Like many business slogans, the term PR can scare small business owners. It is often thought to be for large companies. That’s why many small business owners and operators don’t want to raise this issue. Unfortunately, they miss a lot of opportunities for the free promotion of their business.
PR can relate to public relations or the press, or to both. It’s just a matter of sharing company news with the community and the media. When a company’s name is distributed in popular news, it creates community benevolence and brand awareness among the company’s audience. Using public relations to promote your business is easy and doesn’t take long. All it takes is understanding, footwork and a little time on a regular basis.
A modest press release is the center of the PR universe. It’s a story written in your own words and your own “news message” that revolves around you, your business or your employees, around you or with their participation. Ideally, a press release should contain interesting news. It has to be something that makes it interesting for the community or the audience. If the value of news is minimal, you may not see any results. On the other hand, the more convincing the story, the more interesting you are. The main purpose of the press release is to see the story in the news. In some situations, a newspaper or other retailer may ask you, your employees and customers to interview and write their own story.
Another great source of public relations is the creation of a reputation as an expert and advisor in his field. This takes time and effort, but if you are committed to a good cause, your business will soon become your preferred advisor when news comes out in your industry and you earn a solid reputation in your community. This is done over a long period of time by sending out press releases about your industry news, not just about your business. In addition, writing and publishing general or specialized articles in your field can begin to shape the reputation of an expert.
What’s the news? Almost everything can be designed to present news, but if you really want to do printing, there should be a special angle. For example, an office may be closed one day to train its employees. This is news because the whole company participates in a workshop that will help them improve their skills. It deserves a press release. Other interesting items may include sponsorship or charity events that involve your company, new employees and promotions, new or improved facilities, birthdays, and more.
To start a public relations campaign, start by gathering contacts in the community and the media. A simple Excel table is enough. Fill it with reporters from all the newspapers in your area, from small weekly or monthly newspapers to major daily newspapers. Be sure to mention every person you can find and the area they cover. Also include websites focused on your region, community organizations, business directories, etc. Keep and frame any emerging items on the go and post them so your customers can see them. This gives visible credibility to the people who are entering your business.
All this is aimed at getting an impression and fame. The more often your company’s name is mentioned, the more recognizable your name becomes. This leads to more public trust and therefore more business in your area.