PR is an ideal way to spread the word about your small business.

That’s why we’re giving a R10 000 PR package to the winner of this year’s SANTAM Women of the Future Awards.

We’ve partnered with CN&CO to offer the prize.

Below, CN&CO’s Colin Ford writes about how you can generate PR for your SME.

How to Generate PR for Your Small Business

Public relations is a form of information management that gets public exposure for your brand or product line and/or for yourself as a business owner. PR can help to shape the credibility of your brand and the way people perceive you and your business.

The main purpose of PR is to share your message with the appropriate audience without having to pay for placement. Once you pay, it’s called advertising, and that’s an entirely different topic.

The effective use of PR can benefit your brand enormously and help you to grow relationships with the media and, ultimately, with your customers.

Here are a few tips for doing good PR:

   1.Tell good stories

This might seem obvious – but remember the word “good” is extremely subjective. What you think is interesting or important might not be everybody’s cup of tea. You need to find angles that are newsworthy and tell stories that your consumers want to hear. And remember to keep it simple. The more streamlined and snappy your message is, the more likely it is to be remembered.

  2. Choose the right media for your brand

Find out what media your customers consume and focus your energies there. Many business owners want to be seen on the front page of the Sunday newspaper, or be interviewed on talk radio by the financial guru simply because those are the media they themselves consume. Remember, your customers might not have access to the newspaper, or even listen to talk radio. The right medium could be a local knock-and-drop newspaper or a popular blog. It all depends on what you’re selling, who you’re selling it to and what your message is.

3. Build relationships

PR is a process; you need to work on building relationships both with the media and with your customers. Ultimately you want to become the person journalists call when they need information in your particular field of expertise. These relationships can take years to build. Be patient, be honest, be dependable and always be available.

4. Integrate with your marketing strategy

There’s no point saying one thing in your PR and another on, for example, your social media. Make sure your message is consistent across your advertising and communication platforms so as not to confuse your audience – or yourself!

5. Call in the experts

If you don’t feel comfortable or confident dealing with the media, speak to an experienced PR agency and see what they can do for you. A well-placed article or quote in a respected newspaper, magazine, radio station or blog can do wonders for both your business’s brand and your own.

For more on the Women of the Future awards, read Lulalend’s blog about the competition.

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