Corporations have whole departments and large budgets dedicated to public relations, which makes harnessing the power of good PR intimidating when you own a small business. Thankfully, there are many things you can do to craft the right narrative about your products and services. Here are a few tips to help you:
Be familiar with your audience
Knowing your audience is critical when trying to boost the image of your business. You should be familiar with the demographics of your consumers and the ways in which they engage with your message. Some customers may connect with you on social media, while others may attend your in-person events. Being well-versed in your audience can help you be more targeted in your approach to public relations.
Host an event
Utilize the power of the media by holding an event. While many people associate press conferences with crisis management, you shouldn’t be hesitant to host one if you have something important to announce. Just keep in mind that your announcement should be something of substance. You have a better chance of the news media running with your story if it something of genuine interest. Media events are an opportunity for journalists to ask you questions about your announcement, which makes for a more compelling article or news segment. Possible news-worthy topics are new product releases or mergers with another business.
Assemble a team
Whether you have two employees or twelve employees, you should create a dedicated team to handle all public relations matters. This will help you craft a cohesive message and give you the freedom to focus on other important aspects of your business. Be familiar with the strengths of your workforce and utilize them to your greatest advantage. For example, you may have staff member who is great at creating humorous Twitter updates. You may want to put them in charge of your social media presence. If you have an employee who has a communication degree, you should consider having them handle any graphic design needs that arise. You may want to use Salesforce competition to connect your PR team with the rest of your business. Make sure everyone is on the same page about your branding and the message you want to convey.
Utilize social media
An online presence is an essential part of an effective public relations strategy. If you aren’t using at least one or two social media platforms, you should start doing so as soon as possible. Social media is an effective and easy way to connect with your customers. Use your profile to make announcements, promote products, spread the word about events and share content with your audience. Don’t be afraid to use humor to connect with consumers, but be cautious about sharing anything that might be controversial. The last thing you need is a public relations crisis, which could cost time and money to clean up.
Use promotions to increase interest
PR is all about being as visible as possible at all times. There is no better way to do this than promotion. Think outside the box when it comes to this strategy. You may want to hold a contest or hand out free merchandise, such as branded t-shirts, water bottles, posters and hats. To be most effective, make sure that all products you distribute have your logo on them.
Know what your goals are
An unorganized public relations strategy will be ineffective at best and might lead to a PR crisis at worst. Being targeted in your approach will help you connect more successfully with your audience. Make a list of your short-term and long-term public relations goals. Discuss these goals with your team and make a plan for how you will accomplish them. Know which parts of you customer base you want to reach and be aware of the best strategies to use in order to do this.
Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed at the idea of leveling up your public relations strategy. Just because you have a small business doesn’t mean that you can’t use PR to your highest advantage. Utilize one or two of these strategies and see what a difference it can make in connecting with your audience.