Public relations is a great way to increase credibility and name recognition for your company. But many businesses think it’s only for large companies. Not true. While public relations professionals certainly have the expertise to catapult your brand to success, there are many free resources available to get you started.
- Social Media
Social media platforms may be a way to post pet photos, announce your children’s accomplishments or proclaim your political opinion, but it’s much more than that. For companies, it’s a way to establish credibility and thought leadership, and amplify your message. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook can all be great media outlets to build your company’s visibility. However, the key is to keep everything short and interesting.
Here are some different social media platforms to help boost your business-
Twitter- On twitter you are allotted 140 characters. Although that may seem brief, it’s a great way to practice conveying a message succinctly. Also, remember to use hashtags at the end of your tweet to be found in searches. Adding a link to the tweet provides an additional source that your audience can easily access.
Facebook- this is the most used social media outlet because it’s used by all generations. Having a Facebook presence can help further reach your key audience and help with your brand awareness for your company. Many businesses use Facebook to help advertise a new campaign they are working on or to connect to the audience by responding in a timely matter to comments.
LinkedIn- this is another effective social media tool because it can help strengthen your internal and external communications. Daniel Roth, LinkedIn executive editor, recently said, “The best of them (businesses) are actively encouraging their employees to get their voice out there- by supporting their writing, suggesting content for them to comment on and sharing or making suggestions of what people might want to tackle and then curating and sharing the posts.”
LinkedIn allows you to write articles directly on their site, which is a useful thing especially if your website doesn’t have a blog. It gives you a voice to be a thought leader and share useful information. Also, unlike a blog that sits on your website, a LinkedIn article is likely to be seen and shared by many of your contacts.
HootSuite is a social media management tool that allows users to schedule when they want to post updates to their different social media platforms. In today’s world, it’s easy for social media to turn into a full-time job, but with HootSuite, you can allot the time you would’ve spent planning your social media posts to more business-orientated work. Streamlining your different social media platforms into one system can save you time because instead of posting on five separate platforms, HootSuite allows you post on all platforms at once. They offer both free and paid versions. https://hootsuite.com/.
- Press releases
Press releases can be a valuable tool when used correctly to help boost your company’s public relations. Some helpful tips when writing a press release are: make a headline that pops, compile information so it is short and sweet, use a powerful quote (or two), add some visual content and use online distribution services to increase visibility and create backlinks. The right press release can help gain new audience and potential clients for your company.
There are many press release distribution services, including PR Newswire, BusinessWire and PR Web, which are paid services. PR Web has a low entry fee – as low as $99 per release http://service.prweb.com/home/. Free services also are available, including www.prlog.com. And, of course, social media can be used as another free distribution tool.
- HARO- Help a Reporter Out
HARO is a sourcing service that connects journalists and bloggers with expert sources to meet journalists’ deadlines and enable brands to tell their stories. Each year, HARO distributes more than 50,000 journalist queries from different media outlets. The pitching process allows sources to find topics related to their area of focus while allowing journalists and bloggers to spend more time writing and less time sourcing. https://www.helpareporter.com/.
- Bylined Articles
Do you have important information to share with consumers or other businesses? A bylined article gives you credibility and thought leadership like no other platform. Decide what topics would be interesting to your audience, develop an outline and then draft the article. Then think about what media outlets would be interested in publishing your article. It could be a community newspaper, blog or industry publication. The most important thing is to be familiar with the publication you are contacting. Look for special sections or columns that are recurring. When you’re submitting your article, acknowledge that you have read the publication and types of articles they publish and talk about why you think your article would be useful to their readers. Alpine Communications uses bylined articles in its toolbox.
- Speaking engagements
Speaking engagements are a great way to get visibility for your business – and many are free. Check out local business and civic organizations such as Rotary Clubs, chambers of commerce, local co-working businesses or industry organizations. It’s good to start out at a local venue to practice your speech and get audience feedback. After that, you’ll be ready for industry associations and national venues in no time.
- Internet radio
Internet radio is another great free resource to promote your business. Many cities have their own programs. In Atlanta, we have Business Radio X, which allows you to promote your business your way without anyone else’s agenda. We have featured our clients on many of their programs, including the Cobb Chamber of Commerce Business X Radio and CEO Exclusive. Local affiliates of National Public Radio is another great avenue to promote your business, as many have community programs.
PR is a great way to get the word out for your business. After all, you may have a great product or service, but if nobody knows about it, your phone won’t ring. Take advantage of the free resources we shared, or if you need help, call us today to see how we can guide you through the process by visiting our website at http://alpinepr.com/.