Almost 100% of millennial now use the internet? This means that marketing your business online will help you improve your brand visibility. However, many small businesses are still struggling to market their brands online.
Small business PR, which includes telling your own story regularly and having journalists and the media talk about your business is a significant part of your digital marketing strategy.
Unfortunately, most small businesses don’t know how to create a solid PR strategy. While media coverage will give you authority and third-party credibility, it can be quite challenging to get the media’s attention.
Below is a comprehensive guide to small business PR:
Identify Your Reach
The first step to growing your business PR is to establish the range in which your business’s story is told best. Is it global, national, state, or locally? This will help you establish what type of journalists and media you will send your story to.
The best way to determine your scope is by looking at where your products and services are mainly used. Sometimes, businesses need to reach two or more scopes. For example, reaching both global and national media will provide better coverage for companies that offer their services in and out of the country.
Craft a Captivating Story
The best way to ensure that bloggers, reporters, and editors write a piece about your company is by grabbing their attention. Nothing grabs attention better than a great story. Don’t expect to get media coverage and attention just by launching your business and increasing your sales.
Instead, focus your story on your business’s unique selling point, its impact on your community, the problems your services and products solve for consumers, or your company culture. Such topics offer reporters and bloggers an opportunity to write about something new in the industry that will capture the interests of their readers.
Create a Media Outlet List
Your media list should consist of all media outlets you would consider approaching, pitching, and sending your news release. But keep in mind that this list will constantly grow over time as many journalists often change their jobs. Additionally, you could have numerous press releases, each going to a different media segment at a different time.
You can create a spreadsheet to make it easier to manage your list. Remember to also include an additional column where you write what you have sent to the different media outlets on your list and the release outcome.
It’s not easy to remember all the media houses you have contacted and the press releases you sent them over time. You can also include another column for feedback. In this column, you fill out the feedback you get from different journalists on the release you sent them, even if they didn’t run it.
Know What Your Story Is About
Having a better understanding of your main story is the first step to creating a newsworthy piece. Your story is also a critical factor in your business’s public relations strategy and determining your target media outlets. It’s advisable to create a short-term editorial calendar that includes the prospective story topics and ideas and upcoming events and holidays.
When looking for a great story, talk to your employees and consider anything happening in your company. You could find a great newsworthy story idea in your company that would interest the readers. But ensure the story resonates with your company and is relevant to readers.
Another great way to find a good story for your small business PR strategy is by leveraging your business’s good deeds. These deeds include community outreach programs and charity contributions. You can also write a story about the things that your company facilitates, such as research, studies, or even events.
One of the biggest mistakes most businesses make when creating a brand is underestimating local radio and television stations’ power. Being featured on a show will improve your reputation, and you can use the interview footage when marketing on other platforms. Therefore try reaching out to these stations to pitch your idea.
Build a Relationship With Different Media Outlets
Now that you already have a well-crafted list of your preferred media outlets, it’s time to solidify the relationship. Unfortunately, it’s very challenging for small businesses to get noticed by journalists and reporters. That’s because many small businesses don’t focus their efforts on building a professional relationship with the news outlets.
Small businesses’ biggest mistake is sending out blanket emails when pitching and submitting their press releases to journalists. Doing this will not get you noticed by the journalists.
Therefore, it’s advisable to customize every pitch based on the recipients. Read more here to find out the best ways to submit your press releases to journalists.
Ensure you connect with the appropriate bloggers, influencers, and journalists who report your industry’s happenings. Building a professional relationship is also a great way to reach your PR goals.
Get Ready for the Publicity
Publicity and too much attention from the media can be nerve-racking and overwhelming, especially if you’re required to attend an interview. While the hype is great for your small business’s reputation, it doesn’t mean it’s easy to handle. Most people worry about the interview questions, what they will say, and whether or not they will pass the message correctly.
Therefore, it’s essential to prepare yourself adequately for the interview. Below are key pointers to help you get media ready:
- What is your business’s tagline
- What is your position in the company, and what are your duties
- The mission, vision, and values of the company
- How is the company culture, and what philosophy do the employees live by
- Your website URL and social media accounts
The above list will act as a pointer to guide you on the message you want to share with the world about your company. Remember to add any other relevant information you feel the audience would like to hear about your company. However, avoid sounding too promotional as it will turn off your audience.
Contact Influences in Your Niche
Your business’s PR strategy shouldn’t just focus on media coverage; it should also include building connections and professional relationships through influencer marketing. Do some research and pinpoint YouTube content creators, bloggers, reporters, and media outlets that report on news and reviews about your niche, market, or industry. Contact these professionals to build a connection.
Ensure you regularly communicate with the bloggers, influencers, and journalists. This way, you will be at the top of their minds when they are looking for a new business to review or industry-related events to write about. They will also be quick to cover any newsworthy events and happenings in your company.
Sponsor Community Events and Contribute to Charity
Building a relationship with the community by giving back to society is a great PR strategy. That’s because it will foster trust and loyalty among the members of your community and get your name out there. You can also use this as a branding opportunity.
Take part in the community and charitable events. You can do this by supporting the local charitable organizations and sponsoring local events. This will help you build a reputation for your brand among the local community.
Be Active on Social Media for PR
Social media has become an essential part of PR.
Small business owners should be active on these platforms. Especially Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin are essential to get followers and customers. Even if the small company is a one-man show, it should have an online presence.
Be active on all of these networking sites. Update them regularly with new content or posts about your company’s products.
Reply to questions and comments that people leave about you or your company in order to seem personal and give support to them. Promote positive feedback from users to increase trust amongst potential customers.
Are You Ready to Create a Small Business PR Strategy?
When marketing your business, your main goal is to ensure that you are connecting with customers. However, most small businesses don’t consider PR as an essential element of their marketing strategy.
As a small business, it isn’t easy to get noticed in the media today. However, there are numerous ways small businesses can manage their PR by creating an effective strategy. Following the above small business PR tips will help you improve your reputation.
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