The BizFilings blog covering business tips and trends.
Part 1 - Promote Your Business with $0 Budget: PR 101
Published on Mar 19, 2012
Read 'Part 1 - Promote Your Business with $0 Budget: PR 101' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
By Brooke Miller Hall
Thoughtful public relations can grow your bottom line and your reputation – without burning through a single dollar of your budget.
What is public relations?
“The act or art of a corporation promoting goodwill between itself and the public,” says the dictionary.
The Public Relations Society of America expounds a little: “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
You might picture a news conference with a polished spin doctor, several microphones shoved in front of her, dodging difficult questions. Or perhaps you’re thinking about a multi-million dollar corporate sponsorship, including naming rights for buildings.
It’s true, those qualify as public relations. But so does a news clipping in your local newspaper. Or speaking at career day at the high school down the street. Or sharing tips on your corporate Facebook page.
Some would argue that, when done well, public relations speaks louder for your business than advertising. That’s because when a potential client sees your magazine ad or postcard in the mail, they know you sent it in order to directly influence their buying decision – so they’ll take it with a grain of salt.
Now imagine a potential client opens up the front page of the newspaper and sees you quoted as an expert source on a current topic. That endorsement carries extra weight because it comes from a third-party, unbiased source. Plus, it doesn’t cost your company anything.
While PR alone can’t replace a strong, diverse marketing plan, it can and should play an important role in your overall growth strategy.
Stay tuned for more on when and how to use public relations to your advantage.