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Launching a PR campaign – five key tips for small businesses

By Posted on February 29, 2016,

While you know your business inside out, navigating the world of PR and marketing can be a little trickier.

 

Cash flow is often tight when running a small business, so taking ownership of PR may be your only option. It can be a daunting task, especially if you’ve heard the old saying ‘it’s all about who you know not what you know’.

 

While it may have been true in the ‘bolly and caviar’ days of PR, the good news is it’s now more about understanding the media and crafting stories that resonate.

 

Here are our key PR tips for understanding the basics of launching a PR campaign and getting the best coverage for your business:

 

  1. Are you ready?

 

First, ask yourself are you and your business ready to go? By this we mean – is the final product finalised? Is the website live? And when you achieve an amazing enquiry-driving piece of coverage, will you have the logistics in place to cope with demand?

 

  1. Remember PR is not a sales tool

 

PR is the process of gaining free media coverage for you or your business and acts like powerful word of mouth from journalists or bloggers. Don’t get it confused with advertising. Think of PR as a way to tell the story behind your product or service, not as an opportunity to sell, sell, sell. Offering expertise or insight is often a good approach.

 

  1. Formulate a strategy

 

Keep your business goals in mind, do you want to drive traffic to your website and encourage sales, or showcase your business in order to raise awareness or attract investment? Whatever your goals, all PR activity should work towards achieving them.

 

Also think about your USP and how you differentiate yourself from the competition. This should be a clear and defining message, communicated across all PR activity.

 

  1. Know your audience

 

This applies to both the consumer and the media. Know who you’re talking to and which angles will carry most weight. When speaking to journalists, ensure the publication is relevant to your business and think about what content you have to offer.

 

As for the consumer, who are they? What’s their age, location, interests or hobbies? How do they like to be approached and what kind of information do they want?

 

  1. Focus online for better ROI

 

While national print coverage was once the most coveted type of coverage, it now lacks the longevity of other media channels. Online coverage stays searchable for days, weeks and years after it was originally published, meaning there are usually far more opportunities to reach potential customers.

 

Coverage containing links back to your website also helps SEO, so you tick multiple boxes in one hit. It’s worth setting up Google Analytics in advance; it will help you see how coverage impacts traffic to your site and conversion rates.

 

Many journalists are now also happy to receive media pitches via Twitter, offering a super efficient way to connect with key influencers. If a journalist has 10K+ followers, think about the exposure one quick tweet from them can do for your business.

 

Here’s to helping you achieve PR success!