~by Lizzie Weakley~
Entrepreneurs often think their company is too small to worry about creating a public relations (PR) campaign, but the truth is, every business should have one. Big or small, PR opportunities are advantageous for all businesses. Here are some reasons why.
It’s Often Free
You may not have the advertising budget that some of your competitors enjoy, but many PR opportunities come in the from of volunteering at a charity or encouraging employees to generate donations for them. This costs your company nothing, but can get you mentioned in the local newspaper, on the radio and at other advertising venues who are promoting the event you’ll be participating in. Wearing company logos while at the event is also a great way to be seen and noticed within your community
Size Doesn’t Matter
Large corporations are always donating to charities and participating in charitable events. They also tell customers about their environmental protection initiatives and other good deeds they do. Customers have grown to expect these things from large companies. If you do the same, potential customers will associate your name with good works and may assume you’re a bigger company than you are. In the minds of many consumers, bigger companies are assumed to be more established and reliable, so do what you can to be viewed as one of the big dogs.
Traditional Marketing is Losing
Direct mail marketing was always a bit of a crap shoot, but that is even more true today. Anything consumers view as junk mail goes right into the trash can, and that is happening more and more. Television and radio ads are also declining in effectiveness. Consumers are distrusting traditional marketing media more and more. PR is a way for you to use press releases, community events and charitable giving to get your name everywhere without relying on traditional advertising. Instead, you can generate hundreds of feel-good stories about your company and the way it supports employees, the community and charities. More and more students are finding that a master’s in public relations now goes much farther than one in advertising.
A good, organized PR campaign involves quite a bit of planning. This gives you the opportunity to recognize potential social media missteps before you make them. Ire and rage spread like wildfire on social media. You need a good PR campaign that includes planned and carefully reviewed social media posts checked before they go live. Bad news spreads faster than good online, so one false move on social media and you could have a PR nightmare on your hands. Plan carefully and know what to do to combat a PR problem before you’re in the midst of one.
Meet the Author: Lizzie Weakley
Lizzie is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky, Snowball.