Developing a Strong PR for Your SME
Do you really need to develop a strong PR? Your PR is what people hear when you say the name of your business. It is what they see when they see your logo or a flyer advertising your services. As a small business owner, it is not enough that you are doing well with your business. It is also not enough that your clients and customers are getting satisfied. There’s more to add to these if you intend to get your PR game straight.
PR, which stands for Public Relations, is the process of building and managing the public’s opinions and perceptions about your business. With a good PR, you are the one who determines what the public sees and hears about your business. You are in charge of how much information they have and you can amplify what you want to be amplified.
A common mistake new business owners make is thinking that marketing and advertising can take the place of PR. This is largely untrue. While marketing and advertising are openly profit-oriented, PR is not. When someone sees an advert on the TV or social media, they know immediately that the goal is to get them to buy, to spend their money.
This isn’t the same for PR. PR does not sell any product or service. What it does is project the good image and brand of your business to the public and leave it that way. While marketing and advertising are two important structures in business, without good PR, they are no good.
How then can you develop a strong PR for your small business?
Here are a few ways to develop a strong PR for your small business:
Develop a PR Strategy:
The first thing you need to do when it comes to PR is to have a plan. As a small business owner, you have a business plan and that should be all-inclusive. Your PR is as important as advertising and marketing and should a part of that plan. You cannot just run PR as it comes. You need to take into consideration what the public already thinks of you. Is it an image you want to uphold or one that needs changing?
Assess your PR strategy in the past year and note the effects. Did you receive a lot of media attention in the past year? In the past quarter? Was the media attention positive or negative? Did it in any way influence your financials? Did your PR generate more loss or more profit in the past year/quarter? These questions are all the reasons why you need a plan. Without a plan, assessing the current situation in comparison to the past will be a bit difficult.
Have a PR Budget:
In addition to having a plan, you need a PR budget. As mentioned above, your PR is just as important as every other part of your business and it needs a budget. As a business owner, you are not a PR expert. Most small business owners make the mistake of taking on the PR job all by themselves without any expert advice or consultation.
This will be detrimental to the growth of your enterprise. This is why you need to have a budget for your PR. If you cannot get a PR person to join your team, you can easily outsource the job to a PR company. You can also get paid consultation or get some PR training. Whichever one you choose to do, you will need a budget.
Separate Your Business Brand from Your Brand:
Another important part of developing a strong PR for your business is developing a unique brand for your business that is separate from your brand. This is something you will have to do intentionally. Presenting yourself and your business as one may be good at the start of your business to allow for local publicity and to drive sales. However, always remember to separate both as time goes on.
Your business is a financial enterprise that is neither male nor female, black nor white. It is a neutral entity whose sole purpose is to provide quality goods and services for those who would care to buy. When you attach your name or personality to your company, it becomes difficult for your potential clients, customers, and investors to see your business as an entity separate from you.
They must see them as two separate entities. This makes plans like expansion, business sale, and acquisition, and many other business prospects easy and possible without any huge damage to your sales and the brand.
PR is a vital part of building a successful SME and without it, there is a limit to how far you can push your business.