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Why PR is important for your business

02 Mar 2023

We explore what public relations is and how it can be beneficial to small and medium-sized businesses – without costing a fortune.

So, you’re wondering whether Public Relations (PR) is right for your business?

With so many ways of talking to your audience available, it can be difficult to know what is going to produce the best results. The good news is that PR doesn’t need to be time consuming or expensive.

PR is all about shaping your business’ public image so it’s regarded and spoken about positively. Chances are you’re already doing this in some way, so it’s a case of dialling up the parts that work for you and your business.

Here are three ways to influence your public persona and reputation:

1. Become a spokesperson

Journalists and media organisations are always looking for trusted individuals to comment on stories, giving their expert opinion on hot topics. For example, an article in the International New York Times on Black Friday featured comments from the owner of a New York boutique, therefore helping to raise the profile of her store among INYT readers and the fashion industry.

Services such as Help a Reporter (HARO) and PRWeb help create these connections. Or, if you’re not ready for a subscription service just yet, check out #Journorequests on Twitter.

Over time, you can foster a reputation as a trusted voice, which will in turn elevate the reputation of your business.

2. Creating your own stories

You don’t need to rely on reporters to get the press to talk about your business though.

You can persuade journalists, influencers and other kinds of media organisations into writing about your business if you share newsworthy and interesting content. This can be shared in the form of a press release, but this doesn’t always need to be the case – sometimes pointing them in the direction of the company blog will give them the information they need.

You won’t always have new and exciting launches to talk about and that’s where a feature piece in the form of a byline can come in useful. This is an article in a publication that’s written and attributed to someone in your business about a particular topic. It shouldn’t be too self-serving, but it does put your company name out there, along with your point of view.

3. Online engagement

PR is about managing your ‘owned’ channels too. We’ve all seen customer complaints make it into the mainstream media, whether that’s because they were dealt with poorly or not at all.

Keeping on top of your website, reviews and social media will go a long way too. Respond to customer queries, rectify complaints and share and ask for testimonials, all of which will positively impact your business.

It’s not just about being reactive – your website is the perfect place to showcase what your company’s all about.

A blog can go into the details of how you work, your interests, goals and values. Are you striving to make your business more sustainable? Tell people about it! The more you do, the more positive associations to your business you create.

4. Know yourself

With the rise of bloggers, influencers and online media organisations, there are more opportunities than ever before for businesses to benefit from PR. And while this is a good thing, it does also mean that businesses need to be more aware of how they represent themselves.

So, make sure you work on your mission statement and your ‘About’ page to ensure you have a clear online persona that is positive, aspirational and embodies your values. This will not only attract the right customers, but make you an appealing company to feature in a news story.

Think about having a story or two up your sleeve about things your business has done that is unique to you, just in case an opportunity comes knocking. This could be anything from an example of goodwill to your employees, to how you’ve coped with a global issue, such as a local lockdown.

Good PR can go further than new customers too – it can help in the recruitment of top talent, attract investors and give you a level of control over your public image.

If you think PR might be beneficial to your business, look out for our next article on the different tactics you can use, or speak to a V-Hub advisor today.

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