No matter how big or small your business you need a PR strategy. Even the smallest start up business can have a simple PR strategy which uses local press, social networking and email marketing to raise the profile of the firm with very little financial cost.
Identify your target market
To begin with you must identify your target market – who are you trying to reach, why are you reaching out to them and what is the message? Remember – if nobody knows who you are and what you do, the sales calls will not come. PR is not sales so plugging products will not suffice. Instead focus on producing a newsworthy story such as “local business creates new jobs” or “national firm expands into new overseas markets”. Write stories that you would be interested in reading if you were to see the headline in the newspaper or online.
Select the appropriate media
If your potential customers are generally online then there is little point in getting lots of press coverage in newspapers and magazines. Select the media that is most appropriate for your target audience. Identify the trade press titles that your customers read. If you don’t have the answers to this already – ask your existing clients via a survey.
Set targets for your PR campaigns. Whether that is to receive press coverage in one newspaper and once online each week or whether you want to make the national news once a month, set realistic, achievable targets.
If you send a press release out to a trade journal, business magazine or newspaper, make sure you recycle that content. Once it has been published you can then put a copy of the news article up on your website, tweet a link to the story, add a status update on LinkedIn and even email a copy out to your clients and prospects. Aim to use each piece of press coverage at least twice – after all there is no point in re-inventing the wheel in order to gain additional PR.