PR has become increasingly popular in recent years due to the low cost and positive impacts it can have on a business. It’s no longer just for big brands. Smaller businesses can harness the power of PR through increased access to technology, software and applications that allow them to share news stories quicker and more easily than ever before.
All PR methods share a common goal – of gaining exposure, which ultimately helps to improve and maintain a business’ reputation, along with increasing their bottom line. A business with a good PR strategy will consistently produce and distribute interesting, useful, thought-provoking content.
Effective PR strategies
PR is all about communicating with your customers and finding the best way to do it. You’ve got to grab people’s attention. Richard Branson does a great job of this! Just think about the time he abseiled whilst drinking a bottle of champagne – it caught the attention of people around the world and that was exactly his intention!
But, you don’t have to go to extremes to get attention. You simply just need to start shouting out about the “good stuff” you’re doing, including hosting events, supporting charities and organising giveaways, for example.
Earlier this year, we won an award for the best new start-up. It was a great PR opportunity that we used to our advantage. Not only did we create a blog post about it, but we also created numerous social media posts, commented on other winner’s posts and obtained a great deal of media coverage from it. What did it result in? Exposure, increased social following and engagement, along with increased website traffic. It also helped us build a number of relationships with businesses in the local area and increased the number of leads we receive, which was all due to inflated brand awareness and trust.
Setting up your strategy
Initially, you’ve got to create a plan. Creating personas is key. Understanding your audience and their characteristics will help you think about what you need to write about and how to talk to your audience.
Then, create a calendar of events for the year. Think about relevant business dates such as national pizza day or international doughnut day – these are perfect for restaurants, but also for companies who want to get involved to promote their company culture, by sharing photos of staff getting involved. Also, look at industry events and guest speakers, birthdays and awards, these all provide topics to post about and things to get involved in to make your business look proactive in its approach.
Create a brand identity
You want to create a brand that is always promoting and writing positive things to build an image which portrays an optimistic and confident business. So once you’ve started putting your plan together and you know who you need to target, begin to consider how you want your brand to come across to your ideal customer. Create a consistent brand voice and give your business a personality that resonates with your audience. Be personable as it’ll build trust, which will help you convert even more leads.
The best thing to do is to get stuck in. Don’t take too much time deliberating over one social media post or a blog article. Get it done. Once you’ve put your plan together, there should be no stopping you, all you need to do is get creating. Write and publish a blog post and distribute it across the various channels at your disposal.
- Share on social media platforms – Use both company and personal Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn accounts to share your latest blog or piece of news and ask everyone in your company to do the same.
- Send an email to customers and prospects – Email is a great way to get directly in front of customers and prospects, so why wouldn’t you share your latest successes, advice or insights with them?
- Get tagging – If you’ve written a blog and included a quote from someone else or even just mentioned them, let them know! They may share your content with their audience and your prospective clients!
Outreach, outreach, outreach
When you’ve got a story to shout about share it. Not only via your own channels but via other websites and news outlets. How? Create a list of sites your target customers are likely to be visiting.
Then… Get in touch with them!
Also, consider whether your blog or news story is worthy of local or national press coverage.
If you’ve written an in-depth guide or have experiences to share, look for relevant industry websites that may be interested in what you have to say.
It’s important that you are able to make a good judgment of what type of media you target. You don’t want to waste time and money trying to get national press coverage for a story that’s really not worthy of it.
Impacts of PR
PR provides a range of benefits for a business which all contribute to increased exposure and can enhance your business’ profitability. More exposure increases brand awareness, trust in your business, increases ranking and traffic to your site and enables you to convert more leads into valued customers.
It makes your business more attractive to potential customers.
So, what are you waiting for?