I read a lot about PR and marketing departments slugging it out for influence within their company or even agency but if you run a small business you have to do it all yourself.
Newsletter ? That’s you. Press Release? That’s you again. Leaflet drop? You guessed it.
So if you have sole responsibility for getting your message out there, which activities are going to bring it home? Should you concentrate on marketing or PR?
Getting the media to take notice can be a wonderful feeling, it is validation of what you do, but it is hard. You are unlikely to get press coverage without a really good story or a celebrity on board. Technology is hot, so companies using clever apps are getting noticed right now along with genuinely new products and services.
The quirky will always be in with a shout. I recently got @BeerBeauty onto Simon Mayo’s Radio 2 show because she was doing something which turned the normal order of things on its head. Instead of men meeting up in a pub to talk business she promotes a women’s networking group where the members learn about Real Ale. It’s fun and it’s different which is why she got the coverage.
If you don’t have the right story you can try to create one but perhaps it would be better to push the marketing side of your brand? A well written newsletter might be more effective. A really great offer could give you the boost you need. What if you were to think now about Christmas? Spend the summer working on your list, make sure all the people you meet are on it and then go for it in September.
Flashy media coverage is one thing, but building up your profile through word of mouth could give you the solid base you need. If you ask people to share your newsletter with their friends, you’ll extend your reach even further.
Oh and don’t forget the online world. If people like your THING then ask them to recommend you online, via social media and online reviews. Millions of us blog and lots of people produce online magazines so don’t be shy about asking for this kind of coverage.
If you are a small business I would really love to hear what has worked for you. Do please comment! I feel sure each person has their own story to tell.