At Alexander’s, we believe public relations is a valuable, and even essential element of business, but sometimes outsourcing PR or marketing needs isn’t the right solution for a business. A lot of small businesses or start-up companies come to Alexander’s with public relations and marketing needs, but they find they can’t commit the funds to full-scale or extensive services.
In our consulting, we typically discuss their needs and find a plan or a tactic that fits their budget. However, when start-ups or small businesses simply don’t have large enough needs to outsource public relations or marketing, we like to help them create a marketing plan outline, and then give them some tips to implement on their own.
The following are 5 tips for small businesses to help them manage their own public relations and marketing campaigns.
1. Make a plan
It’s important that you know what you’d like to change, in order for you to know how to make the change. Map out the background of your communications or business issues, identify the main hurdle you’d like to overcome, and then set some goals and objectives. You should make your objectives SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Once you have your goals outlined, identify who you are trying to influence, as well as the people that will help you reach your target audience. Understanding the proper channels of communication will only lead you to better targeted marketing and communication.
Next, set up strategies and tactics to execute. This will require creativity catered to your individual needs.
2. Develop your writing skills
If you want to succeed in communicating, you’ll need to develop writing and editing skills. Nothing undermines credibility like a poorly written press release, bad grammar, or numerous and consistent typos. Practice your writing by sitting down to do free-writes. Then edit the content and grammar. Read blogs and online material to help you learn news writing skills.
3. Implement SEO tactics into your online publishing
Last week I heard someone say that SEO is the new PR. In essence, both search engine optimization and public relations are about getting the right message to the right person. Implement keyword research and placement into all your blog posts and website pages. We’ve shared some helpful SEO tips on our blog here, and here.
4. Become a thought leader
If you’re planning on doing most of your own PR, then social media can play an important part. Not only is it important to publish and share content, it’s also important to comment on what others publish and share, developing a sort of social goodwill, making deposits in the accounts of others so they’re more likely to return the favor. As you create, post and share relevant and informative content through your social media, and other communications channels, you position yourself as a thought leader that people will turn to for help.
5. Be trustworthy
This means that you do what you say you’ll do. However, trustworthiness is more than following through on promises. Make sure that your products and services deliver the value your customer expects. Additionally, be sure that the content you publish online is also valuable and helpful. If people can trust that you produce good work, you’re creating a solid reputation for yourself.
There is no cookie-cutter solution to every PR or marketing hurdle, but I hope you’ll find that implementing these 5 tips will improve your business communications and give you a head start as you implement public relations and marketing strategies into your business.