PR Strategies For Creative Business Owners
PR isn't just for big corporations or about celebrity scandals and stunts. It's a strategic process that fosters community, relationships, buzz, press, loyalty, and pretty much everything else you need to build a successful brand.
Here are PR strategies that solopreneurs, small business owners, and creatives can implement into their brand's power plans:
To put it simply, influencers are people who influence others to do something. It's the beauty guru who influences her subscribers to buy the latest lip color from MAC. It's the popular mommy blogger who influences her readers to invest in the stylish new car seats for their kids. It's the Insta-famous style blogger who influences her followers to start wearing white after Labor Day.
Top influencers are now among the ranks of high profile celebrities when it comes to product endorsements and sponsorship. (I mean, have you seen the new makeup commercials featuring YouTube stars like Michelle Phan?) These once "regular" people now have huge followings, ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions.
The benefit? They're approachable and open to collaboration. As a small business owner, you can reach out to these influencers personally. They've already built huge followings that would love what you have to offer. With influencer marketing, you can position your brand in front of their already huge audience, a size that may be a thousand (or even a million) times larger than your own.
Add pitching to magazines, news sites, and other online publications to your personal PR arsenal. Getting media coverage is one of the most effective ways to increase your brand's exposure and audience reach.
Research publications that target the same audience that you target. Determine if their brand values and voice correspond well with yours. Pitch a crush-worthy story about your brand they won't be able to resist. Keep an up-to-date media list with the contact information from the publications you begin to develop relationships with. In many cases, you may become a top choice for future stories, beyond the initial one you pitched.
Pitching to the media may seem like it's just for big brands and PR pros to handle, but if you use your authenticity as a small brand or business to tell your unique story, you would be surprised at the outcome.
Developing creative campaigns is my absolute favorite part of PR. And it's something that you should consider for your brand too.
Digital PR campaigns encompass everything from social media to email marketing to media pitching to influencer relations. Whether you're gearing up for a new product launch, a complete brand re-launch, a fun event in your city, or you just need an image boost, launching a PR campaign for your business is the creative solution you probably need.
You could plan a social media campaign featuring a catchy hashtag and encourage your audience to join in for a contest. You could launch a multi-week email marketing campaign about a unique topic to engage with your subscribers. Or you could create a huge digital campaign that utilizes multiple platforms, each in a unique way.
Take inspiration from the likes of Coca Cola with "Share A Coke" and Carol's Daughter with "Born and Made," and create your own creative campaign to expand your brand's online presence.
Content marketing is fueling public relations like never before. If you want to be seen as a dominant force in your industry, position yourself as a thought leader and the go-to person for relevant information.
Content marketing is the process of creating and sharing valuable information to engage with your audience. By positioning yourself as an authority figure and informational resource, you'll open yourself up to a wealth of opportunities to reach even larger audiences.
Before you market yourself or your business, showcase what you have to offer and what makes you valuable. From entertaining social media posts to information-rich articles, good content makes you stand out, build authority, and attract the people that will support your brand.
Log off the web and make an impact with non-digital PR.
Organizing an event in your local area is a great way to expand your brand's reach and authority, such as fundraisers, benefit galas, industry conferences, trade shows, pop up shops, and fashion shows.
Placements in offline media such as print magazines and television news are also still highly effective for many industries. Getting coverage of your brand's next event on the local news station can skyrocket attendance. Getting featured in a print issue of Vogue is still one of the most-sought after placements in fashion.
By promoting your brand in the both the "real" and digital worlds, you're covering all bases and gaining even more opportunities to build relationships, community, and buzz.
There's no rule book saying you can't do your own PR. Creating and implementing a smart PR strategy can open you up to more exposure than you could ever imagine.