Public Relations is just as important for a home business as it is for a multinational corporation.
Yes, your budget will be a fraction of the size but PR’s versatility means you can create cost-effective and precise campaigns that communicate the right things, to the right people, at the right time.
PR’s objective is to grow the profile of your brand, company, products, and solutions – but don’t forget it also supports developing leads and growing sales.
Here are three ways to get value from communication: the M-A-C of PR.
1. M – what’s your ‘message?
What are you trying to say? You may know exactly what your business does but if you can’t articulate it, concisely, your message will be lost.
The main thing you need is a compelling narrative that positions your business as a ‘stand out’. This sounds complicated and begs the question:
“Where to start?”
Especially if you’re new to this!
A good way to start is to write down how you want your company, brand, and products to be talked about – including:
- Overall message – 30-40 words about who you are, what you do and your solution
- 3-5 key messages for your elevator pitch
- What is the market context – why is your business needed?
- What are your products and their relevance?
- Your differentiation
- Proof points, statistics, case studies
Having a document helps communication become a strategic management tool for driving your business in the direction you want to take it.
2. A – Who are the ‘audiences’ you want to talk to?
Public relations is built on close connections between an organization and its stakeholders, whether customers (existing or potential), influencers (media, commentators), peers, professionals or public officials.
Casting a large net won’t necessarily provide the best result. It’s better to focus on people who will embrace your message and resonate with it. On a limited budget, you have to be savvy, creative, and do it yourself!
- Media – read to assess who’s talking about what, consult directories, then target them
- Research contacts in public organizations, and professional, stakeholder and networking groups
- Develop buyer personas for your customers, existing and potential
Remember: contacts are Gold, so manage them well using a database or CRM.
3. C – the ‘channels’ to use
Now you need to build a bridge between your message and audience, using channels.
We can’t stress this enough – communication, in any form, comes down to relationships built through channels. Media relations is one involving developing a story, pitching it to an influencer, securing an angle and perhaps an interview, to achieve coverage.
Don’t limit yourself as media now is any channel with a wider influence. Think about websites of related organizations needing content, your own contacts who may share your news, views, and opinions, online networking and community groups and social media – all are media.
PR is selling
My first boss told me – “PR is sales – you’re selling solutions, concepts, and ideas to generate a profile and build reputation.”
As a salesperson, you need conviction, confidence, and appeal so people want to continue a conversation. You won’t always be successful, but you will build relationships and that will lead to results.
Think of The M-A-C of PR – Message, Audience, Channel – and good luck communicating!
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