How Even Very Small Businesses Can Gain Media Exposure

content marketing, content management, newsjacking, social media, digital marketing, SEO, online marketingFor any business, getting your name out there in the marketplace and in front of potential customers is crucial for bringing in revenue. This is particularly true for new or small businesses that don’t have much, if any, name recognition. This is where public relations, or “PR,” can be extremely beneficial; it’s a low-cost, high-impact means of generating awareness, preference and driving business to your doorstep or website.

Here are some important things to know about PR and how you can put it to work for you.

What’s the Difference Between PR and Advertising?

While both PR and advertising are means of getting your name out to the market, there is a key difference between the two. “Advertising is paid media, public relations is earned media,” writes Robert Wynne in an article for Forbes. “This means you convince reporters or editors to write a positive story about you or your client, your candidate, brand or issue.  It appears in the editorial section of the magazine, newspaper, TV station or website, rather than the ‘paid media’ section where advertising messages appear.”

That’s exactly right and an important distinction to remember. The use of social media also can be a great way to generate PR—those who share your posts are helping you spread the word about your company, your goods and your services, at no cost to you.

Why is PR Important for a Small Business?

PR is important because, in essence, it’s third party endorsement for what you have to offer. Only personal experience and word-of-mouth are, in our opinion, more impactful in terms of influencing consumer perception. Advertising, what we say about ourselves, certainly has a place, but PR has more influence simply because it is generally perceived to be non-biased.

PR isn’t Really Free

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking PR is an easy way to get name recognition. While many would say that another benefit is that it’s “free,” that’s not really the case. It takes time and effort – which equals cost – to be effective at generating media coverage in a strategic way.

Implementing a PR Strategy

When putting together your PR strategy, here are a few basic things to keep in mind:

  • Have a strategy, with aligned goals and objectives, for what you hope to achieve.
  • Identify the media outlets that reach your desired target audiences.
  • Get to know the people associated with those outlets (editors, writers, reporters, etc., and work to build strong relationships.
  • Pitch topics that are focused more on the needs/interests of the reading/viewing audience than on you. The biggest misstep here is to be too self-promotional. If you want a promotion, run an ad.

Running your own PR operation can be done, but it can also be challenging, especially if you don’t have a background in this area, or you’re trying to reach a large metro, regional or national audience. We have a number of blog posts that offer specific tips and guidance here.

Interested in learning more about how we can help you gain exposure through PR. Get in touch!

 

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About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We are adept at evaluating and analyzing communication efforts and working with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content, through both on- and offline media to achieve desired results. Our background in business journalism, marketing, PR/media relations and online communications makes us well-positioned to serve the needs of 21st-century marketers.

We serve clients who are looking for help creating content for a wide array of channels—from social media posts to full-length manuscripts, and everything in between. We focus primarily on service-related B2B topics and work with a number of independent consultants interested in building their thought leadership through online channels. For ongoing content management, our first step is to fully understand your goals, objectives and competitive landscape.

Then we’ll conduct a thorough analysis and assessment of your digital presence, compared to competitors, and recommend a communication strategy to achieve your goals. But, we also regularly take on individual projects – white papers, blog posts, contributed articles, etc. If you’re interested in learning more, let us know!

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

Recommended Reading

21st Century Secrets to Effective PR: Tips and Best Practices for Gaining Media Exposure

 

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