Managing your own public relations as a small business owner can be a lot of work, but if you have the time and energy, or your limited marketing budget limits you from hiring a PR professional, here are PR tips for small businesses that you can do to help elevate your brand.

Create a press kit for your brand

One of the reasons businesses fail in the PR efforts is that they don’t have a consistent message or any kind of materials that can be leveraged for PR purposes. This is especially critical when someone from the media reaches out for your press kit, and you scramble to throw something together last minute. Get organized and be proactive, and create a press kit for your brand. Your press kit should be a digital collection of informative documents including executive bios, head shots, hi-res logos, ‘about us’ information, and other collateral to help introduce and showcase your small business to the media. Since this press kit will likely have several images and perhaps a video, you may want to store your press kit is in a shareable, online folder so you can send a link for download.

HAROLet the press know who you are:  HARO

Help a Reporter Out, also known as HARO, provides journalists with a robust database of sources for upcoming stories and daily opportunities for sources to secure valuable media coverage. As a small business owner, you should be reaching out to HARO and alerting them that you’re a good source of information for your industry. Many of the top media outlets in the country use HARO, so it’s not a bad idea to get involved. Just visit their site and sign up as a source of information.  Once you join, they suggest you keep an eye on your email in case you get an inquiry from a reporter; they want a timely response and you don’t want to miss out.

Get your brand’s story straight

A lot of PR today is built around stories. Every business has a story:  what’s yours? In PR today, what’s important is having a compelling story. To connect with a journalist or editor is easy, but you just need to get their attention. Without a compelling story, you’ll be hard-pressed to get their attention. Take a moment to think of YOUR company’s story. How did you get started?  What was the inspiration for creating the business?  What makes you so different and why should people care?  This is one of the best PR tips for small businesses and one that everyone should consider.

Keep up with industry news and network with industry reporters and influencers

Stay up to date on what’s happening in your industry. If you’re going to position yourself as a subject matter expert with the press, you need to actually know your subject!  Find industry blogs and publications to see what people are talking about. In addition, find the reporters who are consistently reporting on these topics in the media and make a connection with them. If you’re actively keeping up with the top industry reporters, network with them, taking notes on what those writers typically focus on, so you’ll have an abundance of knowledge when you finally reach out to them to build a relationship.

Leverage PR tools that are out there

There are all kinds of tools that you can leverage to get some PR for your company. Check out the article, “DIY PR:  10 Public Relations Solutions for Small Businesses”. It lists some great tools your small business can leverage, including:

  • PR Web
  • Localist
  • Google Alerts
  • Hootsuite

Creating an efficient PR and marketing plan is a cornerstone to building up your company’s success. Try a few of these PR tips for small businesses to get the word out and shine a spotlight on your company today.

Patty Hughes
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