How to write a PR Strategy for SMEs. Part 1

Category: Marketing Strategy, Public Relations, Top Tips Posted: July 29th, 2013 by Claire comment-icon 0

PR can seem like a dark art if you’re new to it, or have outsourced it to expensive agencies in the past. However, it’s really pretty straightforward actually, and like all marketing, with the right strategy you can get positive results.

I believe it’s essential for all small businesses to have a public relations strategy. Surely you all have the objectives of ‘increasing awareness’ and ‘gaining exposure’ in your business plan? Well PR is the answer.

As a small business owner in Horsham and a very experienced Marketing consultant in West Sussex, I have delivered PR strategies and tactical campaigns for both my own company, and for my clients.

 

Here are some of my top tips for a Small Business PR strategy in Horsham, West Sussex and beyond. Part 1:

 

1)    What do you want to achieve? What are your goals and objectives? You need to establish how many mentions and in which publications and papers you want to gain from each activity. That way you can measure your results and assess your success rate, rather than working in the dark. Set goals which are specific to PR, not general ‘increase sales’ objectives.

2)    Know your audience. It is vital to define who you want to reach with your PR activity. Once you have found your audience, you need to establish what papers and publications they read. What they are interested in and how they want to hear about your news and information.

3)    Create a detailed media list. So you know what you want to achieve, and you also know who you’re talking to and what media your targets consume. Now you need to find out who is in charge of that media, whom you should contact and build a relationship with. Which reporters cover which ‘beats’, what do they like to write about, follow them on Twitter, read their articles, and collect their contact details.

4)    Have a plan. Without a wider Marketing Plan, these PR tactics can be disconnected from the larger strategy and therefore might not be as effective or hard hitting as you might have hoped. It is important to plan both your marketing and your PR and to overlay the plans, this way you’ll get integrated campaigns and more bang for you buck!

5)    Be a storyteller. No, not a fable, but write engaging, direct copy about your company or brand that is newsy and totally relevant to the reader of the paper/publication that you’re aiming at. Why would a reporter want to write about your business or print your press release? You need something interesting to say and a hook. Explain it to the journalist in an intelligent manner.

You can send your press releases to journalists via fax or e-mail or use a press-release distribution service such as PR Newswire. Remember, reporters receive hundreds of pitches each day so you need to convey your newsworthy and relevant story idea quickly and truthfully.

6)    Strike a pose. Having good quality, high resolution images to accompany your story is incredibly important and can vastly improve your chances of having your story or press release printed. Ensure you include these in your news pitch.

7)    Measure Results. If your story is picked up make sure you take newspaper cuttings to keep on file, and if your story is published online then having a link to your website is ‘SEO gold’.

 

For more tips on PR for small businesses then watch out for Part 2 coming next week. 

 

And for help in the Marketing and PR of your business please contact me to arrange a free consultation.

 

I can also recommend Rhizome PR as a great proactive PR agency and Just in Time PR and as a brilliant reactive PR agency.  

 

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