MARKETING FOR SME'S – THE SECRET PR RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
PR isn't just for celebrities looking to save face, all businesses should be utilising the growth potential of good publicity. Storytelling is the way we communicate with each other. It’s how we relay information to each other about our lives, how we feel about ourselves and others, our wants and needs. It’s a way of communicating information in a disguised fashion, one that is conversational, conspiratorial, and casual. It’s just more personal.
Unfortunately, most companies who utilise Public Relations opt to use PR as they would marketing, effectively hard selling to the public as they would to their target consumers. This is one area of your business where it should all be about feelings and impressions, not rationality and logic.
TELL YOUR BUSINESS STORY THROUGH PR
You have to sell your business story to the public in terms they will relate to, and emotionally respond to. Think about why your company exists, or what obstacles it had to overcome on its road to success. Make it relatable to others. If they can emotionally connect with this, then it can be used as a unique marketing tool that cannot be copied.
MANAGING YOUR REPUTATION
This is all about managing the perception of your business in the eyes of those who matter – your customers, other businesses, and even the media (who, of course, influence the opinions of your potential customers).
BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE MEDIA
You should be careful to match what your company offers to an appropriate area of the media. You should also be persistent, and follow up repeatedly. Even after an interview, you can put your company forward as a source of future information for your field.
Free publicity tools exist such as HARO exist, which allow you to reply to press requests and offer insights on your area of expertise. This can lead to you being cited in various publications and help to establish your business as an authority on your chosen subject.
BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE PUBLIC
The media encompasses three categories: print, broadcast, and new media. You should carefully research your desired customer base, and thus determine which media channel will prove most effective in reaching them. When utilising PR, be sure to offer information that is entertaining and insightful, and that people can use to quickly fulfil a particular need.
PR is a flexible tool for building your brand identity. It is a conduit through which you can mediate and shape how you want to be seen. It is critical to get others to see things your way when it comes to brand building – acute and perceptive use of public relations can help you to achieve this goal.
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About the author: Vincent Bissette is a freelance Brand Strategy and Design Consultant with over 30 years experience of branding and rebranding businesses and organisations, systematically, thoroughly and objectively. He has worked in major Design Consultancies as well as having run his own agency for 25 years, working with SMEs all over the UK to help them modernise their brand, grow their business, attract new customers, penetrate new markets and increase their sales, market share and profit. Throughout that time, there’s not much he hasn't done or many industries he hasn't worked in. He’s a creative, strategic thinker and problem solver with a wealth of experience in diagnosing trouble spots in brands and discovering their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Now based in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, he works throughout the entire UK.
Get in touch with him on Linkedin here