Contrary to popular belief, public relations are absolutely not a luxury tool reserved for large brand-names and huge corporations. The idea of PR is centered on the concept that customers are more likely to purchase a product or service if it comes recommended by a third party. Here’s how to integrate PR efforts into your marketing strategies.
1. Create a List of Bloggers
Your goal is to market your small business to individuals who can spread the word about your business to interested parties. You may think that because top journalists have the largest spheres of influence, they should be the first writers you go to, but this is not the case. Building relationships with up-and-coming bloggers can do wonders for your business in the long run. Make a list of the top bloggers, writers, and journalists in your field and reach out to them. You can engage in a cross-promotional strategy in which both of you promote the other.
2. Design a Creative Press Release
The purpose of a press release is to inform journalists about what your business does and why it deserves attention. A creative press release should be concise, but detailed and can include images and videos. Distribute press releases to journalists and follow up with them.
3. Keep the World Informed
If your press release has resulted in a publication about your business, share it on your social media pages to generate excitement and traffic. Once you have achieved multiple mentions in the press, you can even add a “press page” for your website. This adds credibility to your business and is impressive to potential consumers.
4. Do Work in the Community
Supporting a local non-profit or a worthy cause can set your business apart from the rest. People may be more likely to purchase your small business’s products or services if they also support the same cause that your business supports. Consider having promotional events now and then in which a certain percentage of all proceeds during a given week are donated to the cause you support.
Many small business owners don’t have experience in writing press releases and calling the media. Most don’t have contacts with reporters. If your company is doing something truly innovative, you should considering hiring a professional PR firm, such as Over The Moon PR, which has expertise in helping entrepreneurs launch and grow their firms. PR is more cost effective than advertising in most cases, and most people in the industry would argue that it is more impactful, as well.