For Small to Mid-Sized Businesses, Where does Public Relations fit into Your Business or Strategic Plan?

Whether you are a start-up or an established small to mid-sized business, you probably have a business plan.  Most entrepreneurs know they need a PR component but they aren’t sure where to start. Many small to mid-sized business think that merely having a press release about the new store, management, service etc… will automatically generate a “buzz” and lead to greater sales.  Still others completely ignore the role of public relations and marketing, instead relying on referrals, networking, or their own business development efforts.  But PR can help immensely in tying together the separate disciplines of marketing and sales (business development).

Print Publications are important for any PR Strategy!
Print Publications are important for any PR Strategy!

The goal of my blog post today is to provide you some key points to utilize in your business planning for public relations.  Here are three key concepts that I want you to think about in your business or strategic plan:

  1. Who is your audience? If you attempt to target the mass market for your specialized product or service, you are diluting the effect of your media placements.  Would a foreign car mechanic necessarily be interested in reading about the latest and greatest baby feeding product?  Not necessarily, unless of course there was a newborn at home.  By knowing who your audience and potential customers are, and their tastes and interests, you can target media opportunities that will have the greatest visibility for them.
  2. Why do they want to know about your product or service? Unless your product or service is truly innovative (think iPad) then chances are the public has already seen or heard about it before.  It takes a clear strategy, therefore, to convey the features and benefits that compel the audience to pay attention.
  3. How are you going to be consistent with your PR tactics? All too often, small and mid-sized businesses garner media attention in fits and starts.  The management of these companies may be hot on media exposure initially, but realize that it takes time and effort to experience maximum gains.  The whole point of marketing and public relations is to generate credibility and trust among potential customers in the hopes that they will eventually engage with your company.  But this will not happen overnight.

At AMM Communications, we recommend a “slow build” to maintain this consistency.  As a small to mid-sized business, if you are attempting to accomplish the implementation of the PR strategy yourself, it helps to sit down and map out the strategy and milestones on a quarter by quarter basis, and to commit to evaluating what occurred in the previous quarter to see if the goals were accomplished.  It isn’t easy, but you can do it yourself!