Making space for PR


We know we talk PR a lot here at UKAWP but every planner who’s been in business a while and used PR well,  knows that it works. Today we hear from the highly practical and ever-insightful Paula Gardner  of, who shares more of her tips with us;  Paula is one of our expert guest speakers at WPE’10 next month and we look forward to her tailored talk on enhancing our PR strategies as wedding planners.   Over to you Paula:

The first step to running a PR campaign is to actually make time for it. Let’s face it, many of us have lots of good intentions PR-wise, and maybe even some fantastic ideas, but somehow they don’t all quite come to fruition. One of the frustrating things about PR is that journalists rarely call you up asking for stories. The momentum is all self-generated, and you have to keep on top of it to stop PR falling to the bottom of your to-do list.

 So, I am going to with share you a little exercise I do every few months and find to be really valuable.

Ditch Delegate or Do!  

When you’re doing your own PR one of the most important things you need to master is time-management so that you have the time and space to devote to it.

 And, as the old saying goes, if you carry on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll carry on getting what you’ve always got (or something like that!).

 So, here are a number of steps that will help you free up some time that you can put to building your own buzz.

Step One

 Make a list of everything that you do on a regular basis for your business. This should include everything that you literally do and how much time you spend on it. This could be checking your emails every five minutes, writing your newsletter for a couple of hours twice a month, posting to syndication sites, carrying out your actual business, or cleaning the office and making sales calls.

  Step Two

 Make a list of everything else that you do in your work time that isn’t work orientated. For me that includes emails to friends, playing Spider Solitaire when I need to turn off for five minutes (and those five minutes inevitably end up as twenty!).

 And now the fun bit…


 What tasks or activities can or should you say goodbye to? Take a look at what results you’ve been getting – if you regularly write for a site that brings you in a grand total of five newsletter sign-ups each six months then can your time be put to better use? Can you turn your Outlook or email provider off and only check twice a day? Can you sack any clients – you know the pain in the proverbial ones that bring you in hardly any money but take three times more time and energy than all the others ones? Is there a pet project that you’ve been trying to get going but know, in your heart of hearts, just doesn’t justify the time you’d need to spend on it (boy, do I have plenty of those!)


 Is there anything on your list that you can delegate? Perhaps you can get your assistant to write your PR tips (good experience for them too), get a VA to send articles to syndication sites, or an intern to upload your regular press releases to all the free press sites out there (at least half a day’s work)?



 Here come the plans…think of all the PR activities you could be doing (or doing more of). Here are just a sample…

     * Writing Press Releases

    * Writing Tip sheets

    * A regular newsletter – or writing your current one twice as often

    * Posting on forums and blogs with links back to your website

    * Blogging

    * Twitter

    * Writing articles and posting them on syndication sites

    * Networking online

    * Networking offline

    * Arranging meetings with journalists

    * Approaching features editors with ideas for articles you can write

    * Posting press releases to newswire services


If you’re already doing some of these, look at the results you are getting. Do they justify spending more time and ramping up the activity? Or perhaps you’d like to add something new to the mix.

 What one thing from this list could you do that you know (gut instinct!) would raise your visibility? Or alternatively, what appeals and piques your interest? What do think you’d enjoy (because enjoyment is such a large part of getting it done regularly).

 You should now have some spare time in your diary as a result of the projects or actions you’ve got rid of or passed on. Fill that time with your new PR activity and make sure it is in your appointment book, just like any other.

 Finally, make a date with yourself to do this exercise in another three months. and add another PR activity to your mix.


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