By Cathie Beck of Cathie Beck Public Relations
Small (and not so small) companies that have never engaged in any sort of marketing or public relations often don’t know where to start.
They also don’t often have budgets — or, at least, they may need a bit of time to realize that a marketing and public relations budget may need to be established.
I like to give new companies and their owners some steps they can take on their own that help them at least begin the process of getting their name in lights.
Being mindful that smaller companies and mom-and-pop shops usually have limited resources, i.e., small staff, limited budgets, even less time, it’s great to be able to give them some free and easy efforts they can make on their own to get their marketing and public relations wants launched.
To that end, here are some ideas I always present to the company wanting to begin their “getting out there” visions:
1) Give yourself a break and don’t try to do everything at once — or even everything at the beginning. Start slowly, build methodically.
2) Secure testimonials from pleased clients. Word-of-mouth (good words from satisfied customers) speak louder to prospects than any other communication.
3) Lend a hand to a business colleague. Maybe they could use help drafting a business letter; maybe you know a good introduction for them.
4) Give time to someone seeking your counsel — especially if there’s nothing in it for you. Generosity extended breeds reciprocal deeds for you and your business.
5 ) Set up an account on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, if nowhere else. Your company will appear in searches when someone searches for products and services related to your industry.
6) Volunteer to speak at a cause you care about. It’s nearly impossible to donate your time and heart to an organization and not have business return from the effort.
7) Send out an eNewsletter once a quarter. Not only will an eNewsletter increase the returns of your company in Google (and other) searches, but MailChimp offers free distribution for up to 2,000 email addresses — and Constant Contact offers a “free” subscription partners program. You’ll “touch” lot of people by simply sending some company news out four times a year.
And you can always contact Cathie Beck Public Relations to simply have a conversation. www.cathiebeckpr.com.
Effective public relations has been shown (by consistent studies) to be three to five times more effective than paid-for advertising.
Cathie Beck Public Relations is an award-winning Public Relations & Marketing Agency, offering a full spectrum of regional and national public relations campaigns for the small business person as well as Fortune 500 companies. Cathie Beck Public Relations clients have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Today Program and in virtually every regional publication in the Rocky Mountain Region. Learn more at www.cathiebeckpr.com or call 303.241.0805.
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