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Marketing and public relations for small businesses

No matter how small your business is, it is possible to create effective lead generation and awareness of your product through targeted public relations practices and marketing. A mix of marketing and PR applications has proven to work best for many small businesses. 

The key steps to developing a solid marketing and PR plan for a small enterprise are:

STEP 1: Target influencers, journalists and editors

The first step is to create a targeted media list of the key (not necessarily the most known) journalists in your area and to keep in regular contact with them.  Invite them to your company’s product launches and engage with them on social media platforms like Twitter.  You could also comment on articles they tweet and blog about in an authentic manner, as well as suggest additional contacts for a story they have written or are currently working on – without spamming them.  Journalists are more prone to connect with you when they sense a genuine interest in their news beat, which basically is the fibre of most meaningful and synergistic relationships.

Once you’ve built a solid relationship with a group of journalists, editors or influencers, they will be more open to story ideas about your company.  This should always be in line with the type of stories they typically cover on a day-to-day basis.  Your job is to suggest stories their readers will find interesting first and foremost; your organisation’s involvement is secondary.

You could also register on media alerts and you will get access to an email with requests from bloggers, journalists and editors for people who can be sources in stories that they are writing.

STEP 2: Upload the press releases and company news on to your website

The next step is to get this information in front of your audience. You should announce new promotions, clients, techniques and partnerships that will be of benefit to the community at large.  If you have a blog or website, you should build a ‘Newsroom’ or ‘Media’ section on the landing page and upload the press releases here for organic SEO and viewing.

STEP 3: Spread the news

Lastly, to get as much mileage from every mention as you can, make a habit of communicating the press coverage you do receive in your own marketing material and on your company’s social media platforms.  These should always be separate from your personal accounts in order to maximise targeted exposure.

Furthermore, it will be worth your while to employ an eager public relations or marketing student to help you establish the initial marketing and PR systems internally, even if it’s on a part-time basis.  You will secure the help you need at an affordable rate and they will gain valuable, relevant experience in this ever-changing field.

By implementing these steps to develop a solid PR and marketing strategy, you will be well on your way in getting your brand the attention it deserves.

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