PR Tips 2: What do you want to achieve?

When a new client comes to me very  often they start the conversation by saying something along the lines of “I need PR help.” or “I want a press release writing”.  Both are reasonable requests.  I then asking them “What do you want to achieve?” Very often they respond that they want people to know about x, y or z.

But the question what do you want to achieve?  Is bigger than it may first appear.    As a business tackling PR think about what you want any PR or marketing activity to result in.  Do you want:

  • To increase footfall to a venue
  • Increase sales of a product or service
  • Get more enquiries about the service/product you offer
  • To convert viewers to buyers
  • Drive more people to your website
  • Just generally raise awareness of what you offer

Your answer to this question will determine how the PR strategy is executed and what calls to action are made in any releases, marketing and/or social media.

How to get publicity for your small business

Publicity is a great way of spreading the word about your small business without the expense of using paid for advertising or other marketing tools. The sometimes tricky bit is coming up with an idea to get the media to notice and speak to you
Before you get started it is important to decide what you want the publicity to achieve (more brand awareness, an increase in visits to your website; more sales leads) think up some stories and then send a press release to the relevant radio stations, magazines, websites and newspapers.

To get you started I have come up with a few ideas that can help get you publicity.

1. Introduce something new or improved
Are you the only company selling x,y,z in your area? The media will be interested in this or perhaps you’ve made an improvement to one of your products or services which will benefit your customers or local community.

2. Mark the passage of time
Is your business celebrating 5, 10, 100 years in business? Let people know. Or perhaps it is the anniversary of something related to your industry that you can piggyback off.

3. Win an award
Award winners are a press staple. Most papers you pick up will have a story about a recent award winner. So get applying for awards relating to your industry and if you win don’t rely on the publicity arranged by the award organisers, do your own.

4. Get involved with a charity
Don’t just give your time, do something different, give your time, product, or better still use your staff and resources to do something different that will also raise cash or help a charity. It’s even better if the charity is relevant to your business.

5. Survey your customers
Facts and figures from surveys are popular with the media. Start surveying and spread the word about your findings.

6. Give something away
Newspapers love running competitions. They usually set a value for what the prize needs to be worth but for what is usually a relatively small cost to the business you’ll get space to tell everybody what you do, attract a new audience and also the possibility of some data capture of people who were interested enough in your product to want to enter a competition, these people are potential customers.

7. React to a current story
Give your opinion on something in the news (national or local) that’s relevant to you. Try and add some value to the original story.
There are numerous ways to get free publicity and it is hoped that this list will go some way to getting your started.

If you need help with raising awareness of your company or a chat about the sort of things you can do visit