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PR is a useful tool for all businesses. It requires careful planning and research and close management. These are the most effective and easiest PR for small businesses.
When you write a press release your story must be newsworthy. This often holds business owners back from submitting press releases. After all how exciting can the day to day of your business be. But this belief that your story is not interesting or newsworthy enough can be a lost opportunity.
Always post press releases on your web site and tweet and post with links to your site. Send your press release to your local, regional and national press. Don't forget trade and specialist publications and your local radio stations.
Anything from dressing up and handing out samples on the high street takes ingenuity but often gets more publicity than conventional means. Accompany with a release for the best chance of local papers giving you coverage.
Word of mouth:
Give existing customers discounts and vouchers for referrals to encourage sales and enquiries from word of mouth. You must have the best quality customer service for this to work effectively.
Helping your community and being seen to help will always work in your favour. Unless you either make a very large donation or host a particularly big or prestigious event, but word of your charity support will spread gradually and earn you local favour.
Use the charitable work you do on your marketing material including a logo of the charity you are supporting, giving information on how you support them and add some details to your web site.
Sponsoring events or awards either within your industry, in your community or even nationally will get your name out there and build your reputation as a business that supports innovation, entrepreneurship and other businesses. However sponsorship can be expensive, local prizes and sponsorship will be cheaper but will not attract the same publicity.
Networking and being seen to be seen:
Networking is an excellent way to spread the word about your business and to generate referrals. Be seen at the right events is a chance to publicise your business. Practice describing your business in no more than 30 seconds that gets both your passion and the crucial point of the idea across. Make sure you have plenty to talk about so you come across as a well-rounded, interesting person rather than someone constantly trying to sell their business. Keep up-to-date with industry news and current affairs.
Being shortlisted for and winning awards:
Fantastic but not easy to do and award ceremonies often cost a few hundred pounds to attend. If you do it's essential to find out what the judges are looking for.