template, with something like a HubSpot, or whatever autoresponder that you're using, you can simply just send a quick email out and say, you know, 

"Hey, journalist's name as a journalist in biotech, science, construction, food, whatever the niche is, here's an article I've recently written, please feel free to use it or distribute accordingly."

Now, I don't exactly have a number for you, but it is a big figure, maybe even in the thousands, the number of irrelevant pitches journalists get for PR each month, mostly irrelevant to what they write about.

So what I mean about irrelevant pitches, and this is a trick that Iliyana was asking us to sort of be aware of is if we've got a food critic, on restaurants, food, that type of thing, and you're sending them press releases about, construction, or carpet cleaning, or pet shops, it's just going to go straight into spam.

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Maintain Relevance To Become Valuable

Whereas, actually, if you build that relationship with them and speak to them on social, even pick up the phone and have a chat with them, if they're prepared to give you that time, and you know exactly the types of articles that they like to review relevant to their industry.

Let's say that that's French cuisine or, Spanish cuisine, or it's vegan cuisine, it doesn't really matter, you get the idea.

If you can then send them specific things, drop them a quick message. 

Because you've had that relationship with them, you've understood their critique style of what they do, you're sending them relevant content, which is more likely to get published, distributed and shared.

Doesn't it make sense? 

If you're a restaurant working with vegans that if you're sending restaurant and food critiques, journalists vegan information and that's what they report on, it's more likely they're going to use it. 

So it is common sense, like a lot of the stuff that we come across on a regular basis, but, ultimately, it's just getting that back to the top of mind for you, so you can start to sort of understand Inbound PR.


  1. Once you've created your content against your buyer persona, then go and create media personas. 

  2. Check with them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram channels that they are more active on. 

  3. Build a relationship with them, then build a persona around those people. 

  4. Interview four, five, six, start to build your network. 

  • Inbound_PR_by_Iliyana_Stareva__1_

Every time you raise a piece of content or produce a piece of content, spin that out there, it's free, It's earned media, basically, that they're going to use it and put it out there, and, of course, outside of the time to distribute once you've done that, it's a free yet version for you.

So hope you find that useful. 

I'd love to get your comments. 

  1. Are you actually doing PR? 

  2. Are you doing PR the inbound way?

  3. Have you slipped off the radar thinking it's old hat, or, you're not quite sure how to get started?

Wherever you are if you leave those comments below, we'll get those answered for you, any time. 

'In today's dynamic businesses, I often see exec's treating PR as an afterthought, when in fact, it should really be right up there on the frontline as part of your inbound strategy.- Mike Midgley

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About The Author
GEC - Article - PR The Inbound Way - Blog Header
Mike Midgley

Mike Midgley is the Strategy Director at 6teen30 Digital and a dynamic digital entrepreneur, nxd, strategist, public speaker and host of TheOpenMike Podcast show & Co-Host at The Inbound Podcast. Mike has achieved successful six and seven-figure exits over a 25-year career, raised in excess of £1.6m [$2.5m] in Venture Capital and franchised his businesses 68 times.