3 tips for success as a one-person communications team

Whether you’re self-taught or extensively schooled in industry practices, flying solo has significant challenges. Try these approaches to avoiding turbulence and landing your messages.

I am not a PR pro.

I took one public relations class in college.

Until last year, I was the one-person marketing team at a company that designed and built museum exhibits. We were among the first in our industry to jump on the social media bus, and many peers thought we were wasting our time blogging.

In all our efforts, I was self-taught. Some things worked, some things didn’t, and some things could have been done much better.

If my story sounds familiar, I have a few tips to offer:

1. Create content calendars.

This is one of the simplest things you can do.

Determine how many times you want to post each day, then search for that many articles multiplied by the number of days you plan to be active. The articles should be those that your target audience will find interesting, helpful and entertaining.

You can create a spreadsheet—especially helpful if you need approvals—or you can schedule your posts in Hootsuite or Buffer.

Create calendars only for your active social channels. You still must engage with your followers; you can’t simply schedule everything for the week and be done.

2. Repurpose your content.

Nearly all publications accept contributed content.

Do you have a blog or write on another platform? If so, choose a few of your best pieces and rework them for industry publications. Start with niche publications; once you get a few bylines under your belt, the bigger guys will be easier to get into.

If you look at various publication websites, you’ll see a link saying, “Write for Us” or “Contribute Content” or something similar. It’s often in the page footer, or in the “Contact Us” section, but sometimes you’ll find it in the top menu bar. If you can’t find it, try Googling “How to write for ________?”

Once you know for whom you’re writing, check whether they have any style guidelines, and then start editing.

As you write and edit, keep these things in mind:

  • What you write about should fit into their editorial calendar or the things they already cover.
  • This shouldn’t be a sales pitch. If you drone on about your company you won’t get published, so be sure the piece is informative, not salesy.
  • You’ll usually be allowed to link to your company in the byline and maybe one other link in the article. Be judicious in selecting keywords.
  • Do not submit something that has been published elsewhere. You will have to change/update your chosen articles.

3. Set up Google or Talkwalker alerts.

Set these up to monitor your name, company name, competitor names, product names, partner names and any other significant keyword.

This is a great way to stay on top of what’s being said about you, your competitors and your market in general.

if you set these up for keywords you’re already writing about, articles that pop up might offer a follow-up opportunity and a bigger opening to get into that particular publication.

What other tips would you add for the self-taught, one-person marketing team? Please offer them in the comments section.

A version of this article originally appeared on Spin Sucks.

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Topics: PR

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