Quick guide to small business PR
PR can be a great way to let people know about your business and help grow its reputation. Learn how to get started with our guide full of practical tips.
What is PR and why does it matter?
PR is short for public relations. It’s the process of shaping how people view your business. PR helps grow a positive reputation surrounding your business. This could be anything from getting featured in local papers to holding events.
PR can focus on a few things. Primarily it’s about building a positive reputation, and also sharing important information about your business. For example, any new products or big announcements. PR can also be key in damage control if something goes wrong that could affect how people see your business.
How to do PR for your business
The best way to do PR for your business is by hiring a professional. This could be a freelancer, agency, or someone working in house for your business. As this isn’t always an option, especially for smaller businesses on a budget, here are a few things you can try to help let people know about your business and boost it’s reputation.
Write a press release
A press release can be sent to journalists to let them know about your business, product launch or event. The goal of a press release is to encourage journalists to write about your business, so you need to make sure it contains a story or newsworthy information. Here’s what you should include in your press release:
- What the story is
- Why the story is important
- Details about your business
- Details about yourself as the business owner
- Relevant dates for a product launch or event
- Contact details for the journalist to follow up, including website and social media
It’s important that a press release is well written and catches attention. Try to keep it short and snappy, as the journalist can always follow up for more information if they’re interested.
Remember that a press release doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get featured, but it could be the first step to building relationships with journalists and getting your business on their radar.
Reach out to publications
Once you have your press release ready you can start reaching out to journalists and publications. Where you choose to contact will depend on your customer base.
For locally based business, local publications and websites could suit you best. Meanwhile, if you have a nice group of customers try specific publications that read them. If you’re planning a big national launch and have a compelling story, you can try reading out to national media.
To find contact information for journalists you can check the publication’s website. It’s best to contact relevant journalists directly by email instead of sending to a general address. Remember to use their name and include a short friendly message before diving into your press release.
Monday, Friday and weekends typically aren’t the best time to send a press release. So, make sure you choose the right time to send yours.
Hold an event
Holding an event is a great way to increase the profile of your business. What you can do depends on your budget and business, but it’s a great solution for newly launched retail, food and drink or hospitality businesses.
Make sure to spread the word about the event on social media, reach out to local publications and look at local advertising options, like promotional posters.
If you’re not able to host an in person event due to restrictions or budget, get creative with an online event instead. This option can suit all business types, and could be anything from an exclusive sale to an interactive webinar.