There was a time when the extent of public relations efforts by small businesses included an occasional press release. While press releases still deliver needed visibility for small businesses when they have something newsworthy to share, times have changed and with it a few emerging trends. Here are a few public relations trends your small business should embrace for building a better community around your brand.

Connect on a more human level

human connectionFor those who have been in the business world for a long time, embracing the more human aspect in marketing, advertising and public relations still seem counterintuitive to being “professional”, but nothing is further from the truth. With all the noise online bombarding consumers on every platform, the messages that resonate the most speak to people’s emotions and humanness. For successful PR efforts, small businesses need to understand who they are communicating with on a human-to-human level. They need to take a more focused, consumer-centric approach and speak to individuals vs. groups or sectors to really resonate with their audience.

Consider leveraging influencers to boost your PR

Influencer marketing has grown exponentially. The same concept can apply to PR, and those influencers can be employees, customers, and vendors. The shrinking media relations opportunity window has smart PR communicators looking at ways to reach audiences to help magnify their messages. Employees are highly trusted voices for brands large and small. Rethink how to present content internally to create brand fans who will take messages out to their audiences and influence their decisions.

Don’t overproduce your PR

TikTokWhen it comes to PR, perfection is not the goal. This is especially true with video. The rise of TikTok illustrates how people are attracted to brands that are real, not those that offer a shiny production. Consumers want “snackable content” that they can easily consume and understand, so make it a point to keep once again being real in the equation and keep your videos more casual and informal in nature for the best impact.

Keep it brief

It’s no secret that consumers’ attention span is getting shorter and shorter, so your PR needs to align with this trend. Small businesses need to provide content and reach audiences in a different way. Short-form storytelling is the best way to capture your audience’s attention. Keep your videos or audio clips to no more than sixty seconds; any longer and your audience will likely skip it.

Remember that people consume information in different ways

ContentWe’ve talked quite a bit about how small business marketers should create a variety of content as people consume information in different ways. The same applies to PR! Consider creating public relations messaging in different formats including written press releases, videos, or other formats. The choice of information for consumers is limitless, so your prospects now have the option of choosing how they get their information and in what format. Leverage not only different formats but different platforms including social media, your own website, and 3rd party PR websites to ensure you’re getting the message out there where your prospects are and in the format, they want the information.

PR is still an immensely powerful tool for small businesses to grow brand awareness. Understanding how public relations trends are changing the way public relations is done will go a long way in getting your message out and keeping your small business brand in front of the right people.

Patty Hughes
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