Public Relations 101: A Inexperienced persons Information to Small Companies
Running a small business is not an easy task, especially when you’re just starting out – you have limited time, resources, and budget while you try to get things done to build awareness and grow your brand. Nonetheless, it is crucial to get your company name known as widely as possible in order to generate a customer pipeline and generate steady sales. So the question arises: what is the best way to start?
PR, or public relations, is more important than ever for small businesses to grow in 2021, and it doesn’t have to be very complicated or costly. Below are some of the most basic ways to start your small business PR and get people excited about your brand.
Master the lowest hanging fruit: write and publish a press release
This is how a press release works
First and foremost, publishing a press release with newsworthy information about your small business is considered a low hanging fruit in the PR industry. A press release (often referred to as a “press release” or “media release”) is an official announcement made by your company to reporters, media companies, and journalists. It is mostly a one- or two-page text that highlights a new progress or milestone related to your company. This can range from a product launch, a successful round of funding, a latest research report or publication to a new business partnership. The goal is to publish an official statement from your small business that will grab the attention of relevant media and journalists for use in their publications, stories, and social media. In other words, the Your press releases are targeted at journalists, not your customers. If your PR is particularly newsworthy, well-known reporters will cover it in their articles, giving you the attention and attention your small business needs.
How to write a press release
Now, let’s get to how to write a press release from scratch. If you don’t have a dedicated PR team or agency, you need to learn how to write a press release yourself. If you want to do it yourself, you should look at a ton of press release examples to understand what a good press release looks like.
Perhaps the most important points to consider are making sure you have a compelling headline and formatting your press release for easy scanning. Journalists receive hundreds of PRs from various sources every day, so getting this headline right is important to ensure your publication opens in the first place.
Keep the following formatting tips in mind to be successful:
- Write in short paragraphs of 2-3 lines or less
- Try to limit your press release to 5 paragraphs
- Include original quotes in the body of the text
- Use bulleted lists if necessary
- Add a relevant picture, diagram, or screenshot
- On behalf of your company, write in one voice in a third person
Writing a press release for your small business shouldn’t necessarily be as confusing or tedious as you might think. By following the directions above and reading some well-written examples of press releases, you can stand out from the crowd and gain valuable media coverage and traction for your brand.
Make sure your PR strategy tells a story and is relatable
Everything you say and do in the world is called public relations. After all, public relations in its simplest form is the craft of engaging the public through various media and influencing opinion. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should just put anything you feel up for public criticism, whether it’s purely about your small business or more personal thoughts. Being connected and humble should be a top priority for every CEO, founder, and startup.
In short, make sure your PR strategy is truthful, timely, and follows a story-telling-narrative. People are keen to stay loyal to your small business’s products and / or services when they feel they can relate to your brand and the messages you post. When done right, PR can be a critical element of your marketing and overall business strategy. Ultimately, PR professionals are essentially professional storytellers – they are constantly on the lookout for positive messages about your product or brand, and looking for story ideas to generate positive press and public feedback.
Always promote your brand values and image to build trust
To begin with, another important aspect of public relations is to create brand recognition and instill trust in your audience. Brand consistency is the way your small business delivers messages that align with your core values, customer experience, brand identity, and promise factors. It refers to how “branded” your company’s PR and marketing content is in relation to your overall brand identity and guidelines. Promoting brand consistency ensures that your brand is easily recognizable across all marketing channels and PR touchpoints. Ultimately, this will foster a cohesive and consistent brand identity that results in a unified experience for existing and potential customers.
Liana Zavo, founder and CEO of ZavoMedia Group, a full-service public relations and digital marketing agency based in NYC, recently interviewed Forbes about small business PR tips that have garnered a lot of attention. Perhaps one of her most important points in the interview was the following:
“I think the most important element a brand should receive from the target audience is trust. Without trust, it’s harder to get more attention and followers. Ultimately, the lack of credibility can prevent the brand from growing and losing sales. Public relations can help bridge the gap between the company and target customers through video marketing, thought leadership articles, trade events and more. “
According to Liana Zavo, customers tend to focus on brands that are relatable and encourage their employees to promote the company’s brand values, message and story. This helps small businesses create a more professional image for existing customers and prospects. In order to be brand consistent, it is important that your employees represent the core values of the brand, regardless of their role in the company.
Take that away
These PR strategies outlined are key to success, but how to actually implement them takes careful planning and a lot of work. Many hire an outside PR firm that specializes in branding and advertising once the business is profitable, but if you’re not there, you can simply understand the importance of building trust through your marketing to ensure that you are on the right track. Know your audience, do research, and connect with your customers, and you’re on your way.
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