One of the best ways to gain awareness for your small business is through publicity. By increasing company awareness you’ll not only open the door to new clients and customers, but you can build a stronger reputation.
According to Scott Walquist, of KPS3 Marketer, “Publicity is simply just one arrow in the quiver that is public relations. Publicity is the effort to garner media coverage or exposure about a brand, product, event, etc. It’s focus is narrow. Public relations, on the other hand, is the higher level development of an over-arching strategy for furthering a marketing or communications goal of an organization. It is often associated with the term ‘reputation management.'”
Walquist suggests, “it is true that publicity is a tool that PR professionals can use, but it is only a single tool.”
Entrepreneur and author Seth Godin explains, “A publicity firm will tell you stories of how they got a client ink. A PR firm will talk about storytelling and being remarkable and spreading the word. They might even suggest you don’t bother getting ink or issuing press releases.”
The Power of Free Publicity
Publicity can be expensive, and sometimes, spending the extra money simply isn’t worth the pay-off. Fortunately, you don’t have to go broke to publicize your small business. There are plenty of useful ways to get free publicity, some of which don’t require you to lift a finger if you go about them correctly.
Here are three practical ways to gain publicity for your small business:
1. Offer Something Unique
No matter which tactics you choose to embrace in order to get more publicity for your company, you’ll find there’s no better way to do so than to simply to offer a unique product or service that is unlike anything else in the community.
You’ve got to stand out from what is happening locally in order to make headlines, and often times that’s all it really takes. Send a press release out to local newspaper and magazine outlets explaining what it is that you’re doing and why it sets you apart. More often than not, you’ll be doing them a favor by providing a unique story idea.
2. Hold a Social Media Contest
Contests are ideal for gaining community attention, and they don’t have to cost you anything more than perhaps free products or services. Social media is an excellent vehicle for spreading the word about a contest.
Simply post contest information on your company’s Facebook page. For example, ask that all fans share the post in order to become eligible. You’ll find that, over time, holding social media contests can not only help to make your company seem a bit more favorable in the community, but they can positively impact your reach as well.
3. Participate in Community Events
No matter what type of small business you run, there’s a good chance that you could find a way to participate in a community event if you’re savvy enough.
Restaurants, for example, can get a great deal of publicity by joining a local food festival and giving out product samples. Tech firms can attend trade shows and expos, offering service demonstrations. Events such as these tend to have a very low (sometimes completely free) entry cost, and the results are often worth the time it takes to prepare for participation.
Getting free publicity can be time-consuming and challenging, but the more effort you put in, the better your chances of success will be; especially if you create a targeted publicity plan and stick to it from the beginning.
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