How To Create A Winning PR Strategy For Your Micro Business

This week we’ve focused on PR.

On Monday we discovered why PR should form an essential part of your marketing mix.

On Tuesday we uncovered how to use Twitter as a PR tool.

On Wednesday the secrets to a successful press release was revealed.

And yesterday we heard a journalist’s perspective of the best way to build a relationship.

Now in order to succeed with PR, you need a strategy.

What’s more, this strategy will go to the heart of your marketing, and support everything else you’re doing.

Your strategy must:

  1. Really focus on who is your target audience and then,
  2. Identify what media THEY read/watch/listen to/play/have around them etc.

Once you have worked out the answers to these questions, your strategy can be attacked.

And although these questions seem straightforward, they often cause microbusiness owners a lot of sweat sorting out. But don’t get put off and persevere  because this information is critical to the success of your PR strategy.

Hit the right target

Identifying your target audience is very important.

It’s worth spending a lot of time really getting a good picture of the person you want to buy your service or product.

  • What do they look like?
  • What do they wear?
  • Where do they shop?
  • What newspapers do they read?
  • What TV do they watch?
  • What radio do they listen to?
  • Do they have children?
  • What do they do in their leisure time? Etc etc.

The simple reason being, that if you can work out exactly what these people do and how they spend their time, you will be able to formulate a very precise message to them. And then put it out through the most appropriate media.

In fact, this is a major element of a PR strategy.

The other element, which is harder to learn, is to be an efficient communicator and a top networker.

You see, PR is all about getting contacts, keeping contacts, and working them to your advantage – in a pleasant way of course! In fact, this is one of the advantages that working with a professional PR consultant can offer.

Once you have worked out who your target audience is, next you need to put yourself into their shoes and really hone down what they read/watch/listen to and do!

Only then you will have an idea of where your PR should be focused.

A really simple PR strategy

Preparing a winning PR strategy takes careful focus and a real understanding of:

  • What you are doing with your business,
  • What you want to say to your target audience, and
  • Where you are heading with it.

Recall, you need to be clear on your target audience then work out which media they are probably watching, reading, listening to, involved in.

To help you get focused, here’s a really simple PR strategy planning tool. Invest some time thinking and answering these eight critical questions.

  1. What is the nature of my business?
  2. Who am I targeting with it?
  3. What are the objectives of my PR/marketing campaign?
  4. What is the target media with whom I want to become connected and eventually be seen as an expert commentator?
  5. What message am I going to deliver to this target media (it may well be different to each type of media)?
  6. How am I actually going to reach that target audience through the media that THEY watch/listen to/engage with?
  7. Are there any national special days/weeks relevant to your business that you can target for potential press coverage? Get yourself a business calendar and mark in it when there are things like, Treat your Secretary Week, or Pamper your Dog Week, or Doughnut Eating Day!
  8. Are there any local events you could get involved with?

Next set out your strategy in the form of a timeline. For example, in here you will have:

  • The press releases and sound bites you envisage writing,
  • The press you are going to call and the way you are going to develop relationships with them,
  • The events you are going to organize, the sponsorships and alliances you are going to set up,
  • The networking events you are going to go to and the speaking opportunities you are going to set up etc.
Finally, implement it and reap the rewards of your careful planning.

Cost effective

Although your may have a small budget, you should consider setting aside some funds for your marketing.

Surprisingly PR is not as expensive as other forms of marketing, but there are some costs involved.

However, remember that the value of press coverage, written by a journalist, therefore giving you that third party endorsement, is 10 times the cost of an advertisement!

And that is a great return on investment!

micro business actionToday’s Micro Action

Answer the questions listed in the Really Simple PR Strategy, then take action to mobilise the media for your business.

Lucy Matthews

Lucy Matthews is a freelance PR consultant. She has a passion for the media, an enviable selection of contacts and a proven record in working with businesses to build their reputation and presence in the media.