By: Catherine Bormann
Competing for consumers’ attention and gaining their trust is an increasingly difficult task for small businesses that lack a strong PR plan. In fact, many small businesses don’t rank PR as a top need, unlike many medium and large sized businesses who believe PR is a priority regardless of budget. Bill Gates once said, “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.” Is that extreme? I don’t think so and here’s why.
Not recognizing how PR can help you achieve your core business goals could be what’s inhibiting your growth. In fact, a Nielsen survey reports that 92% of consumers say they trust earned media, while only half trust paid media. This reveals that the public, your customers, trust authentic storytelling over a paid ad (Facebook, television, print, etc).
Simply put, telling your brand’s story and being in a relationship with the public can help you compete with your competitors, build brand awareness, hire more people and stay relevant. Small businesses can partner with a PR agency to achieve these goals, even on a budget. Just remember, if you want someone else to know about you, understand you, and be able to talk about you positively, you need PR. Without positive relationships you have no business. And at the core of every relationship is communication.
With so many tactics at our fingertips (press releases, influencer relations, bylined articles, social media posts, blogs, etc.) small businesses may find themselves so busy working without moving the company towards its goal. Focus is your friend. Everything starts from understanding and aligning with the short and long-term business objectives.
Here are three impactful ways you can partner with a PR agency:
1. Media Relations: Never underestimate the power of a great story to connect your business with the people that matter. Just like Starbucks and Nike, your brand has a story, and experienced PR agencies will understand how to craft and pitch your story to the right editorial outlets, at the right time, for impactful results both locally and nationally.
Small Business Tip: Many national publications are featuring small businesses in their articles. Partnering with an experienced agency that has the right media contacts can result in national coverage, expanding your company’s reach exponentially.
2. Influencer Marketing: Influencer marketing delivers 11x higher ROI than other forms of digital marketing. That’s because a strong influencer marketing program delivers trust, authenticity, and distribution. When you partner with an influencer who aligns with your brand ethos, they will interpret your message in a truly authentic way.
Small Business Tip: Influencer campaigns are not limited to working with influencers who have millions of followers. Working with micro-influencers who typically have 10,000 to 50,000 followers is not only budget friendly but typically results in higher engagement and bonus content from creators who are trying to grow their following and build brand relationships.
3. Social Media: Do you need to elevate local and national consumer awareness? Are you trying to position yourself as the “it” brand in your category? Maybe you are trying to make your brand easily recognizable. If you said yes to any of these business objectives, you need a social presence and strategy that leverages original, authentic content and ties back to your goal. A smart social strategy allows you to talk to your consumer base and engage with them directly while achieving the goals of your brand.
Small Business Tip: Did you know you can hire a PR agency to train your social media team? At Double Forte, training includes a strategic social media content map template and integration techniques your entire team can use moving forward.
If you are ready for your business to be top of mind, give us a call! Our programs are built to help small businesses put themselves on the map and achieve their business goals.