PR is often a forgotten part of the marketing process for small businesses. Commonly viewed as a dark art business owners deem it too hard. However, it’s a must-do if you have a small business and you’re serious about growing and ensuring you stand out from the crowd. Before I go on to explain why you should be considering it, I am first going to explain exactly what PR is!
What is PR?
Short for public relations, PR, is not advertising. The art of PR is when you gain exposure in the media from an independent source, so you haven’t paid to do so. So it’s not an opportunity to sell your product or service. Moreover, it’s about positioning you and your company as an expert in your sector. The go-to resource.
Examples include a news piece about an announcement or launch, a bylined article (attributed to you) about a topic you’re passionate about, and linked to your business. Others include a comment, an interview, a product review, and plenty more besides.
PR can be in the form of newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, podcasts, speaker opportunities at events and guest experts in networking groups. The not paid-for aspect is important to note. Being organic and independent is what makes PR so valuable. Just think about how you view great customer reviews.
How can PR help your business?
A valuable tool, PR builds awareness of your business. It gets your message out to a wider and varied audience. It builds your credibility and increases sales opportunities. According to this report, 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads.
Done the right way, PR can help to grow your profile as an expert in your field. Given time will it will expand your audience and positively impact your bottom line.
What PR isn’t?
There is no getting away from the fact that PR isn’t a quick fix or an easy way to get famous. You must give it time. Don’t expect to send a press release out and get reams of coverage. The idea is to create a powerful story so that your chosen media want to learn more.
PR is a sales process and still, needs to have all the usual characteristics of good marketing content. It should be created with your target audience in mind, be relevant and interesting. The content should offer value and insight and demonstrate what problem or challenge you’re solving.
How do you even start with PR?
Often people think that PR requires big budgets but with guidance, you can achieve some wins for your small business. Don’t be too ambitious to start with and being by doing some research.
What publications would you like to be in that would help your business? What do your ideal customers read? What topic can you talk passionately about? Can you provide advice on a subject that’s connected with your business? The next step is to contact the publication and see if you can secure an opportunity. This process requires more explanation and I will do that in a separate blog.
How to make the most of PR?
While it’s great to see your name in lights only 10 per cent of PR’s value is from what’s seen on the day. 90% is about what you do with it. Who can you share it with? You can create social media posts tagging the publication, write a blog post on the topic with a link, create a mailshot, and share it with your prospects, use quotes on your sales page, and much more! The opportunities are endless but having put the hard graft in be sure to make the most it.
Let’s go back to the question posed in the blog title. Are you ready for PR? The answer is you are ready for PR if you’re willing to devote the effort required to achieve results and make it worthwhile.
Here at Zapp Communications, we love working with small businesses to help build your PR profile. This week we have some PR top tips training in our Get Yourself Noticed Facebook group on Wednesday 20 January at 1pm so please head on over.
If you’re ready for PR but would like more guidance on how it can work for you, then email firstname.lastname@example.org If you prefer just to keep in touch with more top tips then, fill in the form below.