Most small business owners have never been featured in the press; and getting that coveted spot in a newspaper, magazine, business journal, or expertise website will not materialize overnight. Publicity, though, can be attainable, and will reap rewards for any small business owner; provided that there is, of course, consistent effort.
It may have happened for some businesses, but for others it will normally take weeks or months before a single glimmer of hope of getting that media spot becomes visible. This also depends on some factors like how simple your story is to cover and how consistently you get in touch with the media.
I recently interviewed a business owner regarding his use of PR. He owns a clothing range which he started with just fifty dollars of capital. He was able to grow the business by selling seven thousand dollars’ worth of t-shirts a week; and within a few years, he was able to transform a small business into a multi-million dollar enterprise.
I asked him what were the secrets to his success. He mentioned that one of the secrets for his success was that he maximized the potential of free publicity.
It was unknown to him at the time, but his company had a great media catch: his business was unique. When it comes to business knowledge, he honestly said that he didn’t know much; but yet he was able establish a multi-million dollar clothing brand. Furthermore, he went against every known business model, but sales were still pouring in. His uniqueness made his business newsworthy, and that’s what made him appear as a guest at a very respected radio program.
It was right then that he discovered the biggest benefit that free publicity can give his business. Media people often look for their next story by paying attention to what’s headlining elsewhere. Hence, within a few days after the interview, he got an invite to guest on a television talk show to discuss his clothing brand in front of a very wide audience.
He then received hundreds of calls from retailers wanting to sell his products the very next day.
What he’d attained was a classic example of using public relations momentum and publicity as leverages to build up business. The radio show took him from a very small audience, which opened the door to a television appearance that made his business known to millions of customers. The best part was that it cost him nothing.
If you want to be like him, you can build a similar PR strategy to gain you that momentum you can leverage for your business.
Persistence is Key
Like in any business endeavor, a PR campaign needs a dedicated investment of time and effort, and not necessarily money. This therefore means that, as a business owner, you must continuously develop new story angles to spark media interest. Regular follow-up on the media organizations you’d like to work with will also be advantageous.
Take ‘Baby Steps’
The media universe is such a broad place to start, and attempting to get in touch with all of the media elements can feel very overwhelming. You might want to start within your local market first. The reason behind this is that you’ve already establish some credibility in your local market.
Another tip is to focus on a certain niche like a business journal or a trade publication that covers your industry.
Define your Goals
Always make sure that your PR goals are written down where you can always see them. Define your goals and your expected outcome of each and take an action step each day that will lead you closer to attaining that goal.
Always allot PR time into your Business Operations
Allot at least an hour a week to focus on public relations; even though it’s only about fifteen minutes a day. In those fifteen minutes you could’ve already sent an email of your media pitch out to five journalists, placed three follow-up phone calls, or researched on a new PR opportunity thru a new media outlet. Don’t make an excuse of not having enough time.