We often have a perception of PR as a tool that is only useful for huge multinational corporations, and for politicians attempting to improve their image. Small business owners look at Public Relations schemes and think “that’s not for me, that won’t do me any good” – they don’t see the need to actively improve their public image, especially as a business with nothing to hide, and no controversies to recover from. However, for many small businesses, PR is a hugely under-utilized scheme that could transform the way you operate and the numbers of people you are able to reach. Start thinking of it as an extension of your marketing scheme – and perhaps the most effective one you’ll ever have.
The Benefits of PR
There are many benefits of a PR campaign. The aim of PR is to build brand awareness as organically as possible and to get potential customers speaking positively about you to each other. This removes some of the artificiality of marketing campaigns, helping to build trust and belief in the product or service you are selling. If you can get journalists and influencers writing about your company positively, it provides an external mark of quality that you simply cannot achieve through advertising alone.
Which Businesses Need PR
The short answer to this is all of them! Nearly every business in every market could benefit from a Public Relations campaign. However, there are certain areas for which it can be particularly useful – namely, any market in which you will be trying to directly attract members of the public. Law firms are a particularly good example, as they need potential clients to trust them and their knowledge for a variety of legal matters. Elitelawyermanagement.com is a great place to start looking for advice if you are a legal practitioner looking to embark on a PR campaign. Other small business areas for whom Public Relations could be world-changing include construction, suppliers of produce including farmers, design services, bookkeeping, and any sort of consultancy service.
Forms of PR
The beauty of PR is that it can take many forms. Successful campaigns will operate across many of these outlets, creating wide and organic coverage until your company seems synonymous with a particular market. It may involve you being interviewed by news stations or journalists, either specifically about your company or about wider market issues. It also could take the form of sending products to bloggers for honest reviews and posts featuring your company, or even supporting local charities and having your business’s name positively associated with that. If you’re feeling unsure how to proceed, there are some brilliant PR companies you can outsource to who will help you put a plan together that suits you.
Things to Remember
Whilst PR can be vital for the growth of small businesses, it’s important to remember a few things. Firstly, don’t rush it. Good PR takes time and patience, and you don’t want to gain national coverage before you have the structures in place to handle that. Finally, remember that a truly excellent Public Relations scheme relies on building long term and trusting relationships, so be prepared to put in the work in order to see the results.
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