PR creates positive awareness and can drive sales

Business Q&A

Published 20/08/2016 | 00:00

Q CAN you give me any advice on how best to get some free PR for my business?

A Public relations (PR) is the relationship your business has with the public. A PR campaign publicises your business and builds up a good reputation. Done well, PR creates positive awareness and can drive sales.

THE BENEFITS OF PR

Favourable media coverage is worth its weight in gold. To the public, a positive mention in an article can be more powerful than reviews, articles and so on. It is seen as more trustworthy. Getting the media to say a good thing about your product or service is smart marketing.

Free publicity is a great way to increase the profile of your small business. Here are a few options for you to consider.

Social Media - Use social media for free PR. You can set up a Linked in, Facebook page or a Twitter account at no cost. Social media is an excellent way to build relationships with your customers and build word-of-mouth publicity, but be aware of how much time you spend running online profiles. If few of your target customers are online, limit your resources.

Networking - Effective networking is not costly, most business events are free now through local Chambers and enterprise offices. It can be a powerful way to meet new potential business prospects face to face. Before attending an event, research well who will be there, prepare you elevator or sales pitch and make a good impression from the moment you walk in the door.

Content - Great content is the key to building your knowledge and credibility. Quality writing is the foundation of an effective website, blog or social media campaign. If you can produce interesting content that your readers find valuable, they will engage with your brand. This will lead to sales leads and free word-of-mouth marketing. Be resourceful by sharing and linking your blog posts across all your social media platforms.

Viral Marketing - Whether it's a YouTube video with thousands of views, or a photo that is tweeted and retweeted, if your promotional material goes 'viral' it can give your public profile a huge boost. You can make a video so quickly now on your phone or tablet and it will be live and could go viral in seconds.

Go for Gold! Win an award - Winning an award is a fantastic way to get publicity - not only does it recognise your talent and increase your prestige, award ceremonies are a good place to network and are usually covered by trade or local press.

Press releases - Write a great press release. You can add them to the news section of your site, link to them from your social media accounts, and send them to journalists. Ensure you have an eye-catching headline and a strong, summarising opening paragraph before getting into the details.

Advertising promotions - Contact your local newspapers or radio station and give them a great story about you, discuss with them ways of advertising that will give you great coverage. See what promotions they have coming up. Run a feature and get your suppliers to advertise to help cover the costs for you

Local Community - You could get involved with a local charity to increase your standing in the community Offer to speak at (or) sponsor local community events and make sure you get the media involved, photos and videos of the event.

For more information on how to gain great free PR, contact Joanne Fenelon on 053 9170507 or email jfenelon@rda.ie

Wexford People

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