Public relations (PR) strategy

PR should be an integral part of any business’s overall marketing plan. Some businesses think that social media and PR are the same thing but social media is a channel through which to broadcast your PR message.

Every business should have a PR strategy, even if that business already has a regular stream of customers. Every business has a story to tell, so how are you going to get that message across? Be clear about what it is that you want from your PR - do you want more business, increased visibility in your marketplace or to educate the market about a new product or service?

Take a close look at your marketing plan and how you need to communicate with existing and potential customers to increase your firm’s profile. For example, does your marketing plan include events that you're planning to host or attend? How were you planning to promote them? By planning to run your marketing campaign alongside your PR campaign, you will increase the reach of your message without necessarily increasing the cost. Develop a realistic timeframe in advance for gathering content, making pitches to publications, etc.

Many business owners rely too much on social media which is a great tool and an essential part of the jigsaw, but there are still many people who don't use social media regularly. By solely marketing in this way you're excluding potential customers. Therefore consider more traditional PR channels such as trade press, magazines, newspapers and radio interviews.

In smaller businesses, owners and managers may be too busy working in the business to work on the business. As such, PR falls to the bottom of the list. In this case, it may be worth considering outsourcing your PR to an agency who will have journalist and media contacts and should have a working knowledge of the industry your business operates in.  Outsourcing isn’t expensive and is more cost effective than adding someone to your payroll.

The goal with any PR strategy is to do the hard work in advance.  Having a good solid strategy is key to realising PR success.

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