5 Tips For Small Businesses On How To Do PR

17 Jun, 2020

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You may think that small business and public relations (PR) don’t go hand in hand, but a good PR strategy can create more awareness and attract more traffic to your website. PR can accompany your marketing strategy and create a positive reputation for your brand online, without emptying your pockets. As former Forbes contributor & PR specialist Robert Wynne put it:

“With advertising, you tell people how great you are. With publicity, others sing your praises. Which do you think is more effective?”

PR is about telling a story and finding the right people to share it. Every small business has an interesting story to tell - just ask yourself:  why did I start my business in the first place? Maybe you wanted to help your local community or offer the best piece of pizza in town. Today we will give you 5 tips to help you understand public relations and give you an idea of what can do as a small local business.

1. Start as soon as possible

If you just opened your shop or launched a start-up and already have a good looking and well-optimized website you should also think about working on your PR strategy. It’s important to work simultaneously on your Digital & Local Marketing as well as reaching out to the people who are interested in your business and would like to write about it. Since new businesses and fresh ideas are always more engaging readers it is easier for you to find success if act while ideas are still fresh. Doing PR from the moment you start your business will give you a head start for your future PR and help you build long-lasting relationships with the right people. By reaching out to other blogs and websites to tell your story you may also find some great opportunities for link exchanges. 

2. Create a list of opinion influencers

Influencers are people who can help spread your messages to larger audiences. And we’re not only talking about millennials trying to sell products on their social media stories. Take a look at local news reporters, or even look for popular bloggers within your industry. That's always a great place to start. Look for the journalists who are writing about new businesses and search for articles about your competitors - this will help you find the right people to contact. These opinion formers are trusted by lots of readers, getting them to write an article about your company or products will help you build your brand and reputation, which will help to attract more visitors to your site. Digital marketing app rankingCoach helps you to monitor your competitor’s activities online and can help you to keep track of the articles being published about you and them.

3. Build consistent relationships

Consistency in PR is often forgotten or underestimated. After you have that list of contacts, it's important for you to build relationships with them. Like in real life, relationships don’t last inf you don’t put in constant efforts to maintain them. In the case of public relations, you have to deliver your contacts with relevant information regularly not just once a year. Even if they don’t write about your company immediately, they will be more aware of your company and ongoing processes. To know what’s important for the people receiving your emails and calls go ahead and subscribe to all of their blogs, newsletters, and feeds through Google Alerts. Then, once they have something new, you can: 

1) Read about what they're writing so you know what topics are important;

2) Reach out to them via social media, email, or by leaving comments on their blog.

3) Connect with them on social media and networking sites like Linked in so they have a better chance of seeing your content and keeping you in mind.  


4. Make sure that you understand the press release

Whenever people think of PR, they automatically think of short, boring, simple press releases, but this is not the kind of PR that works. A press release is an official statement delivered by the company on the important changes or news. They are used to officially communicate the launch of the new business, products, major partnerships, important sales numbers. Press releases must be well-written objective, well-argued formal but also engaging with a catchy headline. They need to grab the attention of journalists who receive hundreds of press releases every day. PR coach Janet Murray offers these 4 important questions to ask yourself when trying to write an effective press release:

1) Is there anything "new" in my story?

2) Is there anything unusual or unexpected about it?

3) Would this be of interest to anyone outside my business?

4) Will anyone actually care?


Tips from Janet Murray’s article How to write an effective press release 

So only use press release when you have something that's actually newsworthy, like a new product line or a big announcement. Sometimes it is more efficient to pitch your ideas to your contacts on the phone, and if they are interested in your topic, it will be easy to take the next steps.  

5. Everyone has a story to tell!

Whether it's PR or writing a blog on your website or even posting on social media, you need to have a story to tell. A true story that guides the reader through the reasons you started your business in the first place, your recent news, social activities, and achievements. Every business has its ups and downs, so think also about the negative experiences you have had which have turned into new opportunities and unexpected successes, both long and short term. 

The Perfect example: The SnapBar - a photo booth rental start-up switched to a whole new business model of gift boxes a week after the ongoing pandemic destroyed their regular business. This press information spread through multiple American media outlets, giving them a big publicity boost for their new activities. So, if you're trying to promote your products or your business, make sure that you have a story that reporters actually want. Listen to your audience. Make sure they are actually interested in the content you are sharing, don’t be scared to think a little deeper about what your business really stands for and why you do what you do because this will help you to create the kinds of stories that people really want to hear.  

Hopefully, these five tips will get your PR efforts on the right track, for tips about writing a blog or optimizing your website’s content read our blog articles.

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