Public Relations Tips For Small Business Owners
With a lot of emphasis being placed on social media strategies it’s easy to forget that other forms of media exist that can help your small business grow. Finding the best marketing strategy for your business means utilizing all available means of growing your brand, which includes more traditional public relations methods such as print, radio and television. However, unlike writing a post or tweet, getting attention through the media requires your business to become newsworthy. Here are a few tips that small business owners may find useful:
Widen Your Scope
If your business manufactures widgets, don’t limit your media opportunities to only discussing the many benefits widgets have to offer the world. You could be waiting quite a while for that interview to come around. Instead, consider widening your story beyond the content or expertise you possess about the ideas, services or products directly related to your business.
For example, let’s say you participate in charitable events that take you to underserved neighborhoods within your community and abroad. Find media outlets where you can share your stories and experiences that discuss the importance of giving back to these types of communities. Once you have captured the media spotlight, you can briefly mention widgets as an aside. Media exposure that highlights you as an individual carries just as much weight as those that solely act as an infomercial for your business’ services or products.
Don’t forget the opportunities that exist in your own community. While this may sound obvious for small local businesses, if you have a national presence or an online business, don’t overlook the local publications and newspapers, or consider them as a waste of time. This kind of thinking can easily lead you to missing out on opportunities that can help you establish credibility and practice cultivating your talking points.
When vetting potential guests or story ideas, the majority of producers and reporters will run a quick Google check to see what comes up about the individual involved. It will only help improve your chances of getting national coverage if they find previous stories about you in local new outlets. Taking the time to receive coverage in local papers and television will help grow your record and establish your credibility. Plus, it also provides you the chance to fine tune your business’ message and adjust future talking points so you continue getting more coverage.
Make Your Own Media
Many small business owners possess extraordinary personal stories and experiences about subjects other than running a business. You don’t have to write a memoir to get your story out, either. Instead, you could start your own podcast, blog or show segment on local cable access as a way of creating personal exposure. While this method does take an opposite approach of creating exposure for your business, it provides an excellent opportunity to improve your standing and build trust within the community. If you write or talk about other individuals or groups working to improve your community, for example, it can help develop an emotional connection with your audience. Developing an emotional connection is an impactful way of compelling others to do business with you.
Cast a Wider Net
Another frequent mistake made by small businesses is to only target media opportunities that exist within their region. While that might of made sense when the Yellow Pages were the primary means of attracting new customers, it simply makes no sense in today’s globally connected digital age. It’s not a waste of time and energy to have you or your business featured in international publications. In fact, you actually become even more interesting to local media outlets if you’ve been featured abroad. What you say in these publications may even carry more weight as it provides an outside perspective a foreign audience may lend more credence to.
Once you start getting featured in more traditional media outlets, you can start to combine your public relations efforts with social media. Posting links to news articles or television interviews you’ve been featured in makes a great way of selling your business’ credibility and attracting new customers.