Ever wondered if spending time and money on PR actually works? This case study shows it can if you do it right.
Roger O’Toole is a physio who runs The Melbourne Headache Centre. He uses a new technique that involves manipulating the neck through massage and pressure points and has a 90% success rate for getting rid of migraines. He really wanted to gain awareness for his business but he felt it was too hard to explain the process in ads, and the beauty of editorial is that you get the opportunity to explain something in more depth. So, he realised he needed PR.
Once he had decided on PR as the most effective way to promote the business, Roger wanted to learn how to do it himself, to keep his costs down and also so he could use the skills again in the future. Once you learn how the PR process works, it’s a little like riding a bike, you never forget!
budget pr can keep costs down
After coming up with a newsworthy story angle – he explained the technique by using one of his clients, who had stopped getting migraines after 20 years, as a case study – he went to the Herald Sun to pitch the idea.
The story was approved and was scheduled to run on a Tuesday morning. In the early hours of the morning, the printed issue was published and the same story went online. He started to get a few hits on his website and some enquiries from migraine sufferers who had started to read his article.
At 6.30 the next morning, he got a text on his phone from a producer at 3AW. Thinking it was a prank from his friends, he didn’t believe it at first, but it wasn’t long before he spoke with the producer, who invited him to do an interview that morning, to explain the technique and how he could help people with migraines.
Roger O’Toole has benefited from great PR for his small business
Feeling quite chuffed, he arrived at the office at 8.30am, full of beans, to tell his staff about the story and the interview on 3AW. And then the phone started ringing in earnest, and the website enquiries started to escalate.
By lunchtime he had been contacted by the news producers for all the commercial networks – 7,9 and 10, and was interviewed for a segment on each of the news that evening. He was also contacted by SBS but literally didn’t have the time to do the interview in amongst his regular patient appointments and the news crew interviews.
why not give it a try?
As soon as the news had finished that evening, he started to get an enquiry or booking every minute on his website, and that continued for the following three hours. He couldn’t believe it. It was the equivalent of seven months’ worth of business and he had achieved it in just two days! He even got a call from his website and SEO guy who was concerned he had been hacked!
Now, a few months down the track, Roger has increased his staff numbers to cope with the demand, rented additional office space and his business is booming. He is also getting even more PR coverage here on Kochie’s Business Builders. See how it works?!
Doing your own PR an be a little like cutting your own child’s hair, it isn’t always perfect, but it’s a lot better than doing nothing at all! If you can learn the process, and access the media contacts you want, why not give it a try?
3 more to read for great PR tips:
1. Use this easy PR strategy for your next event
2. How to build your business profile on LinkedIn
3. Why PR is the best lead generator for small business