Growing your small business through free media exposure and public relations? Yes, please.
But how can you build a solid PR strategy? Read our essential guide, where we reveal the five pillars of successful public relations for small businesses and startups.
1. WHY: Identify Your Goals
Your first step involves getting your team together and asking them a few questions in order to pinpoint your company’s purpose.
What questions? Start with the ones below:
- Who are we as a brand? What is our origin story?
- Who are our customers?
- What value do our products/services bring?
- How and why are we different/better than our competitors?
- What are our most ambitious goals?
Once you have the answers written down, compare them all and try to boil them down to a few, succinct points.
Those will reveal your brand’s purpose – and that’s your starting point.
2. WHO: Zoom into Your Audience
Next, you’ll want to know exactly who you are going to speak to, through your PR strategy.
This can be tricky, especially if you are a startup and not many people know of you (yet).
Marketing experts recommend trying to identify two types of customers:
- Your aspirational target: these are customers that share your brand’s core values and that would make for great brand advocates – but, realistically, there is probably not enough of them to sustain your brand in the long term.
- Your volume target: this refers to potential buying customers. They might not reflect exactly the right type of customer that you aspire to attract, but there is probably a lot more of them around.
In your PR strategy, you’ll want to craft messages that are directed to your aspirational target. Why? Because those messages are going to be much more compelling, interesting, and exciting – and they might convince members of your volume target to become part of your aspirational crew.
3. HOW: Nail Your Tone of Voice
Before you jump into creating content for your PR strategy, you need to define your brand’s tone of voice.
How are you going to address your audience? Are you going to be witty, approachable, authoritative, formal…?
It’s vital to identify – and use – your tone of voice in order to elicit the right emotional response in your audience.
4. WHAT: Tailor Your Message and Content
OK, now you’re ready to start writing some awesome content.
But what, specifically, do you want to share with the world? Begin by doing some research into the topics, themes, and values that you want your brand to represent.
To discover what makes your audience go “wow”, you can use some great online tools such as Pulsar, Ahrefs, and Think with Google. In parallel, consider creating some buyer personas and ideal customer profiles.
Based on this, you’ll be able to work on presenting some interesting pitches to your press contacts, your aspirational audience, and other stakeholders.
5. WHERE: Select Your Channels
The last, crucial element of your PR strategy involves deciding where to broadcast your messages and content.
Some experts swear by the PESO model, which works as follows:
- Paid media: these channels require you to pay money to share your ads and content, and include sponsored content, social media ads, and paid media partnerships.
- Earned media: for these channels you’ll need to have some (good) contacts with media who have an established audience, such as influencers or celebrities.
- Shared media: this refers to expanding the reach of your content by leveraging user-generated messages, such as social media mentions, online reviews, video testimonials, events, and more.
- Owned media: these are all the channels that your company owns, including your website, podcast, newsroom, content marketing, and thought leadership platforms.
Follow the five steps outlined in our guide, and you’ll be able to build a foolproof PR strategy for your small business.
Need more PR help or advice? Chat with us today.