Most start-ups run on small budgets and tend to overlook the PR aspect. This is a blunder because effective PR can be vital in accelerating the growth of a fledgling business.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a giant conglomerate or a small business running out of the garage, brands and companies need to engage audiences organically and effectively, now more than ever.
Much like developing a new relationship, you have to grab the attention of the consumers, communicate with them and establish connections and develop loyalty and trust in your brand.
Follow these ten tips to make the most of your business by having an effective PR strategy – without breaking the bank!
1. The New Media is Free Media
Simple, but essential for start ups to understand. With the large number of free online sources: Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and tens of large social media sites, reaching out to a large audience organically has never been easier. These tools can be used effectively to start conversations and discussions about the product or service being sold. And it doesn’t cost you anything!
2. Quality time, not traffic
Although traffic on the website or blog for the product/service being marketed is good, it doesn’t compare to genuine interest from the targeted people. Focus on quality as that has greater impact on your product as well as future growth prospects.
Generic emails and responses don’t call for attention. Taking out the time to be personal in responses and finding more appealing and direct ways of communicating with the clients and interested parties will keep them interested and can really pay off.
4. Build a socially responsible image
You can hold charity events, go green, or generally promote your ethical business practices. The image that you’re doing good and aren’t just a money-minting machine appeals to the masses and builds lasting trust. This will get more people involved and help differentiate you from the bigger firms you might be competing with.
Being socially connected is a great start but it doesn’t suffice – you need to engage people in conversations – be it on your page or theirs. Everything cannot be about your website or page: conversations get more people involved and they feel good about the fact that you took out the time to engage.
6. You can’t have your cake and talk about it too
Let’s face it: You might make a great product but you can’t have both the skill and the time to be your own spokesperson. Hire a professional who understands what you want and stand for, to do the talking. This will enable clear and efficient communication and give you time to focus on other aspects of your business.
7. Pick your audience
No matter how generic the product, at least in the beginning, focussing on one set of target consumers makes it easier and more efficient to market the product. You can have direct advertisement campaigns and more direct communication. Once the nail is in, expansion can come about.
8. Time it well
When will you tell the world about your cool, new product? Surely not in the middle of a hectic, working day, or even worse- a Monday morning. Ugh. Pick a date and moment when more people will have the time to pay attention.
9. Who’s going to do all of this?
Money well spent always rewards. Hiring a PR agency or agent is probably a good bet- they already have the skills and some connections making it easier for you to connect with the higher-ups. Make sure you pick someone you have good synergy with and can sell themselves to you.
10. They won’t do it all
PR agents may do most of the work, but personally connecting with the audience, in any form of media goes a long way in building long term support. So get them to do the work, but take out the time to engage occasionally. It’s your baby after all.
Written by Ipsita Gauba for Image Management