Starting a business or running an SME is no easy feat as is getting your name out there and attracting customers.
Chambers of commerce, networking, and referrals are great, but in today’s competitive marketplace, more is needed to stand out, especially if the pond you swim in a pool populated by big fish.
One of the most effective ways to do this is through public relations. Why? Because in today’s world, credibility and trust are essential to success, and public relations is the best way to build them.
Public relations helps to create a positive association with your brand and can generate buzz and excitement around your product or service. PR can help you reach a wide audience without having to spend a lot of money on advertising.
It’s important to make sure you have a strong public relations strategy in place because this helps you build relationships with key stakeholders, media outlets, and customers and helps you create a positive image for your company and its products or services.
You Have Special PR Powers
If your company competes against established businesses that have the marketing muscle and public relations teams to make a lot of noise, rising above the din means you need to be smart and strategic about your public relations efforts.
However, as a small business or startup, you weld enormous - even superhuman - publicity powers.
Just because your competitors may be bigger, you have several advantages over them when it comes to public relations:
1) The Underdog
For a start, people love an underdog story. The public pays more attention to a small business or startup that is working hard to succeed against the odds.
2) The Personal Touch
Another advantage that small businesses and startups have over their larger counterparts is the personal touch. Rather than a faceless corporation where sales become numbers on a spreadsheet, your customers can see and feel the human element in your business.
But when dealing with a small business or startup, they feel like they are part of something special and that their custom is appreciated. By promoting the personal touch, small businesses and startups can connect with their target audience.
3) The Flexibility
Another advantage of small businesses and startups is that they are more flexible and can pivot more easily than large corporations. Large corporations often have rigid structures and bureaucracy that make it hard for them to newsjack or take advantage of other PR opportunities compared to small businesses.
4) The Expertise
Another special power is that small business leaders can be genuinely seen as experts (thought leaders) in their field. When used correctly, thought leadership separates the wheat from the chaff by positioning the spokesperson as an industry authority.
[In recent years, thought leadership has got a bad rap because many company executives say nothing interesting or are limited from saying anything controversial by their legal teams. But when done right, it’s an incredibly powerful public relations tool.]
5) The Authenticity
Finally, startups and SMEs have the advantage of authenticity. In an age where people are increasingly sceptical of large corporations, smaller companies are perceived as being more genuine and down-to-earth and this is a major selling point when it comes to public relations.
These are all compelling reasons public relations should be the cornerstone of your business and if used correctly, can help achieve business goals.
The goal of PR is to generate positive media coverage and public opinion that will help promote or protect a company, product, individual, or brand. Good PR can also help you differentiate your brand in a crowded marketplace, and it’s a cost-effective way to build awareness and generate leads.
Keep in mind that public relations is not a quick fix—it takes time, effort, and commitment to build relationships and earn media coverage, so treat PR as an ongoing strategy or regular interaction every quarter and not a one time campaign.
There are so many tools and tactics available to small businesses and startups when it comes to public relations, meaning for a little investment maximum impact can be achieved.
From writing and distributing press releases to pitching story ideas to reporters, organizing media events, and conducting social media campaigns – there are endless opportunities to get creative and achieve significant results.
If you’re looking for a way to get your business seen and heard by more people, public relations may be the answer. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org today to talk about your PR needs and learn how we can help you achieve your business goals.
Eight Public Relations is a PR agency in Hong Kong helping technology and legal clients enhance their profile media relations, branded content, corporate reputation, thought leadership programmes, and digital communications.
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