Are you a small business owner searching for ways to get a lot of public relations (PR) bang on a little budget? Or looking for some direction on where exactly to get started on your PR journey?
If so, you’ve come to the right place. Not only will this post give you an overview of what PR looks like for small businesses, but it will highlight some
inexpensive FREE tactics you can use to get those much needed eyeballs on your small business.
So, first thing’s first…
What Exactly is PR and Why is it Important for my Small Business?
PR is the term used to describe any intentional activity aimed at gaining and maintaining positive publicity. The goal of PR is to influence the public’s way of thinking about your business, increase brand awareness and draw attention from new and existing customers, clients, partners, investors and the media.
Unlike large corporations that have the resources to hire big, expensive PR consultants and firms to deliver elaborate PR strategies, small businesses often aren’t ready for that level of commitment or investment. Luckily, there are plenty of free and easy-to-implement PR strategies that small business owners can leverage to rally stakeholders, get noticed by customers and take their businesses to the next level.
Tips to Get Your Business Noticed
Here are 5 free ways to maximize your PR impact, while minimizing your budget concerns.
1. Create a media contact list
One of the first things small business owners should do when thinking about PR is create a contact list of key players in the media– like journalists, reporters or influencers– to send all of your “newsworthy” content. Identifying specific media targets within your community or industry and keeping an updated list of all their contact information makes it much easier to get your press releases, stories and pitches out to the relevant players and is key for any PR outreach strategy.
2. Use press releases to spread the word
Press releases are a tried and true way to get critical information or news out about your business. A well-crafted press release not only can inform the public about the exciting things going on for your small business, but can also tell a compelling story for readers. The more interesting and engaging a press release is, the more likely a media source will be to run it, and the more likely it will gain attention from the public.
Looking for more insights? Learn How to Write a Press Release for Your Small Business.
3. Build relationships with the media
Media coverage is crucial in PR, but so are the relationships you form through your outreach. Building connections with journalists, influencers, bloggers, outlets and reporters involved in your industry can go a long way in helping to ensure your small business will stay top-of-mind when it comes to sourcing content and stories, as they’ll prefer to go to trusted, reputable sources. This tactic can yield long-term PR results, and it is completely cost-free!
4. Participating in community and industry events
One of the easiest ways to get your small business’s name out there is to get involved in the community by supporting local charities and nonprofits, volunteering at events and fundraisers or participating in various fairs, festivals and trade shows. Publicly supporting a great cause or showing up at a well-known, well-advertised event is an easy way to get your business into people’s minds while building rapport and a positive brand image within the community.
5. Taking advantage of social media platforms
Your small business is likely already participating in social media for marketing purposes, so why not take advantage of it for PR initiatives as well? Use social media to take ownership of your message, share press releases and “newsworthy” content, leverage hashtags for PR campaigns, or engage in conversations and community building with followers — the opportunities of social media for small business PR are endless. And as long as all of our favorite social media platforms are free, so is this tactic!
Developing a well thought out PR strategy that doesn’t break the bank can seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Use the tips above to get your small business noticed and keep building the buzz, without busting your budget.