The easiest way to grow your small business

Forget spending thousands of dollars on advertising. There is another way that your small business can promote itself. Public Relations (PR) is not just a buzz word. Most small businesses have heard of the word but they are not really sure what it means.

Before we discuss what PR is, let’s discuss where it fits in your marketing strategy.

The marketing mix is made up of your target market + the 4P’s –Product, Price, Place and Promotion:

  • Product is your tangible goods including your packaging.
  • Price is the pricing strategy that you use for your product including any sales, discounts, coupons.
  • Place is where you run the business e.g. online or bricks and mortar store plus your distribution channels
  • Promotion is how you get your message into the minds of your target audience. Advertising, whether it be print, digital, social media or outdoor media falls under the promotion element. In-store or online promotions would also fall under this facet of the marketing mix. This is where Public Relations is housed too.

If you run a service-based business, then your marketing mix would be made up of the 7P’s instead of the 4P’s.

The 7P’s include the 4P’s mentioned above plus Process, which is the service offered and how you offer this service e.g virtual, online, at a specific store. The last two P’s included in the service marketing mix are Physical Evidence (how your service is experienced) and People (your staff, you and your customers).

PR is the way that you share your voice, your business story and your brand with the public. It is not a paid advert. It is not advertising. It is publicity. It is more credible as it is not a hand-picked advert that can be controlled completely.

Whilst both advertising and PR have a very important place in the marketing mix, they can offer your small business different avenues to capture your target market.

An effective PR Campaign can provide your product with brand awareness, brand recognition, brand loyalty and can ultimately increase sales and drive traffic to your website or store.

PR is not only for large businesses with massive budgets. You can look at outsourcing. Often a freelance consultant is more affordable. Alternatively, you can look at doing your own.

Once you get your voice into the media, you can use the PR coverage to boost social media posts, to build your credibility on your website, to add to your digital newsletters and to help with your SEO.

This is an investment that all small-business owners and start-ups should look into outsourcing or undertaking themselves. As Richard Branson says, “A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front-page ad.”

Candice Meisels, Virtual PR Consultant and author of “The Power of PR – PR for start-ups and small business”

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