The world of small business is a competitive one. Not only are you contending for market share, product sales, likes, comments and re-grams – every small business (whether locally or internationally) is also heavily competing in the marketing and public relations space.
PR for your business should never be an afterthought – taking the time to implement a simple strategy that can run alongside your company as it expands and grows is a worthwhile investment set to pay significant dividends well into the future.
There are four tips I believe every small business should know, and can easily harness, to help their company stand out above the crowd when it comes to media coverage.
This one seems simple – but you wouldn’t believe how difficult it is for some small businesses to step out and get started with their first piece of PR. Companies tend to think they need a fully-fledged strategy, have taken a few media release-writing courses and have a marketing gant chart to complement their campaign. Not so. Getting started can be as easy as making a small list of key media to call and introduce yourself to, or writing your first press release. Start small if necessary – but take the step to start.
Great PR, especially public relations that will pay you back over time, is founded on far more than just a good story. Building genuine relationships with a strong network of journalists is essential. Good media contacts will call on you when writing stories related to your industry, and they are a great sounding board if you have an idea or two for a media story and you’re not sure how to position it for best success.
This tip is all about maximising your content across multiple platforms for maximum exposure. If you send out a press release, be sure to post it on your website, share any coverage links on social media and post related commentary on LinkedIn. If the media features your story online – share it on all social media channels. You strengthen your reputation when you regularly repurpose your content to multiple audiences, and it doesn’t require a lot of time to do so.
Don’t try too hard when putting together a media release or statement about your company for journalists. Simple is best. Keep your media release to one page maximum, and try to write for an audience that may never have heard of your business, messages, services or products. Avoid jargon and be efficient with your copy, to give journalists the best chance of reviewing it quickly and making the decision to run with it.
These are four of my best tips that are easy for every small business to implement and get started with PR. Don’t be daunted – enjoy the process, keep it simple and celebrate the media wins!
Katie Clift, Director, Katie Clift Consulting