PR can be confusing areas for many small businesses, but it’s an essential part of any growth strategy. Gaining exposure in the right areas is essential to raise the profile of your small business. But PR, like any activity, must be conducted professionally – amateur choices could impact your businesses’ reputation. Here we present five PR tips to help you along the way – don’t forget to check out our first five tips to help you do your own PR.
Start a blog
Blogs are a great opportunity to build an exposure at a very low cost. They can help you build credibility by establishing yourself as an expert in your industry, and can also help you build relationships with other bloggers and experts. The key is to keep blogging regularly; that doesn’t mean churning out content every single day, but typically aim for a few relevant and useful blog posts a week. ‘Graveyard blogs’ reflect very poorly on a businesses’ reputation, so if you aren’t going to stick with it then it’s best to avoid blogging.
Press releases – the TRUTH model
Should you or should you not send a press release? It can be hard to know whether an event of activity is the ‘right’ type for sending out to journalists. The TRUTH model can help you decide.
- Topical – the activity happed since the publication’s last edition
- Relevant – relevant to the publication’s readership
- Unusual – something a bit different, not ‘business as usual’ happenings
- Tension – the activity is inciting some controversy or has an uncertain outcome
- Human – it touches people in some way, through empathy, fear, or some other emotion
Start utilising social media
Social media is great; it’s low cost and easy to use. It can be confusing to a first-time user but don’t ignore it. You could be missing out on valuable relationships and potential leads. It’s particularly useful because it is not stakeholder-specific i.e. you can keep in touch with all stakeholders in one easy way. Tell staff what’s going on in the company. Keep your customers informed of new products and special offers. You can even contact journalists via social media as many maintain an online presence to keep abreast of new events. A large web presence can impress journalists, so building your Twitter or Facebook account can increase your chance of exposure.
Make use of surveys and statistics
Surveys and statistics are fantastic when it comes to PR. Journalists love them because they add legitimacy to a story and offer a hook to readers. And best of all, they are not expensive – so don’t think you can’t afford them. Online surveys cost from around £200 – the bigger the sample group and the greater the complexity of the survey, the more you will pay. Start small and look for an exciting/unusual angle related to your industry. Surveys and statistics are great because in the PR world – when it seems everyone is out for themselves – you can draw attention to the fact your results are ‘independent.’
Produce a PR plan
PR activity should be guided by an overall strategy – keeping this strategy in mind can help you maximise the effectiveness of your activity and ensure your reach is as wide as possible. Plan out the next six months’ worth of PR outcomes – what you need to say, when you need to say it, who you need to say it to. Make sure your outcomes are measurable so you can track success, and ensure a blend of PR activities. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket; cover online and offline and reach out to as many audiences as possible.