So, you’ve come up with a brilliant business idea, put in all the hard work, created a great product, but… nobody knows about it. What now, right?
I get you. As someone who has led international public relations (PR) campaigns for over 10 years, I can’t tell you how common this is. Luckily, PR companies were created to help you fix just that (and more). With a dedicated PR consultant by your side, you could raise your public profile and improve sales in the process – bingo!
If you’re still unsure about your next step, don’t you worry. I’ve outlined some of my favourite PR tips and tricks below, as well a few ways I believe hiring a PR agency could benefit your business and take it to the next level so you can get started on your personal PR journey!
But first, let’s start with a fundamental question: does your business actually need PR?
I get asked this a lot, and my answer is always a resounding yes. If you want your business to grow organically and thrive in your respective industry, then jumping on the PR train is truly essential.
A common misconception is that PR is only for the big dogs. But the truth is that all businesses (big and small) can benefit from a tailor-made public relations approach. Having the right PR strategy will elevate your public profile and get your brand or product out there and into the people’s orbits – which is just what you need to have a successful and long-lasting business.
Now, what constitutes good PR?
PR is broad and can be hard to define, but for simplicity’s sake The Public Relations Society of America describes it as ‘a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organisations and the public’.
Good and effective PR should be proactive in establishing and maintaining a business’ relevance and position in the market by finding positive messages and translating them into stories.
Fundamentally, though, there is no better PR than a good reputation. Of course, there is the whole ‘no such thing as bad publicity’ argument. But, while that saying does hold some weight, if you want people to keep coming back to your business, I’d say that aiming for respect and not infamy is your best bet.
Let’s get into my top tips for your PR
Leverage your story
At the end of the day, PR is all about human stories. And every company has a story to leverage in their public relations strategy. Whatever your narrative, communicating it to the public will allow you to potentially connect with your target audience and elicit all the right emotions, which will hopefully draw them to your business in the future.
What could your story angle be? Well, perhaps you’ve taken over the family business that has been around for over 100 years and you’ve learnt everything you know from your grandfather. Or your business idea was developed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to bring a smile to the faces of your friends. Or, perhaps, sustainability is at the core of who you are. Find out what your story is, come up with an angle, and let the PR games begin.
Human beings like facts and figures – fact!
When it comes to deciding whether to trust a specific business or not, people love to see the numbers. Data (quite literally) quantifies your value to a potential customer or client and allows them to find tangible, black-on-white, reasons to support you. Sure, your story and messaging might make them feel good (and that is half the battle), but if you’ve got the numbers to back you up, then you’re golden.
Gathering data for your business will prove useful in the future, so it’s worth doing that research now. Studies show that campaigns that incorporate data into their messaging are more likely to be engaged with. So, gather your data and have fun with it.
Just check out how Lush have incorporated their data onto their website! Numbers never looked so good.
Find a topical hook
Keeping on top of current affairs is crucial to good PR. Being responsive to what is going on around you will ultimately keep you relevant and indicate that you are someone people should probably be paying attention to. Think about how you and your business are shaping the society you form a part of and let people know about it.
Understandably, this can all be a bit overwhelming if you’re just starting out and have budgets, employees, and marketing strategies to deal with.
That’s why PR agencies really are your friend.
The benefits of working with a PR agency
It’s all about contacts
If you’re new to the business, chances are you’re still building your little black book of contacts. Luckily, PR companies like Finesse have those in spades, and that’s why they’re great to get your business on the map and in some of the best publications out there.
Being featured on respected news portals or in high-calibre publications (print or online) can do a great deal of good for pushing your business in those first crucial months. So, it’s definitely worth looking into!
Put simply, PR agencies do this for a living, so we know the ins and outs of the business. From mastering the art of writing a killer press release (that journalists will actually want to publish), to creating buzz around your future press launch, and ultimately getting your name out there and making it stay there, your chosen PR agency should be able to handle all that in their sleep.
It’s an investment
Following on from my previous point, nurturing your reputation and investing in a good PR presence will serve you well. Once you’ve raised your profile and have people talking (in all the right ways) the market will do the rest of the work for you.
Bonus: It could also make you more appealing to investors! The right messaging and exposure could be all an investor needs to confirm that your business is a lucrative one worth supporting. As a matter of fact, it’s always good to have evidence of any PR material (such as any news features etc.) when approaching interested parties. If you’re a small to mid-sized business, the future of your company might depend on that outside funding, so keep this one in mind.
In conclusion, treating your business to a few months of professional PR assistance will be worth it in the long run and could be just what you need to take your company to new heights. So, bring out the chocolate and champagne, and start celebrating the beginning of your new PR journey.
Will you be our Valentine? If you’re looking for a PR agency to take your business to the next level, get in touch – we’d love to help!