With an increasing number of small businesses opening in the greater Sydney area, focusing on product and customer service is no longer sufficient. Small business owners need to engage with a variety of promotional activities in order to be competitive, according to a Sydney marketing centre.
To aid small business owners in their promotional activities, the Sydney Small Business Centre has recently released a short five-step guide for public relations.
According to the Centre, public relations is a part of marketing that is all about promoting a business or product without having to pay for it, and includes press releases, trade shows, conferences, seminars and events.
The Centre says there are five steps small business owners need to take in order to achieve success with their public relations.
- Understand the reasons for PR
The Centre says that the best way for a business owner to get started on their PR strategy is by answering these three questions:
What are you trying to say?
What are you trying to achieve?
What is the result you want?
Answering these three questions is important to give yourself a clear idea of why PR is being undertaken, and will also guide where and how it is done.
The Centre also recommends that small business owners keep the following axiom in mind when executing their own PR strategies:
Who do you want to want you? And why should they want to?
2. Know the customer
Knowing the target customer of a business is one of the most important parts of a businesses marketing strategy, and it’s no different for PR. Business owners need to know what their customers are watching, reading and listening to, as well as the websites they go to and the things they’re interested in. Knowing this will help business owners make the most of their PR efforts and focus them on the appropriate forms of media.
3. Don’t just wait for things to happen
PR isn’t going to work by sending out a media release and then sitting by the phone waiting for ABC Radio to call. The best way to get coverage is by understanding where news should be placed, sending it to the right person and chasing them up. Business owners can’t rest on their laurels – PR is all about identifying the right opportunities and actively pursuing them.
4. Be newsworthy
When business owners are writing something to promote their business they need to make sure it is newsworthy in one of the following respects:
- Timing – if it happened today it’s news, but if it happened last month, then it’ll be tough to get any coverage at all.
- Significance – does what you’re saying affect a number of people or your industry?
- Prominence – famous people get in the news. If you break your arm then it’s won’t be on the front page, but if Julia Gillard does, it’s newsworthy.
- Human interest – anything that appeals to the emotions, like a new baby elephant at the zoo or an enthralling journey.
5. Always think about the big picture
PR is all about being active and getting a business’ name out there through as many different mediums as possible. Business owners need to keep the big picture in mind and make sure their PR strategy involves active engagement with a variety of media.
I am the founder of the Sydney Small Business Centre and a small business commentator and consultant. The Centre is a both a learning centre that helps SMEs grow by coaching business owners to become great business managers, as well as their outsourced marketing manager.