If you’re a small business owner, you’re probably thinking: “I’m not sure I have enough budget to hire a PR consultant or agency, but I’ don’t know what to do on my own.” Well, never fear, with the following 7 DIY PR tips, you’ll be able to generate awareness and buzz about your business on your own.
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- Outline Your Business Objectives, Strategies and Tactics
- Get To Know Your Local Media
- Sign Up For Online Journalist Databases
- Look For Thought Leadership Opportunities
- Reach Out To Influencers In Your Business’s Space
- Create a Social Media Presence
- Develop a Media Kit
1. Outline Your Business Objectives, Strategies and Tactics
A business objective is the actual measurable step you will take to achieve your goal, and before you get started, you need to decide exactly what you are trying to achieve with public relations efforts. Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you trying to bring awareness to a new business?
- Do you have a new product or service you’re offering?
- Is there a big announcement you are making?
- Do you want to showcase that you are a thought leader in a specific industry?
Once you figure out your business needs, write your objectives down or type them up on the computer and align on your overarching strategy (the specific approach you will take to achieve your objectives) and tactics (the actual tool or activity you will use to achieve objectives that ladder up to your strategy).
For example, if your objective is to bring awareness to a new business offering by increasing the use of a service by 5%, a sample strategy and tactic could be:
- Strategy: Leverage third-party storytellers like media and influencers to bring awareness to XX service.
- Tactic: Develop a media and influencer list of business and finance contacts and craft personalized pitches for outreach
2. Get To Know Your Local Media
As a small business, your local media will be your best friend. Create a short list of newspapers, online news sites, TV/radio stations and podcasts in your area, contact them and build a relationship. Chances are, they are looking for information to share with their readers/viewers/listeners. Tell them a little about your business and what you are trying to achieve. If it has a local hook, even better.
3. Sign Up For Online Journalist Databases For Media Opportunities
Online resources such as HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and ProfNet are databases where journalists, bloggers and more go for expert sources to help tell their stories.
Leveraging this service puts you in direct contact with media, to meet the needs of their content. Story needs range from business, finance, lifestyle, travel, health & wellness and everything in between.
4. Look For Thought Leadership Opportunities
Making a name for yourself by sharing your knowledge and expertise with people in the industry is key as a business owner. You need to show that you are a leader in your given field. Look for opportunities to write byline articles, provide quotes, join podcasts, and participate in speaking engagements.
A great way to kick off your thought leader efforts is to go back to tips two and three—mine for those opportunities in your local community and through the need for expert sources in online journalist databases.
5. Reach Out To Influencers In Your Business’s Space
Third-party storytellers are a great resource because they are who everyday people are listening to. They provide recommendations of what financial service to use or what product to buy, so building relationships with them is so important. Search the web for those influencers who are making a name for themselves in your industry and reach out to them.
Relationship-building is key here, so don’t right off the bat ask them to write a blog post or post to social media about your business. Take some time to get to know them and their specialty and see how you can both help each other.
6. Create a Social Media Presence
It’s no secret that millions of people are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. Social media is king in the 21st century, so it’s important for your business to have a presence. Social media accounts allow you to share content specific to your business and industry with the masses and engage back and forth with users.
And when you’re building your social media presence, be sure your content matches the platform. For example, share visual content including photos and videos to Instagram. Use Twitter for real-time content and conversations. LinkedIn is great for sharing thought leadership information, including articles about your industry and your take on what is going on.
7. Develop a Media Kit That Outlines Your Business’s Pertinent Information
A media kit is a document that includes the important details about your business in a visually appealing format. As you go through the previous tips like connecting with media, influencers and consumers, you’ll want something you can easily share with them that tells them exactly what they need to know about your business. A media kit can include the following:
- Intro: A brief overview about your business
- Product/Services Fact Sheets: Quick
- Social Media: Links to your social media channels and your following
- Website Traffic: Information about your website, including traffic, demographics, etc.
- Press Coverage: Logos to outlets in which your business has already been covered
- Awards/Accolades: Any local, national or industry honors
- Contact Information: The best address, phone number and email address at which you can be contacted
I hope these tips have been helpful for getting started with public relations for your small business. Using a combination of some of these tactics will start you on the right path to awareness and success for your business.
About the Author
Aundrea E. Rogers is a public relations expert with 8+ years of experience leading and assisting in the planning and execution of strategic communication programs for top global clients in the food, beverage and consumer lifestyle industries. She currently serves as a Director at Golin, and a lead on the McDonald’s account.