There’s a persistent myth that public relations is an expensive luxury reserved for giant corporations, big businesses, and global celebrities. However, the truth is, PR has become an essential function for any business wanting to grow – no matter what size.
In today’s climate of personal brands, thought leadership, and personal bios littered with publication credits; every business leader – whether they’re leading a team of two or 200 – should be focussing on securing media coverage for both themselves and their business.
PR has the power to promote people and businesses through positive media coverage, opinion pieces, social media posts, and TV and radio appearances. It can also encourage positive relationships with important stakeholders, such as the government, suppliers, potential customers and regular clientele.
It can also help manage your business’ reputation, including helping you listen and respond to what the public really thinks about your brand. This form of social listening can be even more critical for smaller businesses or new start-ups that are just starting to get off the ground.
Meeting high expectations
While our parents taught us to not worry about what people think about us, public opinion of your business does matter. It matters to your profitability and growth, especially when you’re smaller or just starting to grow.
Today’s customer has developed incredibly high expectations of businesses. We demand not only a good product or service at a good price, but we also expect stellar online experiences, flawless customer service, and a sparkling brand reputation. Anything else, and we’ll simply move on to the next brand waiting in the wings.
The current climate sees people use recommendations, online reviews, the media, testimonials, social media, and many more PR tools to evaluate a business. Media interviews and coverage, awards, events, websites, newsletters, and the involvement of influential people all affect our perception of an organisation.
With the right PR tactics in place, you’ll be able to meet these high expectations by using your reputation to your advantage and maintaining control over your brand’s narrative.
Telling the world about your wins
If you’re brilliant at what you do but nobody except your mother knows it, you won’t have as many chances to do your work. Just because you know how great your business is, that doesn’t mean anyone else will go out of their way to find it out too. Instead, you need to make it as easy as possible for a potential customer to figure out why you’re the best in the business.
If an independent expert gave you an award for your work, your customer deserves to know about it. If your business has recently gained some new clients, it’s important to keep the industry in the loop. If you’ve found a niche that you excel in, how are you going to service your potential clients without telling them about it? You owe it not just to your business, but to them too.
Media are advocates for your business
Media can become advocates for your business when you give them newsworthy information that positions your business in the best light and conveys your message. If done well, they will want to tell your story.
If you’re a small business, you are obviously skilled in a unique way or have a specific offering that you excel in. You can share that knowledge and get coverage for your business by participating in scheduled features and interview opportunities.
The best way to approach media relations for your business is to think from the perspective of a journalist. A journalist is interested in articles, news and stories that their readers, listeners, and viewers would enjoy or benefit from. If done well, you’ll most likely create a long-lasting relationship with the media that will stand you in good stead for years to come.
In short, if you’ve been wondering if PR is right for your business, I’m here to tell you: it is. No matter your size, every business deserves the massive benefits that come with showing the world why you matter.