Knowing what public relations is will make a BIG difference to your bottom line. It is the relationship your school has with the outside world. That includes everyone-friends, relatives, customers, future prospects, competitors and employees (if you have them). While the relationship you create with the public can have a profound effect on your business, all these people will not immediately make a purchasing decision or change their minds by seeing something only once. It takes a consistent and recurring message.
PR is one of the important parts of your marketing campaign. Your local publications like newspapers, magazines, and television and radio programs are all a great source of helping you communicate an important message or accomplishment.
PR however is different from advertising. PR informs the public about news and events and does not sell. You provide tidbits of information that you hope editors or journalist will see and use for their stories. However not everything you send in will be published. That should not deter you from sending them information on a regular basis.
Keep promotional offers away from editors. They don't like it and will ignore you when you do have real news to report.
Here are some other key points to remember:
1. Publications have strict editorial deadlines and space limitation. They often develop their stories over the course of several months.
2. Publications have to report important news which may sometimes move other stories aside
3. Be sure your publicity has a clear angle of interest to the publications readers. The editor will probably ignore it if that's missing.
4. Be respectful of the editors timing requirements. Timing is vital or as they say everything! Submitting your press release on a Monday for an event you will be holding on the coming weekend will probably be ignored
5. Determine how best to position yourself. This includes how you want the audience to perceive you and how you wish to distinguish yourself from your competitors. Does the public view you the same way you view yourself?
6. Organize and prioritize your messages. Make a list of events, promotions and news worthy messages you want to promote throughout the year.
7. Ask yourself is your message news worthy? The media will only write or use material about something that is part of a large local topic or interest with broad appeal.
8. Create your stories media list, distribution strategy and more. Be proactive on how you will get the word out
9. Get the word out to editors and journalist that you are available and willing to help with stories and topics in the dance field.
Ok now the question is, what is news worthy? Here are some ideas for dance schools:
1. Any and all performances and shows
2. Special anniversaries your business is celebrating. To make it more interesting announce that in celebration you will be giving away some special prize for anyone who stops by on a certain day
3. Competition results. If you won a special award or x number of top scores send it out. Mention names of students who live in the area of the publication and you will almost always have a great chance that they will print the results> Make it more about the students than about the school.
4. Special events held at your school like master classes, a day of free dance classes and any fundraisers you are doing. Position it as a way to better serve the community.
5. Student's special achievements. If some of your students get into a summer program, will appear in a show or will be featured in a production outside of your school. The key again here is that you are promoting the dancer who happens to be your student!