5 Things You Might Not Know About Small Business PR
Do you remember the first time you tasted homemade chocolate chip cookies? You probably thought,“Wow, this is incredible!” The flavors melt together so nicely, you wondered how in the world they were made.
It probably wasn’t until someone showed you how to combine the right ingredients that they became less of an enigma. You were able to bake and enjoy them whenever you wanted to!
Think of PR as a deliciously baked good that everyone can enjoy. Let me give you some insight into using the right ingredients and recipe to make your PR efforts work for your small business. Here’s a few demystifying facts to keep in mind.
A small marketing budget goes a long way with PR
Like a dash of salt or baking soda, PR is one small way you can start putting your business’s name out there, without investing a lot upfront. As we discussed in one of my earlier blogs, PR is a form of earned media that doesn’t require you to directly invest to achieve results.
All it takes is having your well-crafted pitch be well received by the right media publication. Especially if your small business is new to the market, it’s one of the first steps you should take to connect with your community.
There isn’t a standard timeline — be consistent!
You’ve sent out your first couple of pitches and the anticipation is building — who will respond first? Just like watching the timer as the cookie dough rises, watching and waiting can be a frustrating part of PR.
The key is to keep pitching even if you don’t get a lot of responses right away. There are so many factors affecting which pitches each publication is choosing. Your time will come as long as you don’t give up! There’s no magic formula to let you know how many pitches is enough. Your media placement could come from the first pitch or 50th.
PR adds value by building trust in your brand
We’ve all been there while dress shopping — the dreaded dressing room. While making a decision on which dress looks the best, I tend to trust the opinion of a friend over the person working at the store. While their opinion could be perfectly objective, I also know they’re working off commission and are motivated by the desire to sell me more clothing. My friend, on the other hand, really just has my best interest in mind.
Think of a media placement as a trusty friend telling everyone that your products are just as good as you say they are. While your customers can take your word for it, they know the media outlet has more of an objective perspective. PR helps secures a third party recommendation that helps your brand thrive.
Every media placement pays off in the long run
Once you’ve done the work of sending off pitches, it feels really great to get your very first media placement. You share it with everyone you know and maybe your mom prints out a copy for her fridge!
Now, don’t get me wrong, a media placement is definitely worth celebrating, especially if it’s your company’s first one. Just be sure to make sure to manage your expectations and remember that the more placements you get, the more brand awareness you build. Sales may not spike right away, and that’s ok. A good PR strategy recognizes that patience, persistence, and forethought lead to sustainable growth.
Making headlines isn’t about highlighting the obvious
A lot of the time small businesses come to me thinking they must have a product launch, special event, or new location to get published. The best secret to PR is finding the newsworthy spin to what your business is already doing.
Put on your reporter cap and start noticing which lifestyle stories are already being featured in your target publications. Depending on the time of year or industry trends, you may already be part of the bigger story. Look a little deeper into your brand to find something less obvious. Do you have an employee who brings noteworthy experience? Are your seasonal products taking a greener approach?
The news is a space filled with constant change and the best PR strategy is to stay adaptable. You can’t always predict how your efforts will turn out, which can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles!