Learning to love Public Relations and yourself
Public Relations or publicity is a powerful tool for all small businesses. PR is free advertising and an active PR campaign is the best way for a small business to promote themselves at a small cost. No business has unlimited funds to create, buy and place advertisements or conduct on-going marketing campaigns. PR, using the press to cover you by submitting information to the media is the way to go. There is great power of traditional media . One good story in the paper or on a local news channels will stay in your customer and potential customers minds for a long time. A small business should jump on PR opportunities and not let them fall by the wayside because we are too busy, unprepared or too shy to promote ourselves.
Keep it simple and consistent
A small business should always have a one-page press page that explains in a few paragraphs who you are, what you do and where you are located. Keep it on hand so when you are asked you have a clearly written statement you can provide at a moment’s notice. It’s easier to talk about yourself in well thought out, pre-prepared statement. Writing a blog is best from a personal point-of-view, it’s a perfect place to let people know you and promote yourself by using your personality.
Who are you?
You know yourself better than anyone and you know what kind of business or brand that you have tried to create. It is important to have a good idea of your brand, what makes your business unique. If you know who you are you can explain it to others. This brand can be re-stated over and over. If it’s simple and catchy then your tagline can always help define you. If you are known for one thing- then state it. ” Best Waffles in Middlebrook,” or “Trusted Accountants since 1987″ gets the job done. Decide what best defines you and use that tagline every time you write a press release, post a blog or submit a letter to the editor.
Many times in a small business the owner is the brand. This is where a lot of entrepreneurs lose some of the great opportunities in PR. To be a successful WePay Store or other small business it is important to self promote. This is not something that comes naturally for most of us. We have been taught not to toot our own horn, that its rude to tell people how wonderful or talented we are. Well, in small business this is a hurdle that owners have to get over. If you are the baker at Bob’s Bakery or the trainer at Jill’s Home Fitness Training then you are the business and you have to tell people why you are the best. This goes for every form of small business. If your taco shop is the same as four others in town then people are going to choose yours because they have an affinity for the owner.
Public Relations is the place to take a stand and promote yourself as a brand and business. You don’t have to be a cheesy guy in local ads, with PR you have the power to control your own image and message. Personal interaction and relationships are the key to all good business deals. People like to go where they know the owner or manager- you have to let them know who this is and who you are.
Owners are brands unto themselves and should promote! Leave the fear of being labeled and let people know what you and your personal brand stand for. Shameless self promotion should be just that, shameless. There is no shame or embarrassment in promoting the brand that is you!