WHAT IS PUBLIC RELATIONS AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT
If you have been in business for a while, you have likely heard the term public relations (PR). Perhaps your a pro and already know about public relations and how it can benefit your business, but if you're a newbie, you most likely are spinning your wheels wondering how you can use public relations to your advantage.
Sound about right?
No matter what stage of the game you're in, public relations can help your business. The beauty of it is that there are various forms of PR that you can use for your business. Therefore, if you're a newbie, you can still take advantage of this marketing strategy, and if you're a veteran entrepreneur and business owner, there are advanced strategies for you too. You see, everyone wins with public relations.
Now, before we dive into the different ways you can increase your exposure through public relations, and it benefits, we must first explore what it is.
WHAT IS PUBLIC RELATIONS
I personally really like this definition of public relations from HubSpot.
Public Relations professionals help a business or individual cultivate a positive reputation with the public through various unpaid or earned communications, including traditional media, social media, and in-person engagements. They also help clients defend their reputation during a crisis that threatens their credibility.
According to Wikipedia, public relations can be defined as the following.
Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics. Public relations can also be defined as the practice of managing communication between an organization and its publics.
In simple terms, it means that ONE mention of you, your brand, and your business could, in fact, amplify your online exposure and drastically improve your business and it's trajectory.
There seem to be some misconceptions about public relations. Here are a few that I have seen and heard most recently.
- It's a form of paid advertising for your business.
- It's only considered PR if a large media outlet drops your name or features you.
- It's only beneficial for large corporations or big firms and not for small business owners, like you.
Honestly, these couldn't be further from the truth! And I'm going to debunk these myths for you in a hot second.
I firmly believe that PR can help ANY business no matter their size or budget. In my opinion, public relations is more credible than any other form of marketing or advertising out there! Why? Because you have a credible source recommending you, your brand, and your business. Yes, social media is important, email marketing is the lifeline of your business, and paid advertising can increase your profits but it’s a helluva a lot more powerful when someone else recommends you, your brand, and your business, and that’s exactly what public relations is.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Now that you know that you absolutely can leverage the heck out of PR, let's dive in and discuss the benefits. Here are five BIG BENEFITS to public relations.
- It's F-R-E-E! - Yup, public relations is typically a free way to get exposure for you, your brand, and your business when it comes to your small business. Hooray! Yes, you could pay for product placements and such but for the most part, if you want to start out with editorial features, podcast interviews, magazine articles, etc it is free all day baby! As a small business owner, I understand you don't have large sums of money to be throwing around for paid gigs, which is why I recommend free PR as much as possible to get started.
- It boosts your credibility. - Public relations is where you have someone else with influence mention you, your brand, or your business to their audience. Essentially, they're endorsing you. Since their audience already trusts the influencer, they soon trust you too because of the recommendation and their recommendation instantly makes you credible.
- It builds relationships. - Public relations is a form of relationship marketing, in my opinion. It enables you to build rapport so that a new audience is able to know, like, and trust you in a very short period of time. And we know that people buy from those that they know, like, and trust which is why PR is so great to help increase your income, influence, and impact. It not only can massively increase your online exposure but it can save you time in the long run.
- Expands your audience. - When dabbling with PR work, you are tapping into a new market and audience that would not have otherwise known about you, your brand, or your business. By partnering with someone who has the influence to recommend or feature you, you are able to reach a new audience with whom you can build a relationship with and with one mention it can literally skyrocket the awareness of your business.
- Increases your online exposure. - Just like with expanding your audience to reach new people, public relations also increases your online exposure. By tapping into that new audience, they'll soon follow you on social media, join your email list, read your blogs, listen to your podcast, etc. They not become part of your tribe or community and will engage. Once they start engaging, it'll open up the doors of opportunity for even more people to learn more about you, your business, and your brand. It's a positive domino effect that could happen literally from ONE mention with a PR gig.
As you can see, the benefits are huge! Public relations can be a catalyst to the growth of your business and it doesn't have to be only with online gigs. You can look for local influencers to partner with for local PR and help raise awareness about your brand locally too. The opportunities for PR really are abundant when you learn how and where to find them.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PUBLIC RELATIONS OPPORTUNITiES?
Now that you know more about public relations and its benefits, let's talk about the different types of PR opportunities that are available to you.
- Community Relations - Community relations helps communicate to others what your brand and business stand for through events and community involvement and engagement to build local awareness about the brand and business in the community in which the business resides.
- Examples: Local TV, radio show, newspaper, community event, partnering with other local brands.
- Editorial Features - Editorial features create an opportunity for you to receive local and nationwide exposure through written content.
- Examples: Local, nation or worldwide magazine or newspaper features.
- Guest Blogging - Guest blogging creates an opportunity for you to share your wisdom worldwide through writing (blog) or video (vlog) as forms of content marketing to create awareness about you, your brand, and your business to build relationships and connect with your audience.
- Influencer Relations (Marketing) - Influencer relations helps communicate to others more about you, your brand, and your business through someone else and their influence where your business gets a recommendation or is featured as a way to build authority, credibility, and trust with a new audience.
- Media Relations - Media relations helps communicate to others a compelling story about you, your business, and your brand through various forms of media outlets that generally are nationwide for exposure.
- Examples: Product placements in magazines, national TV or newspapers, press release, interview.
- Podcasts - Podcasting creates an opportunity for you to receive worldwide exposure through audio content usually through an interview.
- Social Media - Social Media can be a form of PR and creates an opportunity for you to share your wisdom worldwide through various forms of content marketing to create awareness about you, your brand, and your business, to build relationships and connect with your audience.
Phew, and there you have it. A quick overview of public relations and why you should definitely consider it for your small business. Now I realize this was a brief overview which is why I have other blogs for you + an incredible template to help you pitch to websites, magazines, and podcasts to start doing your very own PR. Hooray!
Grab the Pitch Perfect: A Template for Getting Featured on Websites, in Magazines, and Podcasts to Increase Your Income, Influence, and Impact in my Subscriber Tribe Resource Library by entering your information below!
Now if you are interested in more topics related to PR, check out the 'Related Blog Posts' below.
Share in the comments: What is your biggest struggle with PR for your small business? I am happy to answer all of your questions, so don't be shy. Leave me a comment!