Most small businesses don’t think they can have a good public relations program because they don’t have the deep pockets of a Fortune 500 company. However, small businesses have a better opportunity in ensuring the success of their PR program because they have the ability of building strong relationships with people. Elaborate public relations campaigns are undoubtedly very expensive and not affordable for businesses operating on a small scale. Nonetheless, just because you have a shoestring budget doesn’t mean that you cannot capitalize on the benefits of PR. With some time-commitment on your part and a good solid focus on making and advancing relationships, your business will be in a better position to create strong bonds that have a powerful PR impact.
There are some strong and effective PR tips that can get you started without requiring you to pay a hefty retainer to any agency. All you have to do is devote some time and energy to the following tips and you will be able to establish a good PR campaign for your small business:
1. Offer your assistance and expertise on stage
Initially, a small business does not have a national audience. Regardless, reaching out and building relationships with regional or local organizations and offering to speak at their events is an excellent way of showcasing your thought leadership. You can share your expertise with the audience and the platform. As you work with more and more organizers, you will get greater exposure and may get the chance to speak on national platforms as well. This is a great way of increasing your exposure amongst potential customers who are getting to know you.
2. Take advantage of free tools for connecting with the media and bloggers
There are a variety of free tools that you can use for finding bloggers and other media who are interested in certain type of stories and content. Due to their interest, they may consider interviewing the experts of your company.
3. Use a content platform for customizing news stories
There are numerous occasions when a small business wishes to share its news via the mainstream media. You can cast a wider net if you opt for a paid wire service as this will allow you to reach more media outlets. Moreover, you will also be able to figure out who is interacting with your story. However, when you are working on a smaller budget, you may want to use a publishing platform for customizing your stories as it lets you reach various stakeholders.
4. Build relationships by leveraging the power of social media
The quickest way for every business, regardless of their size, to connect with like-minded individuals and to take their relationship from the virtual level to a physical stream is through social media. An expert from Reputation Communications writes, “Social media can prove to be immensely handy for connecting and building relationships with other executives and clients via in-depth discussions. Furthermore, it can also pave the way for speaking engagements, interview opportunities and new business”.
You should bear in mind that it is not necessary for you to be everywhere as far as social media is concerned. You should choose platforms where you know your target audience congregates and begin your virtual networking. Every targeted connection is basically presenting you with an opportunity to improve and further a business relationship.
5. Share valuable information for solving problems
You can find a number of social media monitoring tools such as Google Alerts that monitor or ‘listen’ to keywords used in social media communities. This is an excellent opportunity for a small business to learn the issues faced by their clientele. When you have an idea about the critical issues and hot topics on the mind of your customers, you can create videos, craft blog posts, write eBooks and share Facebook posts to help them in overcoming these challenges. If you provide a solution to your customers, they are more likely to befriend you and this can aid you in building stronger bonds with your audience.
These are just a handful of ways small businesses can use PR for gaining recognition and awareness and establishing relationships, which result in advocacy and loyalty. You can start slowly and the go all-in once you have gotten the hang of public relations.