Running a small business isn’t easy. Small business owners must wear multiple hats, at times with limited resources, so it’s natural for things to get hectic when trying to grow and expand. During these seemingly chaotic times, investing in public relations (PR) can be invaluable. Having a targeted PR plan, which comprises customized tactics and strategies based on one’s unique business, helps to increase a brand’s visibility and credibility. In turn, this translates into growth and profit.
Utilizing PR should not be an after-thought; a business plan should include PR strategies and allocate a sufficient budget from the start. Why? Because PR gets small businesses in front of their target audience and potential investors, increases exposure, generates potential leads, and contributes to overall growth trajectory.
Some PR Tactics to Build Visibility and Credibility for Your Business:
Tell the brand’s story. This seems like an obvious one, but it is often forgotten or neglected. Storytelling is an effective tactic to get a brand’s story out. It is important for a business owner to give his or her brand a human persona and share the brand’s story on the company website and social media channels.
To be compelling, a brand’s story should include its evolution, struggles along the way, and success stories. The ultimate goal in telling the brand’s story is to connect with the audience and customers in an authentic manner. As the famous author, Neil Gaiman once said, “the one thing you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision.”
Join the industry conversation. By being part of the industry conversation, small business owners open up doors of networking, learn about the challenges facing their industry, gain insight on what’s impacting their audience, and position themselves as thought leaders.
Become an authority. Being an authority within one’s industry can provide many benefits to the company. It can provide a competitive edge and attract and impress potential investors. Some DIYs on how to become an authority in your industry:
Start a blog and write about issues facing the industry. Publish the articles on the business website and promote them on social media channels. This will help increase traffic to the business website and set a foundation for thought leadership.
Speak at industry events as an expert. This increases the visibility of the business in an organic way and helps small business owners gain the respect of their peers.
Become a trusted source to the media. Being quoted as an expert in a press piece can have huge returns for your business. Help reporters out by providing insights on topics that impact your industry. Establishing relationships with the media will help small business owners increase their brand’s visibility.
Network with industry influencers. Networking with your industry influencers is a great tactic to build your own influence. Whether it’s a journalist working at a local newspaper, a producer at a local TV station, or a PR executive, networking provides opportunities and increases your knowledge base of your industry. Don’t hesitate to reach out to these influencers in a polite manner and ask if you can set up an informative interview. Use these networking opportunities to learn, build connections, and expand your reach and influence.
About the Author
Megha Hamal is the Founder and CEO of Megha Hamal PR & Branding, LLC, a Chicago boutique PR firm that works in a wide range of categories including lifestyle, restaurants, healthcare, technology, and everything in between.