A lot of businesses, especially small businesses underestimate the power of public relations. They feel it is something that can wait and is not as important as the other marketing tools. Now, that is a perception that needs correction.
Being a small business, public relations is one the most effective and inexpensive ways to draw attention to your business. It helps you form a brand identity and boosts your advertising efforts while building credibility and trust.
How public relations can help your small business grow
As a small business, you may not think you need to pay much attention to public relations (PR). However, when it comes to branding, marketing and promoting your company, PR is one of the most important tools to help get you the right type of attention for your business…
BY MAMAHLATSE MAROKANE 23 APR 2018
If you are worried about budgets, the good news is that you can always manage PR in-house and not hire a PR agency. Here are 5 useful tips for small businesses managing it on their own:
Create a press kit
What is a press kit you ask? It refers to all the fundamental details that provide information about your company. It includes your company backgrounder, brand story, factsheet, CEO profile, high-resolution images and most importantly, the media contact’s details.
They are an important PR asset as they lay the foundation of your company’s public image. Your press kit needs to be impactful enough for journalists to be intrigued and understand your company better.
This information can be in the form of a word document, a PDF or even a PowerPoint presentation. It is also a good idea to make it available on your company website, so it can be accessed by journalists and others interested.
The ultimate PR goal for every business is to spread goodwill and create awareness about your company, product or a particular campaign.
Now, how do you wish to achieve that – by securing interviews for your CEO? Generating feature stories on your product? Highlighting a CSR initiative?
Answering these questions will help pave the way for your PR campaigns and deliver compelling stories to the media.
Work on a media list
Once you establish the message you want to convey and your audience, you will be able to work on a target media list. This is a comprehensive list of media contacts that you need to reach out to for your campaigns.
Don’t just limit the list to print journalists – including digital journalists, influencers, bloggers, freelancers, and radio and television contacts too. The key is to find the respective contacts in media houses who will be particularly interested in covering the genre you are associated with.
Your list should always be work-in-progress. Keep yourself updated on any new media entrants and remember to add them in.
Public relations is all about networking and building strong relationships with media. Focus on forming long-term relationships rather than achieving short-term goals such as getting coverage. It is important to do your research and understand the journalist’s writing style and interests.
It is a good idea to follow them on social media to understand what they generally write about and if they are working on something that would interest your company. Also, make sure you attend media networking events to introduce yourself in person – it creates a stronger impact. Do stay in touch with your media contacts and don’t just show up when you have a story to share.
Last but not the least, don’t be that PR person who spams people with follow-ups – respect their time and quit hounding them if they don’t respond because that can really put them off.
In today’s competitive world, it is important to be updated on the latest trends and happenings. Make sure you know what’s happening in your industry space and what your competitors are up to. Follow leading news channels and websites, get into the habit of reading and keep a close check on your competitors – not only does this keep you more aware but it can also help you gain inspiration for your PR activities.
So now you know, public relations is not something that only the big players need or can afford. It is vital for the success of any kind of business because ultimately the power of third-party endorsement is comparable to none.