Quick — define public relations!
If you’re like the rest of the world, it’s not an easy task. In fact, the term was once so ambiguous that the Public Relations Society of America had to put it to a vote. Here’s the winning definition: “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
Sounds good, right? What small business wouldn’t want a fantastic relationship with their public? But how do you get there, and is your small business “big enough” to benefit?
Let’s take a look.
Public Relations Puts You on the Radar
The biggest challenge a small business faces is visibility. You can have the greatest, longest-lasting, highest-quality whatchamacallit in the world, but if no one knows about it, it’s nothing but a dust catcher.
PR gets your business and product in front of your potential customers through a third party — a reporter, a blogger, a newspaper columnist — who shares you with their already established audience. Because you’ve earned their trust (and their audience trusts them), you’ll gain instant credibility.
PR Is “Free” … But There’s a Catch
Remember the term “mutually beneficial” from the above definition? PR doesn’t require you to grease any palms, but you will have to work (and even scratch some backs) to get what you need.
Let’s say you own a local Christmas tree farm. Every reporter worth their salt will be looking for a new angle on a holiday-themed piece soon, so now is the perfect time to connect with a news station. They come out, shoot a behind-the-scenes report on your Christmas trees, and suddenly you’re the lead story on the evening news.
If you’re a restaurant, bakery, or chocolatier, it’s even easier – invite some food bloggers in to try out a new dish. They’ll have something to talk about, and if you did your job right, you’ll reap the benefits!
Good PR Can Be Found (Nearly) Everywhere
If you don’t have connections yet, don’t worry! You can generate your own positive PR simply by putting yourself out there.
Local events (think high school sports, volunteering, and charity drives) tend to garner plenty of media attention. Even if you’re not on a first name basis with the editor of the local rag, you can bet that they’ll be out there in the thick of things, covering the important community happenings. When you’re there, too – sponsoring, volunteering, or helping collect money for charity — you’ll be generating good PR for your business, making important connections and doing something that makes you feel great!
Every small business can benefit from public relations. In fact, small businesses probably need PR even more than the giant brands do, simply because they’re not already as visible.
Need some additional info? Give Mischa Communications a ring! We’re always available to help small businesses make a big impact!