Tag Archives: public relations

PR tips for small businesses

The reputation of your business is key to your success and ultimately its longevity.  If your company is seen as reputable it will make you stand out amongst your competitors.  If you’re not sure what PR actually is, then have a read of my other blog first.

Below I give you some tips on how to use Public Relations (PR) to help you increase the brand, profile and reputation of your business:

  1. Know your target audience
    Know your target audience so that your PR campaign is directed at the right people. For example, if you’re launching a new product who is most likely to buy it and where will you find them:  TV, radio, magazines?
  2. Send pictures with your press release
    A press release is a great way to let the public know, via the media, about your business, product or launch.  A press release is written in a certain format with a journalistic tone.  Send pictures with your release to make it more appealing.  Read my blog about writing a press release for more tips.

    Use an interesting angle

                   Use an interesting angle

  3. Send the PR to correct contact
    Send any information to the correct media for your service, if you don’t you’re wasting your time and money.  A little tip, if you are promoting a new product, is to send it to the journalist for free so they can test it (obviously only do this if the product doesn’t cost a fortune!)
  4. Meet deadlines
    Make sure you work to media deadlines.  Most have a cut off point for when they will run your story so make sure you don’t miss it.
  5. Stand out from others
    Have an angle to your story that makes you stand out and connects with your audience as well as the journalist.  Don’t make a sales pitch as the media will be unlikely to run your story.
  6. Being a small business can be an advantage
    Just because you’re a small business it doesn’t mean the media won’t use your story. Local media love a local angle and being smaller makes your story more personal so don’t be afraid to get out there and promote yourself!

    Know the correct media to contact for your business

       Know the correct media to      contact for your business

    Good luck if you’re launching a PR campaign soon. I offer PR services to help promote your business so if you need advice and support then please contact me 

How to promote your business locally

Marketing is not just about social media so your marketing plan should also include both on and offline promotions. If you need to attract clients that are close to where you are based then here are a few of my top tips for promoting your business locally and the good news is they are not expensive! Of course, not all of these may apply to you but will hopefully steer you in the right direction.

  • Have a Facebook business page
    It’s important that you have a business page and not a personal one as they have different tools (for example on a business page you receive insights about your customers and when they are online) and it just looks more professional. Make sure you fill in all the details (contact details, who you are etc.) and include your location so that a map can be used and people can find you easily. Doing all of the above will also help your prominence on Google.

       A business, rather than a personal, Facebook page will help                                promote your business locally

  • Write a blog and make sure it has great content
    Use keywords that your target audience will type in when searching for you so you are more likely to pop up in their search engine. Keep your blogs regular as Google likes fresh content and will rank your website higher in searches.
  • Leaflets/postcards
    Depending on the type of business you run, leaflets may be a great way of getting your message directly to your ideal client either via their letterbox, an event, networking, local shop etc. Postcards are a great alternative and a bit more unusual so may grab people’s attention.

  • Use e-marketing
    Once you have subscribers on your email list (GDPR compliant of course!) then you can send them
     information on your latest offers and give them advice and tips. This all helps to build relationships and trust with your current and potential customers.

        A press release will help raise awareness in the local media

  • Writing a press release is a great way to promote your business
    For content, you could highlight your new website, a new employee, product or service or give tips on how to do something that you specialise in.  You could also contact your local radio station and offer to give an interview in your area of expertise.
  • Offer to give a speech about your area of expertise at an event
    This is a great way to make new contacts and promote your business. It also gives you an authority in your industry.
  • Add yourself to some of the business directory sites
    Make sure you fill in all the details and include a link to your website. Examples of these sites include FreeIndex and Working Bees. These sites will also help with your Google ranking

        Networking allows you to meet other local businesses

  • Attend networking events
    Nothing beats connecting with someone regularly face-to-face. Networking helps you to build trust and relationships with potential new clients and also find businesses that can help you. Read more of my networking tips. 

If you need help with any of the ideas suggested above then contact me for your free consultation. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook for more marketing tips or sign up for my monthly newsletter to get great advice straight to your inbox.

How to write a press release

What is a press release?

A press release is a document that is written for journalists to give them information.  It contains a date, contact details and is usually emailed out to the media.  Bigger companies use specific software to distribute the press release quickly. The goal of the press release is that the journalist will ‘run’ with your story and print it in a newspaper, produce a radio feature and so on.

A press release gives a business, individual or charity the opportunity to tell the public about a new product, event or even a new employee.  It will help to boost your profile and gain you new clients.

The release can be written by you, a PR agency, or a freelancer and should be written in a way that makes it immediately ready for broadcast so the message reaches your audience without being altered.

How to write a press release

                     Become the news!

The golden rules for a press release are to ask yourself  ‘who, what, why, where, when’ and to answer all these questions throughout.

Tips for writing a professional press release:

  1. Include the date of the release, company name, contact name and number and your logo.
  2. Make sure your headline is short and catchy and avoid clichés – this is the first thing the journalist will see and you want them to keep reading
  3. Get your main news points across in the first paragraph
  4. Use a journalistic style with short sentences and always write in the third person never ‘we’ or ‘I’ – have a look at a newspaper to get some tips on their writing style
  5. Be objective and don’t lift copy directly from your website
  6. Make sure you spell names and places correctly
  7. When using facts make sure you document them correctly and use reliable sources (remember to credit the source where appropriate)
  8. Give a quote from a relevant person – this is the only thing a journalist can’t change so make sure you use it to present strong, key facts
  9. Use correct grammar and punctuation.  This not only gives you and your company a good reputation it will make sure the copy is ‘ready to publish’ saving the journalist time and make them more likely to use your  releases in the future
  10. In the Note to Editors give information about any media interview opportunities
  11. Include a photo if appropriate
  12. Read, read and re-read to make sure you’ve made no mistakes – get someone else to take a look at the release for you, a fresh eye always helps

Once I’ve sent a press release I tend to follow up with a phone call the day after.  Journalists are very busy and can often miss the PR so make sure when you ring you keep the conversation short and to the point.  This phone call will also help to build your relationship with each journalist which is key to getting your future press release successfully published.

If you would like me to write a press release for you or take a look at one you have written and offer my advice then please contact me:

01303 647101 
Rachel@lighthouseva.co.uk

 

 

What is Public Relations?

What is PR and how can it help your business?

               Wise words from Bill Gates

What is public relations?

Have you ever told your family, friends or colleagues that you’ve received great service from a particular business and that you would highly recommend them?  Or have you received such terrible customer service that you’ve made sure everybody knows about and encouraged them not to use this service in the future?

Such instances are based on your experience and perception of that particular company and whether your business is large or small your reputation is key to your success and ultimately your company’s longevity.

Whenever you come into contact with a client, stakeholder, supplier, journalist, they will form an opinion of your business and this perception will impact on their decision to work with you, support you or recommend you. 

If your company is perceived as reputable this is a huge advantage which will make you stand out against your competitors.

If you can implement effective public relations in your business it will enhance your reputation by helping you to build strong relationships with your key stakeholders.

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations defines public relations (PR) as:

  • Public relations is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you.

  • Public relations is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.
    Public relations tools can include brochures, social media, internal and external newsletters, your website to showcase your company, press interviews and press releases to promote a product, person, event or company.

Using PR you can deliver your brand message through a number of mediums including as stated above both in newspapers and trade articles, blogs, radio and TV interviews and key speaking at industry and networking events. Social media tends to fall in the PR category until it becomes paid for when it then falls over to the marketing side.  Public relations will help you as an individual, business or even charity to build your reputation and the prior knowledge of your organisation.

PR is seen often seen by the public as a credible way to build your business reputation as your key messages are delivered to your ideal target audience through a third party – often the media – and the coverage you receive is earned rather than paid for.  PR is also mostly free, which is an added bonus for any small business.

Get more PR tips and see how to write a press release for your business.

I have many years of experience in the public relations field so contact me if you need help with your PR, I offer a free consultation.