PR Basics For Startups | Promote your business without breaking the bank (part 1)

All press is good press, right? Gerald Ratner may have a few things to say about that, but – on a less volatile level at least – the sentiment rings true. Public relations, marketing and general corporate communications can go a long way to help promote and develop your business. While the immediate thought may be of retainers and budgets however, there are actually some great, very low-cost activities that small businesses can get involved in to help boost their profile. From awards to local press, forums to speaking ops, today’s small business owners can get their name out without breaking the bank. Over the next couple of posts, I’ll be looking at the top five things small businesses can use to make a splash without having to splash out.

 

1. Awards

Awards can be a great way to gain recognition from industry peers while showing customers that your business is one of the best in the market. Some awards can be free to enter and most pay-to-enter awards won’t break the bank. The key is to think of them when launching new initiatives or campaigns rather than trying to fit them to an award retrospectively. Any success should be clearly communicated to customers and potential new customers. An easy way of doing this is simply adding information or the logo to your website and e-mail signatures.

2. Customer referrals

There’s an old saying that “someone who experiences good customer service will tell one person. Someone who experiences bad customer service will tell 10.” While the odds may be stacked against businesses, “people-PR” is a great way of boosting brand image. If budgets don’t permit spend on PR resources, why not let customers spread your message? Methods such as engaging through forums and Twitter conversations, encouraging reviews and customer feedback which can be published on your website and customer case studies are all ways in which a neutral party can speak on behalf of your business.

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