Many small business owners assume that public relations is only for large, multi-million dollar companies or government organizations. That's a common misunderstanding.
Here’s an example. I recently wrote a letter for my parents, who were selling their business in Taupō and wanted to thank their customers for their support over their four decades in business. They also wanted to ensure their customers were handed over seamlessly to the new business owners, so they published a copy of the letter in their local newspaper. Mum and dad were astounded by the amount of feedback, comments, and well-wishes they received simply from the published letter in the paper. As small business owners, often running on the smell of an oily rag where every dollar counts, they finally understood the value of great PR!
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can experience extraordinary benefits from public relations—if done well. As a PR practitioner with years of experience, I’ve seen firsthand how entrepreneurs have scaled their businesses through effective PR strategies.
So, my point today is that effective public relations (PR) is one of the essential tools in the toolbox for any business—regardless of its size—to grow and succeed in its industry. With the right PR strategies, businesses can build their audience, increase brand recognition and get noticed, build a better brand identity, and manage their reputation more effectively.
Here are four benefits of investing in PR for SMEs:
Building brand recognition takes time, research, and effort. However, SMEs don't have to spend huge amounts of money on PR and marketing. By partnering with the right PR practitioner or taking simple steps on their own, businesses can get recognized and achieve and exceed their goals.
I am banging on about this a lot. Trust is the most critical element that a brand should obtain from its target audience (whether that’s customers, stakeholders, communities, or someone else). PR can help bridge the gap between the business and its consumers through video marketing, podcasts, other thought leadership pieces, specialized events and activations, and so much more.
Through PR, SMEs can gain access to influencers, networks, and other connections that may help their brand reputation grow. Cross-marketing is one example of partnering with other companies that complement your brand, helping to build credibility and trust and achieve mutual benefits.
By being active and becoming involved with the local community, SMEs can increase their chances of recognition. In Waipā, many SMEs are doing extraordinary work in this space. Charities, sponsorship, and fundraising can create a positive impact on the brand. By forming ties with the local community, more people may turn to the brand and offer their support.
To get started, SMEs should set their goals, know whom they’re talking to and who will listen, strengthen their customer service, and measure the outcome of their strategies.
PR can help businesses stand firmly on their foundation while overcoming any obstacle. With the proper tools and methods for boosting brand reputation and publicity, any business can thrive, regardless of its size. By prioritizing PR, entrepreneurs can change the future of their businesses.