The results of good press on a small business profits can be explosive. I have previously written about a case where a single article increased one small business's revenue by 20% overnight. Yet many small businesses do not make PR a part of their marketing efforts.
I think the reason for a lack of PR effort is that small business owners may simply not have the know-how. I also frequently hear, "but I don't have anything going on that the press would report on."
The first part of your PR campaign is to identify your target press outlets. Local newspapers and business journals are obvious choices. TV and radio are other choices. Look around for local shoppers newspapers that aren't just ads. You might also look for local news and shopping web sites or ezines. Get a good list with contact information for appropriate editors and reporters.
Now look for reasons to contact the press - some reasons my be:
- An Event - Throwing a special event, party, demonstration, fundraiser? Do a press release before and after the event. If it's appropriate - invite members of the press to the event.
- New Products or Services - Are you bringing in a new product line or adding a new service? Are you solving a new problem for your customers?
- Change in company information - Did you move, change names, change hours, add new personnel, change owners?
- Awards or Commendations - Toot your own horn whenever a third party recognizes your excellence.
- Employee Newsworthiness - Do you have an outstanding employee that is running a marathon for charity? Has one of your employees recently gotten an industry certification? You can also give your own employees awards and send out a press release.
- Seasonal Tips - Maybe you run a dry-cleaning business - you could write a list of tips for storing summer clothes when fall comes. If you are a landscaper - how about tips on winter-proofing your trees and shrubs.
PR is an integral part of marketing which can pay off with a huge boost to your profits. Use your creativity and look for opportunities to get press.