PR is essential to your business’ growth. Whether you’re looking to attract new customers, raise your profile locally or secure investment, communicating with your audiences effectively will transform your business’ reputation. PR is seen as a nice-to-have for big businesses, synonymous with major budgets and huge campaigns and stunts. The reality is, as a business owner, you have it in you to drive your own publicity.
These five simple steps can help raise your business’ profile.
- Make the time
As business owners, time is our most valued asset. Yes, you’re running a business, handling clients, managing a team, no doubt looking after finance too. PR is a discipline too. The trick is to commit to a regular time in your week to create that positive PR habit.
- Connect PR to your business goals
- Know your audience
Don’t forget social media. Follow key journalists on Twitter as a starting point. It’s a great way to get to know them, understand their interests and the kind of stories they cover. Journalists often tweet requests for help on pieces too. Look out for hashtags like #journorequest or #bloggers. Building your own Twitter profile makes it easier for journalists to reach you too.
- How can I help you?
Don’t go in with “I have a great story for you”. Try “How can I help you?” For example, right now, our local online newspaper has a major drive on video content. So offering video friendly stories gives them a stronger chance of being covered.
- Build an editorial calendar
You’ll know the seasonal opportunities in your business. Christmas, Easter, summer holidays, back to school. How do these impact your product or service? If you’re a recruitment firm, do you see am influx of CVs after New Year? Do you think this will be higher this year? What’s going on in your industry? Dates like the Budget, new legislation or regular research coming out can help you anticipate great reasons to approach your media with insights, comments and tips.
Beware the ubiquitous awareness day. Journalists will take them with a pinch of salt. But if you have a genuine link with one, it can help to approach the journalist 2-3 weeks ahead so they can schedule it in as a story. Established platforms such as Global Enterprise Week and Apprenticeship Week still carry weight. Top tip, Small Business Saturday is coming up in December.
Diarise everything you need to do to stay on top of your PR activity.
If your business’ profile is a priority for you, treat PR as you would any other business discipline. PR is the cost-effective, smart way to help grow your business, enhance your credibility and drive your influence. It’s the competitive edge that can make a major difference in your business’ story.
By Antonia Taylor, www.antoniataylorpr.com