PR should not just be a “nice idea” for small businesses, it should be an essential part of every marketing strategy.

PR is a great way to raise your profile and attract potential customers. It is a great way to communicate your message and expertise to a targeted audience, and it holds more weight than advertising because anyone can pay for an advert. Small businesses are sometimes scared to do PR because of the costs, but there are some cost effective techniques that you can use to build your brand using PR. How? Read on.

Write expert articles

Media outlets love expert features, because it gives insight into a particular topic. For example, when William and Catherine were getting married, women’s magazines were filled with articles on how to replicate Catherine’s look – from her make-up to even her walk. There was no limit to the amount of experts they called in, from elocution experts on how to walk and talk like a princess, to fashion experts. Look at current trends and stories, and pitch expert features accordingly. This is my single favorite strategy for building business brands, and personal brands using PR. It works.

Contact your local press

People sometimes over-look their local press, but it is a great way to get media coverage. Local newspapers and radio stations love celebrating local business, and they really want your news. Rather than going in trying to “sell,” pitch a story about any award wins, or anything that you might be doing for the community. A client of mine got a lovely story in her local press about the fact that she was running a successful online business around her 2 young sons.

Aim high

Building your brand using PR is essentially about brand alignment. Aligning your brand with a media outlet is powerful because it communicates credibility. I have worked with very new brands, and put them on media outlets such as CNBC. Some small business owners are sometimes hesitant about aiming for the bigger media outlets because they think that they would not be interested in their story, but outlets such as The Guardian, Forbes and ITV are very open to featuring new brands. The most important thing is the angle. Take the time to research publications, and pitch quality stories accordingly. And use the media coverage that you get as a way to secure more by saying “I have been featured in magazines such as Vogue, and I would love to write for you….”

By Haddy Folivi, founder, Clarity Media