Running a small business is no child’s play. There is always a struggle with limited resources and an ongoing challenge to grow sales and to grow, which needs money which by the way you do not have.
I will let you in on a secret- Public Relations (PR).
“Public Relations is the discipline which looks after reputation, intending to earn understanding and support and influence opinion and behaviour. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.” The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)
Understanding – have an “outside-in” approach. Listen to what the customers need (information) and then give to them (articles, blogs, press releases, etc.)
Organisation- your business (online or bricks and mortar)
Publics – audience important to your business. The customers, neighbours, followers, investors, government or community
So now you are wondering, “what do I get from all this?” Here are some of the reasons to have a PR strategy for your business.
- Budget-friendly: Public relations is not free, but it is less expensive when compared to advertising. There is often a misconception that PR does not cost anything. It is a quid pro quo situation – something for something. Approaching journalists and online influencers does not cost a fortune. You could even write articles on people’s blogs (guest blogging) to show people your expertise. Better still, word of mouth is stronger than any advert. Consider this: are you more likely to buy something you have seen in an advert or something your sister/friend recommended?
- Earned Publicity is the best: Here we are talking about magazine editorials, testimonials from customers, as well as word-of-mouth referrals. These are great tools, as they build trust with clients. Once a client trusts your brand or business, it is easy for him/her to make your service or product the preferred service or brand in their mind. Positive client perception is great for business growth.
- Media loves small business: Believe it or not, but media outlets love to cover stories about small businesses. Small businesses are a trending topic. Contrary to the general belief that media outlets are only interested in big companies, journalists love to cover small business success stories. Discover what your unique selling point (USP) is, share it with the media and ask a journalist to publicise it.
- Increased SEO: Trust me: you do not want your company hidden. Most customers look for services and products via search engines. Normally clients view and select from the first page. If you are lucky, they go on to the second page. You do not want to be on page six – no one will know about you. So, if you have a great online presence – through published blog post articles, social media content, online discussion boards in your field, digital press releases etc. – this helps you rank higher on the search engine results. This is a positive step to your business’ growth, because it helps your brand become visible, leading to more customers.
- Increased Credibility: There is so much competition and it is not always easy to set yourself apart from your competitors. Third party endorsements can go a long way towards cutting through the clutter and differentiating your brand from your competitors. When an influencer validates a business or service product this increases the credibility and strength of your brand.
Overall a great PR campaign is a great tool to grow your business. PR however is not an overnight exercise: it needs to be ongoing, just like any other marketing effort. So, if you are considering engaging a PR campaign for your business and need help to map out. Get in touch with us. We would like to help you grow.