7 PR Strategies Businesses can Implement Themselves

7 PR Strategies Businesses can Implement Themselves
by Cecilia Russo Turner

If you are a small business, you know the importance of building and maintaining a good relationship with the public. However, as a small business owner, it may not be fiscally possible for you to hire a firm to handle your public relations needs. Still, if you are willing to put in the effort and time, creating and managing your own PR program may not be out of reach.

1. Share your story
Storytelling can help identify your brand and create trust among consumers and your peers. You can tell the fascinating story of how your brand came to be and let your customers share the stories of their experiences with your business. Be sure to divulge the history of your brand: why your business exists, its values, how the brand evolved and the full picture of your business. Transparency can be key in earning the trust of your target audience.

2. Smart networking
In Savannah, there are plenty of networking opportunities each week. Don’t get burned out by trying to attend every single one and meet every single person. Create a plan for whom you’d like to meet and then figure out what events these individuals would most likely attend. Introduce yourself. Let them know why you think you may be a good business partner or referral contact. But be sure not to be too self-promotional in your comments. Remember: Do-it-yourself PR is all about being authentic and trustworthy.

3. Be prepared before you begin
Only start a PR campaign if your product or service is truly ready. One negative review early on can be detrimental to a start-up or small business. Not sure if you know what “ready” is? Get a small group of your trusted friends or colleagues together to test drive your services. This survey sample can provide insights into your business, website, operations and customer service to provide you with feedback that could help you make last-minute changes to your final product or service if needed.

4. Send your news to the right people
Create a media list and develop a short write-up about your good news. Be personal with any media outreach. Figure out whether the reporter or editor prefers using email, telephone or social media for communications. Keep your message short and to the point, and if via email, make sure your subject line is attention-grabbing and won’t be mistaken for spam. Furthermore, your message will be taken more seriously if it is objective. You might think your product or service is the best, but not everyone will agree. Stick to the facts and keep adjectives out of your content.

5. Create impactful content
Just because something is of interest to you doesn’t mean your target audience thinks the same. Check to ensure your content is newsworthy and engaging. Events, significant business changes or accomplishments are noteworthy items to include in a press release. If you have an exciting event coming up, it’s helpful to send a media advisory to local outlets as an invitation to cover the affair. News columns and videos are other useful media to share opinions, educational pieces or business news. No matter the platform, ensure your content is relevant and interesting.

6. Educational marketing
Share trending developments in your field. You need to be the industry expert. Set up Google Alerts and Twitter Mentions to be notified of certain keywords. Follow the top industry influencers on social media, and find out what your competitors are doing. Don’t just keep this information to yourself, though. Share your knowledge through videos, blog posts and speeches. Booklets and e-booklets are another easy way to educate your audience. Don’t forget to disperse the content on your social media platforms as well. This is a great way to build trust and credibility with key elements of the public.

7. Worthy cause marketing
Get involved in your community. Choose a local charity that you’re passionate about and set aside a portion of your resources and time for it. Donating your expertise or money to a charity can help the philanthropy spread their own message and will give you an opportunity to grow as an active member of their organization. Additionally, people want to support companies that align with their values and actively participate in their communities.

As you grow, there will be a point at which you could benefit from hiring a PR firm, but take that step when you are ready. If you follow these seven strategies, maintaining your day-to-day PR plan will be a realistic and viable option for you and your small business.

Cecilia Russo Turner is the owner and president of Cecilia Russo Marketing, specializing in reputation management strategies used to create and control businesses’ word-of-mouth in the community and online. For more information visit crussomarketing.com or email info@crussomarketing.com

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