The Quick Guide to Public Relations For SMEs
With paid advertising and ROI stealing the limelight, it’s crucial to understand how Public Relations (PR) can affect your business, regardless of size or industry.
You’d think that PR was part of the secret service, where many can describe what it is but can rarely put a finger to what it entails. That’s because PR covers communication with stakeholders, partners, journalists, the public and most importantly, customers.
In short, PR utilises the art of storytelling to build on your business’s credibility. For small to medium businesses, it boils down to trust — gaining your customer’s confidence comes from establishing what makes your business worth giving attention to.
What is PR?
Hubspot gave an explanation on what PR is in this article. According to them, public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.
Understanding the difference between paid and earned media is the key to grasping how effective PR is for your business.
Advertising falls under paid media — suitable for PRomoting your business and reaching consumers most likely to purchase your PRoduct or services. PR, on the other hand, is organic — an unpaid endorsement by a trusted source, regardless of the medium.
It’s natural to assume one is more effective than the other. However, a two-PRonged apPRoach that utilises both tactics is ideal for small to medium businesses. You want a swiss army knife of marketing, not a blunt spear deployed in hopes of hitting that one target.
3 Elements To Understand PR For SMEs
Trust is integral in business, and building trust is most effective by telling a story. Elliot & Co has had more than 500 different brands we have told stories of. It is not simply what we do; it is what we’re good at.
From our experience, understanding these 3 vital elements as a business owner will allow you to strategize your marketing plans effectively:
- The Right Time For PR
PR is generally free, so there’s no ‘right’ time to start. Getting your business mentioned in the news whether you’re just starting or considered a veteran in your industry will definitely boost credibility.
Identifying when you do PR would circle back to where your business is and the expected outcome of launching a PR campaign.
If you’ve already identified that your business is ready for brand awareness, let us know! Our team of PR professionals are ready to help you.
2. Identifying Your Story
PR centres around the stories you choose to tell, which makes your story angle very important.
This ties back to discerning ‘right’ time for starting PR. Has your business recently completed a funding round? Go for PR! This screams potential business growth to investors as your brand awareness and visibility increases.
Are you sitting on a compelling founder story that’s bound to capture a few hearts? Then PR was made for you! You become the push factor for your business while coming across sincere and relatable, strengthening your brand reputation.
Thinking about doing a PRoduct launch? New PRoducts and services typically receive good favour from the media because the value is in the timeliness of the news.
Journalists are always on the lookout for a good story. Good PR ensures that these stories are packaged and PResented in the right way via PRoper pitching to journalists and understanding the current media trends of the time.
3. Measuring PR
A frequent question we get at Elliot & Co. is, “How do you know if the PR campaign was successful?”. A simple way would be to gauge the media’s response to your story, which will translate to potential media coverages.
Traditionally, a campaign’s success is determined by the number of publications that picks up your story. With the rising popularity of digital media and analytical tools, there have been other increasingly reliable methods to quantify PR efforts.
Building trust doesn’t happen overnight, which highlights one of the biggest challenges for SMEs: how do you know if your consistent PR efforts are reaping benefits for your business?
Here’s where being ambitious without clear business objectives can lead most businesses down the rabbit hole. Most SMEs expect to see an immediate and direct correlation between PR efforts and ROI — this is dangerous.
Due to the organic nature of PR, it can become challenging to capture the intangible results such as brand credibility and trust, which have a much more significant and lasting impact for your business, accurately.
Our most popular advice to SMEs: ensure your PR and marketing efforts are supporting and in-line with your business goals.
By using suitable metrics to measure success, you can quickly identify the marketing metrics to determine the effectiveness of a PR campaign accurately.
At Elliot & Co, we pair powerful analytics with strategic PR campaigns to give you the best of both worlds. Reach out to us and let us get your business featured in the media!
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