Even the most brilliant business ventures won’t be successful if no one knows they exist. For local businesses especially, public relations is the key to spreading a company’s name like wild fire and obtaining the resources to succeed in the long haul.
While often times PR is not calculated into a business’s budget, there are 4 essential reasons why local businesses should hop on the PR bandwagon.
“If I had one dollar left, I’d spend it on PR” – Bill Gates
It’s an authentic way to create “buzz”
When it comes to getting a business’s word out, there are a couple go-to methods companies commonly utilize to spread their message: 1) public relations and 2) advertising.
PR says, “Trust me, she is the best cook,” while advertising says, “Trust me, I am the best cook.” The difference between public relations and advertising is the matter of tooting your own horn and someone else having the confidence in you to toot it for you.
For local businesses, the difference is huge. PR offers a more authentic way of getting your key messages out there to your target audiences. In fact, it is 3x more effective than advertising alone. The endorsement from public relations gives a business credibility and added value, making your product or service more believable and therefore, more desirable.
Your PR agency is there for you, for better or for worse
While many business owners believe a PR crisis could never happen to their business, often times it is less of a matter of if and more of a matter of when.
These days, news goes viral in a matter of minutes. Businesses – big or small – must be ready to respond to disasters swiftly and effectively. Whoever said there’s no such thing as bad publicity has obviously never been on the receiving end of bad publicity.
Whether or not that negative press holds any merit, the business needs to address the source of the problem, generate positive buzz and take all necessary measures to restore the public’s trust. Your PR team will help repair the negative fallout and make a PR crisis manageable.
It’s crucial to build a digital footprint
Before the internet, landing a story in the local newspaper or Forbes Magazine was considered a PR win. However, in the digital age, it is absolutely, without a doubt, essential for your business to have a strong online presence and garner PR hits online.
Why? Because your business needs to be searchable on Google. This is where an internet marketing tool like search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play. The goal of PR is to create visibility and trust in the business by getting others to talk about your business. The goal of SEO is to boost a business’s visibility and improve its ranking in search engines. When your business is being talked about and linked back to by trusted websites, it will not only gain credibility, but your business’s search ranking will improve too.
Local SEO is especially important for local businesses that want local search traffic. One of the most important things your PR team can help you do is make sure your business is being listed in geo specific local directories that list pertinent information about your business, such as your business’s name, address, phone number and website (NAP). When this information is kept accurate and consistent, your business’s local search rank will improve.
Tell your story through PR
Every business has a unique story to tell, and your PR team can help you tell it. Whether you’re sharing your story through a blog, pitch, press release or an article, you have the platform to bring your business’s brand to life and connect with your target audience on a deeper and more personal level.
When your target audience has a deeper level of understanding about your business and its core values and goals, they are more likely to embrace your brand and put their trust in your business. In addition, a good story is more likely to be shared with others than just hard facts and information.
With the high-level of competition that local businesses face, PR is a great way to overcome those obstacles. If you have any questions on how to maximize PR efforts or would like to see specific examples of strategic public relations campaigns for local businesses, feel free to contact Serendipit Consulting.
Based in Phoenix, Serendipit Consulting is a full-service marketing, public relations, digital and creative firm that caters to brands and companies in lifestyle, health and fitness, hospitality, residential and commercial real estate, technology and more.