Do you struggle with getting publicity for your business? Regardless of your response, one thing is for sure— digital technologies are constantly changing the way you interact with your audience, media and influencers. Now more than ever, you have to do more than simply promote your product or service. Your customers expect you to join the conversation.
With public relations and marketing becoming more closely aligned, you’ll need savvy online tools to tell your brand stories, automate daily processes and keep up with relevant information.
Of course for small business owners, paying for a PR agency can be costly, but it’s a fundamental step you can’t afford to ignore. Considering the wealth of affordable online tools available, there’s simply no excuse not to leverage the DIY method if necessary.
Here are six PR tips and tools to help you spread awareness about your business and manage your workflow:
1. Generate Awareness about Your Product or Service
Handle Your Own PR (HYOPR), a do-it-yourself public relations service, features a host of content to help you gain free publicity and successfully launch PR campaigns, from getting started with PR to media basics (releases, targeting, lists and scheduling), to the do’s and don’ts of connecting with media, the website
Although, HYOPR is free to use, users can also purchase media lists starting at $80.
2. Establish yourself as a thought leader to build your credibility.
LinkedIn Pulse is a great tool to build your credibility, grow your influence and establish yourself as a thought leader. In a nutshell it’s a professional news app tailored to your news preferences. Once you publish a post, LinkedIn allows users to follow you even in they aren’t part of your network. You can also use LinkedIn to find journalist and budget friendly PR pro’s who can help you spread awareness about your products or services.
Starting a blog or contributing to a major media outlet such as Black Enterprise, Huffington Post or publishing in BuzzFeed community is another way to establish yourself as an expert.
3. Host events to market your services.
Localist is an online platform that allows small business owners with limited resources to market their events and promote their content. You can also create an online communities where attendees and target audiences can check-in to events, add comments, write reviews and upload photos. Localist is also Google Analytics-friendly, so you can track conversations about your events, how many shares and follows events have and other valuable insights.
4. Spread the news about your service and offer your expert knowledge.
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) brings opportunities and news outlets such as The New York Times, ABC, etc. to your inbox. Not only does reporters from major outlets use the service, small business owners public relations pros, reporters, authors, and may more use it to post queries about a specific topic and invite PR pros and businesses to pitch with ideas, quotes and stories.
5. Engage with your audience and find fresh content.
People follow your brand on Twitter because they want to interact with you, not simply be informed. But beyond giving your followers an opportunity to engage and learn more about your business, here are some PR tips when using Twitter:
- Follow trending stories and figure out ways to reuse topics. Although trending topics have a short life span, you can join the conversation with a strategically placed tweet linked to your overall business, service or core message. Or write an article or blog post that’s connected to the topic and publish immediately.
- Type in the #journorequest hashtag when a news story has broken on a theme that is relevant for you and your business. PR pros and Freelancers like to use this hashtag when trying to find interviewees or sources on particular subjects.
- Join a Twitter chat to create brand awareness and amplify your core messages.
6. Monitor your online presence and track what others are saying about your business.
As you spread the word about your business, you’ll also want to track and monitor your presence online and find out where you appear on the Web.
Mention is similar to Google Alerts and allows you to track your brand or keywords you want to monitor on social networks, blogs, forums, and much more. It also allows you to respond to mentions of your brand and share industry news that you find.