PUBLIC RELATIONS NEEDN’T BE SCARY!
If you’re a small business, chances are you’ll think PR isn’t for you. Maybe you’ve decided your organisation is too small; or that you don’t have the time or money; or possibly you’re not quite sure what PR is and how it can help you.
However, public relations needn’t be scary. In fact, it can be an extremely useful tool for helping you meet your organisation’s objectives.
The Chartered Institute of Public Relations defines PR as:
“The strategic management of relationships between an organisation and its publics, through the use of communications, to achieve mutual understanding and realise organisational goals." In practice, you could also define it as building and maintaining a relationship between you and your target audiences.
So, let’s say you’re a small, local business, how could ‘building and maintaining a relationship with your audiences’ help you? Here are just a few examples:
- Does your business have a strong, local presence but you feel ready to take the big step and go regional, even national? PR can help you define your new customers and develop the best strategies for reaching them.
- Are you launching a new product or service? PR tactics such as promotional literature, social media, press relations and events can help you tell your potential customers all about you.
- Do you need to recruit staff or volunteers? Social media and press relations are very effective ways of telling people about you and the opportunities you present.
- Do you have concerns about customer loyalty? Maybe you’re struggling to keep your customers coming back or you’re facing challenges from a new competitor? PR can help devise customer communications and loyalty programmes to keep your customers engaged.
- Would you like to make the most of an opportunity such as an event or occasion (eg. Christmas)? PR can ensure your organisation maximises the opportunities presented to you and to be visible to potential customers.
- Do you need to engage with the community on a local issue, such as planning or licensing? PR is a very effective way of holding two-way conversations with local audiences.
Maybe, once you sit down and think about what it is you want to achieve, you will be able to define the public or audience you need to engage with and the most effective way of communicating with them. A plan of campaign may well present itself to you and you’ll feel confident that you can give PR a go.
Alternatively, there are plenty of small PR and marketing specialists out there who have experience which could really help you. It’s worth speaking to them. You may realise that you aren’t too small; they’re not too expensive; that they can help if you’re short of time and that maybe they will be as passionate about your business growing and meeting its objectives as you are.
So, if you’re either going to embrace PR yourself or find a professional to help you – maybe public relations isn’t so scary after all.
By Ima Rix
Red Dog Public Relations