Public relations (PR) is one of the best ways to drum up word-of-mouth for your business. However, it can be expensive and tough to know where to start:
- Who do you contact?
- What do you write?
- Which platforms are best for your business?
So, to help you make these decisions, here are five steps that you can take today to help you to take charge of the PR for your business:
Steps to Public Relations for your business
Step 1 – Create a press kit
A press kit contains all the information about your business that a client (or journalist) would need or want. This could include a fact sheet, company profile, photos, articles or customer referrals.
In addition, if you run a knowledge-based business such as a law or accounting firm you should put the CVs of your experts into the press kit and send these to relevant journalists so that when they need commentary in an article they are writing in your particular subject area you will be top of mind for them.
Step 2 – Use the right marketing tools for your business
Social media, billboards, pay-per-click advertising, print or radio adverts – these are just some of the marketing tools you could use for your business. The correct marketing tools for you will depend on your target audience, your budget, and the goals you want to reach.
Most importantly, when choosing your marketing communications mix for your company, you need to make sure that you keep your budget in mind and stick to it. For example, if you’re a small start-up, with a limited budget, you mustn’t get into debt and take out a sky-high billboard. Opt for advertising that is within your budget such as social media advertising, which is extremely affordable and has a very high ROI.
Step 3 – Utilise web marketing
Paid advertising is a great way to take charge of your business’ PR. You can target potential customers through keyword search marketing tools and ensure the people who matter find you online.
Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO) is a very important tool to use in order to make sure that people can find your business online. It does this by inserting keywords that people – who are looking for a business like yours will search for – into the copy of your website.
Step 4 – Build relationships with the right people
To spread the word about your business, you need to build relationships with journalists, station managers, other business-people and, of course, your clients. Moreover, you mustn’t just build relationships but maintain them!
Step 5 – Keep engaging
PR is all about keeping the conversation about your business going. Therefore, join online forums and engage with your clients, and keep sending out newsletters or email campaigns. Send emails to or call your journalist friends. Whatever you, keep the lines of communication open.
How do you take charge of your business’ PR? Please share your strategies below or post any questions you may have.
When PR is the most effective
As with most things in life, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Therefore, before you start any PR campaign, you need to set goals, limits and determine what the campaign’s success will look like. In other words, you need to formulate a public relations strategy.
When you know what you’d like to achieve with your PR, it will be easier to know when it will be the most effective and what it should be about.
Some of the best times to consider doing a PR campaign is when:
- You launch a new product.
- You want to add value to your customers through thought-leadership pieces.
- You move or acquire new premises (only if people visit your premises).
- You have exciting, controversial, new information to share about your industry.
- You sign on a massive client or receive an exciting opportunity in your business.
- You sponsor, or are involved with, local events or charities.
- Something on your social media or in your industry has gone viral.
- You have a milestone event, such as your 10000th customer or something similar.
The critical thing to remember about when PR is most effective is striking the iron while it’s still hot. Old news is not good news so make sure that you get the information out there while it’s still fresh and new.
Where PR is the most effective
If you want to know where your PR campaign will be the most effective, you must consider where your target market or existing customers are and what they want to see. There is no point in speaking to an audience that has zero interest in your products or services. Or talking to the correct audience but in the wrong format.
Some of the areas where PR is the most effective is:
- Areas where you need some help to differentiate your products or services,
- Local press, radio stations, TV shows, events or trade magazines,
- Relevant digital platforms such as blogs, social media, and websites that reach your target market, and
- Social media influencers or bloggers that speak to your target market.
Relevance is everything when deciding where to distribute your PR campaign. If CNN’s audience is the wrong audience for you, don’t even bother. Make sure that you speak to the right people at the right time so that they’ll be more receptive to you.
Become an expert in digital public relations with the Digital School of Marketing’s Digital Public Relations Course. The Internet has drastically changed the way we do traditional PR and the way PR work is measured. So, on this course, you will learn:
- How to meet organisations’ and your target market’s needs,
- How to weave the fundamentals of traditional Public Relations into a digital world,
- The art and science of engaging with media on all different digital channels to enable you to spread your brand’s message through strategic communications.
Contact us today to find out more about our digital public relations and digital marketing courses!