Launching a business is not easy. Planning and plotting, developing and implementing systems, and establishing a physical or online storefront can feel like a marathon at times.
In the race to launch, publicity and customer outreach are often forgotten. Taking a step back to explore the elements of a PR plan is essential to getting the word out about your business.
PR, or public relations, is a direct method for connecting with your audience, both online and in person. Television, radio, newspaper, and magazine interviews or features introduce potential customers to your company and provide credibility from established, legitimate public authorities. This is a benefit that is very difficult to achieve without years in the public eye.
As your company gains exposure and brand awareness, your clientele will naturally and exponentially increase. Combining outside media verification sources with internal marketing and advertising efforts is key to any successful launch.
- Take time to strategize. Carefully consider the elements of a PR plan that apply to your business. Think of ways you can present your company in a unique light or as a benefit to your local community. Brainstorm ideas on how you can publicize as your company grows.
- Think of who you already know. Are you friends with any industry influencers? Does your neighbor or college roommate work for a media source? Is there another business or activist group you can partner with to create community interest?
- Step out of your comfort zone. Are there organizations you should join? Setting goals to actively pursue these relationships is paramount to any public relations effort. Search out media contacts by attending local events or viewing neighborhood publications and utilizing their online submission forms.
- Plan an event. Invite the community to your grand opening or special sale at your physical location using invitations, personal phone calls and visits, and a press release. If you do not have a physical store or office, consider starting a mastermind class online or a Meetup event in your area of expertise.
- Reach out to bloggers that write or showcase topics related to your business. By actively following and commenting on other blogs, you’ll discover a community and support that you never knew existed!
- Grow the social media following of your business. Leverage your website through connections to online profiles.
- Don’t forget to utilize free resources! Ask trusted colleagues and search the internet to find helpful tools that can build your audience.
- Show up and stand out, and don’t try to follow what everyone else is doing. Bear in mind, however, that some PR methods may backfire, such as the “barriers” listed in this Forbes article, so be wise in choosing how your company is represented.
Think of PR as a necessary and important step in the launch of your business — you’ll love what and who you see at the finish line.