PR in tough times
Low or no budget PR ideas for savvy businesses
I’m pretty sure every UK business has been negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in some way, so I feel confident in saying that all companies are looking for ways to get better value for money from their marketing spend for the remainder of this year.
I include my own business in this statement, as even though my business is a PR consultancy and I am acutely aware of the benefits of marketing. As a small business owner I know that marketing can get put on the back burner when other businesses demand your time.
So, I pledge to practice what I preach, and make more time for that most mysterious part of the marketing mix — public relations. Public relations can be a very cost-effective way for organisations to engage with potential customers, so here are my three suggestions for low or no budget impactful PR, for when time and or money is limited.
• Work your network: Make time to get the people who already know your business to promote your business. Ask happy clients or customers for testimonials to share on your website or within marketing mailers. Volunteer to speak at events your network is organising. Reach out with an email or newsletter sharing your latest news. In the new normal, this can take place over the phone or video, saving travel time and costs.
• Ensure potential customers like what they see: Is your website a good reflection of your business? Does your social profile showcase your company’s best work? Think about the time you spend trawling the web before you make a purchase and apply that same logic to your business. Ensure your digital profile switches potential clients on, not put them off. This is of course subjective, so be brave and ask existing clients or business peers to give you some honest feedback. Most of this digital editing can then be completed by someone within your company, though of course there are lots of talented digital content writers that can help or carry this out for you too
• Create a media wish list: Where do your target customers get their inspiration? Find out and think about how you can get featured in that magazine, newspaper or website. Now work out how you can make that happen. If you are passionate enough and successful enough editorial shouldn’t be a problem. Pick up the phone to an editor or content publisher, or approach a good PR agency who can do this for you (for a fee!).
Written by Fiona Anderson, director at GEC PR, a specialist lifestyle PR agency.