Public relations can be implemented in a variety of ways – one can become a client of a PR agency, hire an in-house pr practitioner or do it yourself. All three, if executed properly, will deliver public relations in some shape or form. The agencies have the relationships with the media and those reporters and journalists usually turn to them first when in need of a source. An in-house pr person can develop relationships significant to your company and industry. And you, the business owner, can go out and secure public relations on your own.
According to Sharon Kornstein, AICI, CIP, President, ImageDesign LLC, www.imagedesignconsulting.com, a full service style and image consultation company, headquartered in Livingston, NJ, “I use public relations very sparingly, since I do not have a formal PR person. I send around press releases when something significant has happened in my business. Some examples are when I received an industry-wide designation of Certified Image Professional, through the Association of Image Consultants International; and when I held a fashion Open House at a local art gallery. I will be sending out one shortly to announce that my company has expanded – I have hired a sales associate to work with me. I am a founding Board Member of the Wharton Club of New Jersey, and we have sent press releases in which I have been mentioned. I have also been profiled in a few articles on image consulting. The intended goal of everything I do is to let people know about my business, and the different areas in which I can help them. Public relations has worked for me because I have been a recipient of several unexpected “hits”. One was when I was approached by a publication I hadn’t even sent a press release to and they included me in an article they were writing. Another was when a colleague commented, “Wow, you really seem to be everywhere”. I believe all this activity builds name recognition and credibility. Through public relations, I have been able to inform the public about the many diverse aspects of my company. People may think they know what I do, but they only know a part of it. Public relations allows me to highlight that my business is much broader than people might realize. I work with individuals, groups, schools and companies; I offer three private label lines, along with custom clothing. I do wardrobe organizations, personal shopping and etiquette training. The value of public relations is that it can elaborate on an aspect of my business that people were not previously aware of.” Sharon can be contacted at email@example.com.
So, how does a small business owner handle their own public relations? Here are just a few of the many ways:
- Write an introductory press release letting the media know you are in business
- Announce a Grand Opening, a new location, staff hires
- Write an article – post it on your website
- Create an online database of existing customers, prospects and referrals – send them your article
- Offer to speak for free at Chambers of Commerce, temples, churches, YMCAs, etc.
- Join LinkedIN
- Create a Facebook Fan Page for your company
- Create a media kit which includes your bio, any press clippings you have received, client testimonials
Do you think handling public relations on your own would work for you? Please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or suggestions.
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