According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, over 50% of small businesses fail in the first year and 95% fail within the first five years. Businesses who escape this fate and succeed, more often than not, have mastered the art of public relations. These companies have figured out how to use PR to multiply their effectiveness with customers, partners, and investors.
Here are five PR tips to grow your small business:
1. Plant the Right Seeds
Wha distinguishes your small company from the next? Who is included in your target market? Who are your competitors? Does answering these questions give you a headache? The reality is: managing the day-to-day business leaves little to no time to cultivate relations with your target audiences or key media. Plant the right PR seeds with accurate messages. Nurturing successful relations will bear succulent fruits.
2. Start in Your Own Backyard
Many of your potential clients will be from within your community or professional network. But you want to be more than a convenient stop for these few. Leveraging PR visibility includes public speaking appearances, connecting with local media, and involvement in community organizations and functions. With each public appearance and endeavor, your image and reputation are enhanced and magnified.
3. Now Branch Out
A large hurdle for small businesses is standing out amid the onslaught of messages from competitors. An effective PR plan creates newsworthy messages and story ideas. A PR plan will proactively seek new media channels to strengthen your company's reputation, such as creating a company blog or starting a digital content campaign. Relying on one form of marketing, such as on advertising alone, fails to capture a larger audience, the critical loyal mass you need to succeed.
4. Buzz, Buzz, Buzz
Aim high. Create a buzz. Get more and more media and people talking about you. Get your services and products featured in the magazines, podcasts, blogs, and news shows that your customers, partners, and investors frequent. Build your reputation on substance. Build the buzz via consistent and persistent outreach by scoring favorable reviews in top-tier websites and by offering dramatic success stories. Use these reviews and stories to the fullest by sharing them on your social media and encouraging your customers to share with their larger circles of associates, partners, and friends.
5. Keep Pruning, Keep Thriving
Keeping your edge, pruning the twigs, trimming the fat, keeping up with the times. No matter how you phrase it, maintaining and realigning your business with evolving trends ensures your appeal and ultimately your longevity. PR serves as your eyes and ears to the industry and marketplace and provides critical intelligence for your response and action. PR also provides access to evolving social media channels, different media outlets, and market niches. As such, it has the power to influence and shape trends.
And did we mention one of the best things about PR? It is affordable and costs much less than advertising! As you grow your small business, consider the five PR tips to success.
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