Is Small Business PR Underrated?

It seems like small business owner knows they need to build a website, considers buying some advertisements, posts on Facebook and in general, get the word out there about their business. 

But when it comes to all the forms of marketing and communications, PR is the last one added to the strategy, if it ever even is. 

After more than a decade of working in media, I can not figure this out. 

Why do small businesses underrate PR?

The answer probably just has to do with a lack of understanding. It’s not as intuitive as logging into your Facebook account, but it’s not hard and it can pay off big time. 

If you’re a small business owner who hasn’t tried PR, here are a few reasons you should. 

PR is an inexpensive way to promote your small business

At this point, you’ve probably been convinced to invest in your social media presence, look into paid advertising, create lots of content, or set up email campaigns. While these are all great marketing strategies, the beauty of PR is that the only initial investment you make is basically just sending a few emails. 

Crafting an effective pitch and getting in contact with the right media outlets are both things you can learn. There’s no pay-per-click ratio because PR is earned media, not paid. This means if you can convince the media your company is worth writing about, there’s no additional cost to you. 

Media placements increase consumer trust 

As you use different avenues to draw your target audience to your site, a press page with a variety of media placements can be the final push your consumers need to purchase. They may be on the fence about buying your product or service until they read more about what makes your brand stand out in a publication they trust. 

Many people think of PR just as a way to bring in new traffic to your site. When in reality, media placements continue to build credibility for your brand long after they’ve been published. If your placement is in print, there’s a good chance there’s also a digital version on the publication’s website. 

You can also create a visual gallery on your site that includes scanned versions of your print article. Even just including the statement “as featured on media publication” on your site or marketing materials does a lot to offer third-party trust in your brand. 

You can establish yourself as an expert in your field 

Have you ever heard your friend mention something about a topic and then read the same thought quoted in an article? What differentiates your friend’s words from the quote is a layer of authentication. Because the quote is published and attributed to an expert, it holds more weight in your mind. 

The truth is PR gives you the ability to be that expert. As the owner of a small business, you are very knowledgeable about the industry of your service or product. Then why, do you ask, aren’t reporters calling you for interviews and sound bites? 

For one thing, they may not know about you or your business yet. Once you send a pitch, you make that introduction and position yourself as a thought leader in your field. 

All it takes is confidence in your qualifications and persistence. For more support along the way, my shop offers pitch templates, media contact lists, and lots of other resources for DIY PR.  

Rebekah Epstein