From the Bookshelf: Hype Yourself

Book review of the no-nonsense PR toolkit for small businesses, written by Lucy Werner

Bigging myself up isn’t something that comes naturally. Don’t get me wrong, I love celebrating my wins but blowing my own trumpet to deliberately attract attention is tough. So when I was in the Being Freelance community and heard about a book called ‘Hype Yourself: A no-nonsense PR toolkit for small businesses’ I wondered if it might be the nudge I needed to start, well, hyping myself.

The blurb

Hype Yourself is by Lucy Werner, a UK-based PR who’s been PR-ing things for over 15 years. She runs her own communication consultancy for small businesses and entrepreneurs called The Wern. The book is a punchy, straight-talking introduction to public relations, written for small business owners who want to DIY their PR. It’s an easy read and full of practical information for bringing well-known public relations tactics into your business.

Contents and highlights

Some business books fluff-up subjects, taking hundreds of pages to teach you lessons they could have summed up in like, two pages. Hype Yourself is not one of those business books.

Brace yourself for Lucy’s no-nonsense writing style and, just like the world of press and public relations, this book moves at a quick pace. The fact there are only four chapters indicates it’s whizzy-ness. But don’t be fooled into thinking that fast means there’s a lack of detail. It doesn’t.

Lucy takes the time to start at the very beginning, so if you’re super green to marketing your business you have the chance to lay the right foundations for building a solid PR plan. If you don’t already have a handle on why you’re in business and who you’re in business for, you will do by the end of chapter one.

Each chapter adds to what you learned in the last and builds on the materials you will have created. (Oh yes, there’s homework!) You’ll discover how to create your own media toolkit, create a press office and network, and pitch to media outlets. There’s even inside advice from some of the UK’s top lifestyle journalists and editors to set you on the right path.

So what about actually writing a press release? Does the book teach that?

Yes, but only towards the end, because to create a strong release and stand head and shoulders above your competitors its helpful to have these other parts in place.

Covering all of this at breakneck speed in a short four chapters means absorbing a lot. Thankfully, the easy to follow lists, short paragraphs, and clear direction stop feelings of overwhelm. Especially useful if you’re starting from scratch with your public relations marketing.

The best bit

PR and SEO aren’t obvious marketing buddies, so I especially loved how she tied these two forms of marketing together in the introduction.

“When you Google your business/name, what comes up? If you are not easily searchable it can affect your sales as people can’t find you. But an effective PR campaign will drive up your search engine optimization (SEO) and make you more visible without having to spend on Google AdWords.”

Ready to hype yourself?

Hype Yourself is available in paperback and Kindle. It’s definitely a re-reader and one to keep to hand as you work through all of the steps. Have you read Hype Yourself? What did you think about it?

What should I read next?

Recommend a business book for me to read.