Matt B, Marketing CoordinatorApr 3, 2018 @ 4:00PM 4 minute read
In a world where the media never stops and people crave more and more information, there's an opportunity for businesses that want to put in a little extra work for a big payoff: use public relations as a way to differentiate your business, tell your story, and get far more exposure than those who ignore it (which is pretty much everyone).
Isn't this a secret that's gotten out yet? Turns out it's not. Very few small business put any effort into PR; they think PR is only for huge
But why PR? Doesn't social media give you the same thing? Actually, PR provides two advantages over other sources of information that consumers frequently use:
Keep in mind though, the press isn't just sitting around waiting for you to answer interview questions. You have to be smart about how you position your business so you not only get
Here are four ways you can effectively work with the press to promote your business:
If CNN did a 30 minute special all about your business, you most definitely would see a huge uptick in business. But as much as I hate to break it to you, that's probably not going to happen
Seek out these kinds of PR opportunities:
Bloggers need one key thing to stay in business - content. The more content, the more traffic, and the more traffic, the more they can sell advertising. Consider also that 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 blogs before engaging with a sales rep, and
Now, there are good blogs and there are a ton of lousy blogs.
You should also start your own blog for your website. It gives you a valuable platform and one you can use as currency to work with other bloggers. As I said, bloggers need traffic and engagement, and if you offer to highlight their content on your site in return for them doing the same for you, you'll become much more "findable" on the internet, and in the context of those
As we've established, the beauty of PR is usually that it's free, and the people who own the PR channels usually need good stories in order to keep cranking out new content. There's an element of reciprocity that can serve you well if you network yourself and your stories effectively.
Now, don't think that website owners and online publications are waiting around for you to call. Others like yourself are going to be working to get coverage too, so you have to bring something to the table to make your story compelling. On the internet, the greatest currency is traffic, so find ways to offer to promote the websites of media outlets and they will be more inclined to promote you. This is certainly a nice thing to do, but from a tactical standpoint, it's a critical element for bloggers and website owners to stay relevant. The more links to their site, the better they will do in Google search results.
Look for other types of businesses that are not competitors, but are complementary to yours. Offer to promote special offers or a link to their blog on your website in return for the same treatment from them. The more of this you can do, the more your name will be seen by potential customers, and your brand will be validated by virtue of being associated with reputable companies.
Don't expect a few links to your site or a story about your business to create an avalanche of new customers. It takes time for the effort to have an effect, but it has to be a continuous effort on your part. The more press outlets and friendly businesses you reach, the greater your overall potential for getting exposure.
When you reach out, it's okay to be direct and ask for attention, but be respectful and find a way to connect. You might want to try one of these formats:
For email, go straight to the owner with an email that is to the point, but that makes you and your business appear compelling. Something along these lines:
Hi Mike...I love your blog and think you're providing a great service for our industry. I operate a four-person ____ business in the ______ area, and I wanted to let you know about a new service we're operating that might be of interest to your readers. We call it, "Thank a Vet," and it's a way for us to serve those who have served our country. We're offering a 40% discount on all services for anyone who is
We'd love to consider including ads on your website as well, so wanted to see if you might be interested in talking with us about possibly highlighting our program and our business in a forthcoming blog. I'd be happy to chat with you
Thanks for your time.
Or maybe try a text, in which you can be briefer and get straight to the point:
Mike...it's ____ from _____. We have a really interesting program we've initiated that
You have to make the ask in order to get the attention, and while you may have to send quite a few requests before you get a response, the outcome will likely be more than worth it.
There's a big movement towards going local and it's an important thing for you to tap into. First off, there are apps and websites like Nextdoor, Hood, and JustMyNeighbors that verify people's locations and help them connect
Next, identify local groups that have publications and/or meet regularly. This would incline homeowners associations, Rotary clubs, chambers of commerce, and others that serve the interests of locals. Offer to write articles with tips and helpful hints about an area where you have expertise. You don't necessarily need to promote your services, but let's say your business is installing hardwood floors. Maybe you want to publish articles about DIY floor maintenance and the best products to use to keep hardwood looking new and vibrant. Here again, these publications are usually in need of content, and by offering your expert advice, you're providing them with a service.
Don't neglect local arts and crafts fairs, and downtown merchant's nights; most towns and cities host a variety of activities during good weather to bring people out to learn about local vendors. Consider setting up a booth with flyers and other marketing collateral. Print up DIY information and distribute it with your name and brand prominently displayed on it.
Remember, to serve IN your community, you have to be part OF your community.
The key word in public relations is "public." You have a great business, and it can get bigger and better, but you need to make the public aware of it. Doing so with media and community outreach will humanize your brand and allow people to get to know you and your services. While it requires some work, it's also generally free or at least