Why should small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs do PR?
Trying to generate leads, acquire new customers and raise your profile is always top of mind for SMEs. So, what is the easiest and cheapest way to achieve these goals? Well, if you get media coverage you will find your customers come to you! That is the beauty of PR.
PR is the best way to spend your limited marketing budget for a vast number of reasons.
Third-party endorsements build trust.
We all know how much we value a recommendation from a friend or colleague about a product or service. Well PR works in the same way. If you think about it, people read certain magazines or newspapers, listen to particular radio shows and watch their favourite TV shows because they like the content and ‘trust’ the editor or presenter of the show to give them news they will find relevant. So, if you get featured in their favourite magazine or show, then it’s like the editor or journalist saying “Look, we have found something you will like’ and they will be more likely to go and check out the recommendation.
Media coverage positions your business as exceptional,
People tend to believe that if you are featured in the media, it must be because your business or product is ‘exceptional’. Otherwise why would they choose to single you out? If you can get the media to wrote a story about you, your business or your product, people will go to your website to find out more – or simply purchase.
... and, it gets the phone ringing!
Instead of having to go out and find new customers and clients, publicity will drive them to find you. How cool is that? PR is one of the most effective ways to get leads, because people who go looking for you will already know a bit about your business or your product and they want more!
It helps your SEO, improving your search rankings.
In fact, you could say it is crucial to your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)! Google loves inbound links. What that means is when other websites feature your web address and tell people to go there, google ranks you higher. And when it’s a media outlet, especially a big one, your SEO ranking will increase dramatically. Google ranks websites based on two things – how much new content they are posting and how many people are visiting the site – so media outlets are the highest of the high as they tick both boxes.
PR is the gift that keeps on giving.
When you get media coverage it’s not the end of your campaign, it’s almost the start because there is just so much you can do with it. You can’t do much with an ad once it has run its course but with a media clipping you can keep on working it. For instance, you can blog about it, post it on all your social media platforms (Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and more), send it out to your retailers or get your sales staff to use it in new business meetings, put it on your website ‘As seen in…”, stick it in a newsletter or if you have a bricks n’ mortar store, put it in the shop window or in the waiting room on the wall. And you can do that with each piece of coverage you get.
Best of all - it’s free!
This is probably the most powerful reason why you should look to PR for your marketing, especially if funds are limited and particularly if you do your PR yourself. Money does not exchange hands when you are pitching a story to the media, and if they like it, they will run the story for free.