Many successful businesses hire PR firms to deal with their public relations and marketing communications tasks. As a top public relations and social media marketing agency in Orange County, we believe that hiring an external PR specialist can add value to any business that wants to build its brand. However, we also recognize that some small businesses may prefer to handle their PR in-house, for budgetary or other reasons. Here are a few tips for small companies looking to take a do-it-yourself approach to PR and marketing communications.
Craft your company’s brand and story. A successful brand is so much more than just the sum of its product and service offerings. Recognizing and celebrating the things that make your business unique will help you to find your brand’s voice. Even within the same industry, no other business has your unique blend of history and evolution, people and customers, ethics and vision, and those things all combine to create your brand’s story. Once you know this story, it can inform and strengthen all of your marketing communications.
Know your industry and competitors inside out. Keeping informed about developments involving your sector, competitors and regulation is good business practice anyway, but it can also help drive your PR and marketing communications. Keeping abreast of relevant industry, economic and political news – via online alerts, trade publications and by building a network of valuable contacts – can reinforce your brand’s position as a subject matter expert and thought leader, and this in turn will strengthen the authority of your social media marketing, blogging, article writing and other PR messages.
Build and maintain your network of contacts. Successful networking is a core ability in any good business leader, and PR firms will tell you that forming and maintaining the right contacts is essential to effective marketing communications. Reach out to journalists – industry-specific, local, national and international – as well as bloggers and other thought leaders in relevant fields. Remember it’s not just about what they can do for you; the aim is to build a mutually beneficial relationship. Providing helpful feedback, offering your expertise, suggesting collaborations and just staying in touch can all help to build a network of people who, now or later, might be in a position to help boost your brand visibility.