For many small business owners, the word ‘PR’ brings up thoughts, feelings and comments such as “That’s not for me”, “I don’t really know what it is”, or “I’m not ready for that”! The truth is that many small business owners don’t know what PR is and what it can do for their business, with many even thinking that the word PR stands for Press Release (incorrect), rather than Public Relations.
As expected the Chartered Institute of Public Relations has an industry definition of PR, however for small businesses a definition that is more apt is that PR is ‘the art of getting your business in the media’*.
So, why should PR should be part of your marketing strategy in 2019?
Colette Machado, a former BBC journalist-turned PR consultant tells you three reasons why:
1. Positions you as a go-to expert
Social media is great however nowadays almost anyone (even with a small amount of technical skills) can set up an online presence. This is not the case for the media. Getting featured in your local newspaper or a mainstream magazine, such as The Stylist, for example, automatically boosts your credibility and raises your profile.
If you are a nutritionist, say, getting featured in a high-profile publication undoubtedly gets you seen as an expert who very likely knows what foods are right for us and what aren’t. When a journalist or media outlet agrees to feature you, this is them endorsing you, practically saying ‘we think this individual deserves to be in our newspaper’, for example. Nothing beats third-party endorsement when it comes to business, in exactly the same way that a testimonial by a client holds more weight than you telling a potential client how great you are yourself!
2. Drives traffic to your website
Getting featured in the media often means you are able to let viewers/readers/listeners know where they can find out more about you, so you are often invited to include a link to your website. If you have shown great value and done a fantastic job, it is almost guaranteed that you have individuals wanting to find out more about you. How many? This is unknown but depending on the media outlet where you were featured on or in, this could be hundreds but could be thousands too!
In a recent article, it cited that The Guardian newspaper, said to be Britain’s most trusted newspaper, attracts more than 23m UK readers every month! A two-page magazine feature secured for a business client a couple of years ago attracted 1,400 users to her website!
3. Invites opportunities
Because getting featured in the media gets you known, visible, raises your profile and more, you will very likely attract the attention of other business owners who are looking to create partnerships and collaborate with others. You will be seen as that credible, high-profile and often trustworthy business owner overnight, making you attractive to others who want to grow their business.
Other opportunities include speaking opportunities, as well as opportunities to comment on stories in the media perhaps…. a great way of keeping the PR ball rolling!
*Traditionally media referred to newspapers, magazines, radio and TV. With the introduction of social media however business owners can now benefit from getting publicity on online sites, blogs, and podcasts, so when I refer to the word ‘media’, it includes these also.
Colette was one of our successful clients who benefitted from the Enterprise Steps programme. Find out more about the programme here.