Six Small Business Public Relations Tips
Small business public relations is the act of managing messages between a small business and the public. One great method of distributing information to people is through media relations. A mention by the media gives credibility to your messages because journalists are generally considered reliable sources. When communicating messages to reporters, remember to follow these six small business public relations tips to maximize your message:
1. Never use a free email address: It might be tempting to save a few dollars by using a gmail or yahoo email address, but sending a pitch to a journalist from a free email address is a surefire way to have your message tossed in the trash. For under $200 USD per year, small businesses can register their own domain name and set up email accounts. Purchase a domain that mimics your small business name and start sending emails that make your business look professional.
2. Target journalists covering your market: While it is easier to send a mass email to multiple journalists at once hoping they pick up your story, small businesses are much more likely to get coverage targeting press releases to journalists covering their business beat. A simple internet search will help you uncover a wealth of information about a reporter. Sell a line of gourmet pet treats? Look for journalists who mention their pets in their bios, and you’re more likely to pique their interest.
3. Offer to serve as a source: Introduce yourself as a thought leader in your industry to the local media. Send an email or make a quick phone call telling reporters who you are and how you can help them with stories. Are you a criminal defense lawyer? Let journalists know you are available for quotes and be ready the next time a big trial is on the docket.
4. Help the media find sources for stories: You aren’t the right source for a particular story? Help journalists find someone who is. Referring a journalist to another source only helps you become a go-to resource whenever they need help. Make yourself available and offer assistance even when you aren’t the best person to speak on a particular story or subject. For example, you are a pediatrician, but a reporter is looking for someone to quote about geriatric care. Help the journalist find a source, and they will turn to you next time for additional help.
5. Optimize your press releases for search engine optimization (SEO): Use keywords in your press releases that make them easy to find when reporters are researching stories online. Make sure to use the keywords naturally. Don’t force use of the keywords for ranking purposes. Always remember to publish your press releases to your website so people can find them easily.
6. Hire a reputable small business public relations firm: PR can make or break your brand and your business. Journalists often cover the same stories and run in the same networks, so complaints about a bad pitch could spread from one reporter to another. Additionally, good public relations professionals are well versed in what makes a story newsworthy, ensuring you only send content to journalists that they actually want to hear. Too many bad or ill-timed press releases could brand you or your company as the boy who cried wolf, ensuring all of your future pitches will be ignored. A good PR practitioner will also have a lot of contacts in the media, making them trusted sources of quality information.
Point Taken Communications, a boutique Jacksonville public relations and marketing firm serving brands nationwide, creates engaging campaigns that ignite positive change and move audiences to action. We go above and beyond, ensuring each client gets the best return on its investment. Our team of senior professionals has decades of experience bringing bold, creative ideas to life to help companies and nonprofits grow and evolve. At Point Taken, our clients inspire us to fuel progress for your organization, your industry and our world.