Today, as the world runs on the more modern and advanced forms of marketing such as SEO, paid ads, digital marketing and many more, it is easy to overlook the more traditional forms of promoting your products and services. However, many of these traditional forms of marketing still hold a lot of ground and can prove to be equally or even more effective than the norm today.
One such marketing tactic, that has held relevance since time immemorial is public relations or PR. Even though it is an old marketing tool, it has remained quite strong and relevant by evolving over the years to adapt itself to changing business dynamics.
PR is basically a tool that involves building up excitement about a product or service through the use of print, electronic or online media. And since most PR coverage is free, it also makes it a more affordable promotional option, especially for new and small businesses who are just starting out.
Here are some of our top recommendations to use the best PR firms and help your new or small business grow to greater heights.
1. Drafting and Sending Out Press Releases
Press releases form the backbone of any good PR tactic and is employed by all the best PR agencies in India and the world to highlight the value of the product and service that a brand has. One message is enough to send out to dozens of journalists all at once. But remember, it is crucial that this message is of value, because then it has higher chances of being picked up by the media. So, whenever you have news related to your brand or just want the public to know about all the other incredible work that it has been doing, just turn to your favourite mode – press release. A press release can literally be about anything – a launch, a leadership change, an event, a new initiative and much more. As long as it holds value, you are good to go.
While a lot of journalists today rely on social media to get their news, press releases still hold fort and are one of the most reliable pieces of communication that come from a company. So, it is bound to be trusted more as well.
2. Be Focused on Targeting Journalists and Media Houses
While it is a good practice to send out your press release to as many media people as possible, remember that not all media houses would want to write about your business. Suppose you are in healthcare, and your press release goes out to a journalist who writes only about the latest smartphone technology, it makes no sense for them to pick up your story. The media that you pitch to has to be relevant to your brand. Once you zero down on healthcare media houses and reporters, then you can send them as many releases as you want. Don’t waste time and effort contacting other media if they are not relevant to your business.
Also, while it is important to know your niche, it is also crucial that you know who exactly to contact at a publication. A news anchor, for instance, will have less say in what stories are covered, than an editor who presides over the desk and decides on the stories to be printed. Remember to always focus your efforts on the right channels to get noticed.
3. Reach Out to Media of All Sizes
Whenever someone starts out with a business, the first idea is to always pitch to the big newspapers and news channels. At the onset, this definitely makes sense because thee bigger media houses have much wider reach and a bigger audience to help your business grow. However, there are two things here that you need to remember. One, a big publication might not carry out the story of a smaller business at the first go. Secondly, it is entirely possible that you end up reaching a more engaged audience and get more exposure by reaching out to smaller publications or those that have a certain nice that is relevant to what you are selling.
For instance, if your small business caters to the needs of the local residents, then a local media or news channel might be more adept at reaching out to your target audience than a bigger publication. The local media will cover events well, and get your story across in a more relevant manner to the audience.
4. Determine the Newsworthy Topics First
If you are looking at getting you message across and pique the interest of the media as well as your target audience, you must offer something that is worth reporting. If you have a small café and oyu have just recently changed your menu, don’t expect the media to cover something as trivial as that. However, if your café teamed up with someone for a local initiative, or is hosting some relevant event, it is worthwhile to have that promoted through the local media.
The main challenge with most PR firms in India is that they are unable to sort out between newsworthy reads, and what the media actually wants. And they keep overwhelming the media with press releases until their message gets ignored. So, choose your PR firm carefully, and your press releases even more so. Create a hook and make sure it is grabbed.
5. Build Your Profile as a Thought Leader
When you start growing your small business, people eventually take notice. That is also when media houses will come running to you to get your byte on a topic of relevance. Never shy away from such opportunities; embrace them with all you have.
With PR, one of the most important ways of being relevant in your industry is to become a thought leader of that industry. It establishes your brand’s credibility and also gives you a certain sense of authority. So, make yourself an expert in your area, and become the go-to source to attract not just the media, but also your customers.
By following these PR tips, you can easily grow your small business to greater heights, and attract more and more consumers to your brand.