PR tips for small businesses: how to write a public relations strategy
A business plan without public relations is like an aeroplane without wings – your engine may be in perfect working order but you’re not going to fly. We work with clients to ensure that public relations is thought about every step of the way as they grow their brand. Here are our top PR tips for small businesses who want to know how to write a public relations strategy to complement their business plan:
PR tip 1: set objectives for your public relations strategy
Do you want to increase orders on your website or secure five new client contracts this year? Decide what success will look like for you and turn this into your public relations strategy objectives. It will be more difficult to link PR activities to business wins later on if you don’t carry out this step first.
PR tip 2: know your audience
Who is your ideal customer? Or do you have several niche groups you’d like to communicate with to drive business sales? Being clear about your audience from the off will help to focus your PR strategy and efforts.
PR tip 3: be diligent about your research
A bit of competitor analysis is a healthy exercise for any business. Take a look at your rivals’ PR and marketing tactics. What appears to be working for them? And what could you do better? This includes looking at the various communications channels available like social media, paid advertising, media relations, and direct marketing, to see what seems to be resonating well with your potential customers.
PR tip 4: pen key messages
Having a set of clear messages that form a golden thread through all of your public relations and marketing activities will boost brand, service and product recognition. Think about some of your favourite brands and the slogans they use. These short phrases say a lot about the company’s values as should your key messages.
PR tip 5: decide how you’re going to share your messages
By now you’re getting to the meat of writing your PR strategy. Based on the work you have done to identify your audience and your research into the top ways to communicate with them you can decide the best PR channels to use in your public relations strategy. If you have several different audiences some channels might work better for one group than another. For example, you could use social media to reach potential clients and direct marketing to target existing customers.
PR tip 6: create a PR activities calendar
Putting together a calendar of PR activities will help you keep on top of public relations and marketing tasks, making sure they happen at the right time for maximum effect. It will also make it easier for you to plan the resources needed for each activity. This leads nicely on to…
PR tip 7: set your public relations budget
Now you know what you want to achieve and how you are going to do it you need to allocate a realistic budget. You may be able to achieve all of the tasks in your PR strategy in-house or have to call on external expertise. Cost this appropriately and you’re more likely to achieve those PR objectives that will bolster your business plan.
Support from an external PR and marketing company might be more affordable than you think. If you’d like to discuss any aspect of how to write a public relations strategy then we’d love to help. Get in contact for a chat with our team of PR and marketing professionals.