Great public relations expertise can turn even the smallest upstart into a media sensation. So big and small businesses alike hire PR experts to guide them through the market. With the demand for PR expertise climbing, prices can climb too. Still, hope remains for entrepreneurs and small businesses needing PR help getting ahead of the game.
Check our tips below for how to get big PR help on a tiny budget.
Hire a Boutique Firm
The only real difference between boutique firms and big PR agencies is size. You can find the same high-quality work from either if you do your research. Boutique PR firms are often created by former PR executives with decades of experience in the field. When that’s true, small and large firm bring all the connections and networks small companies want – for a lower price tag.
Boutique firms specialize in a particular industry, bringing more knowledge in some fields. Finally, boutique agencies offer the benefit of in-depth knowledge of their locality. This is especially helpful for companies relying on support from their nearby communities, such as restaurants and shops.
Do it Internally
If even a boutique proves too expensive, then handle PR internally. Even big companies like Apple, Visa, and Wal-Mart maintain PR internally to manage their affairs. Though small businesses can rarely afford big PR engines even in-house, they can still hire public relations experts on an individual level. Depending on the budget size, one or two experts working closely with the owner or manager should do the trick.
While this may mean paying the expert more than they might receive at a PR firm, it might equate to paying less than the cost of hiring a PR firm. This win-win situation creates a great working relationship where both sides learn from each other. The public relations expert can better manage the affairs of a small business, and the owner of the business benefits from one-on-one time with the experts.
Do it Yourself
While public relations isn’t for everyone, it’s not rocket science. Aside from the fabulous connections and networks developed from years of experience, small businesses can handle PR internally without hiring external experts. Business owners can get training through workshops or even online programs.
This eliminates the cost of hiring a professional or firm while also boosting morale by allowing employees to learn new skills and take on more interesting work. Doing PR yourself limits the need to share trade secrets, or to keep outside experts abreast of sensitive issues the owner can handle internally.
Reuse. Repurpose. Recycle.
The green golden rules of getting your full money’s worth out of any item – this also applies to content. Content requires a lot of time, effort, and creativity to develop. And if sourced from external mediums, can also prove costly.
For this reason, business owners should re-use content by re-posting it from time to time, often enough for the audience to see it, if they may have missed it before. When the content has served its time, then owners should repurpose it. Change the heading, update the information, add a few new tips, change the pictures, or add new captions to create a different meme. The options are endless.
Recycling information helps owners get the biggest bang for their buck. However, owners should remember to mix it up, ensuring the audience sees a variety of content to read and interact with.
Grow Your Social Media Reach
As people spend more time online, businesses must join the internet community to connect with new and existing customers. Business owners can grow social media outreach by getting involved with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Tumblr, Instagram, or any other social media platforms relevant to the business.
These platforms increase visibility for free and often offer very low-cost targeted advertising. For instance, business pages can create campaigns on Facebook, running for as low as a dollar per day.