Public Relations: The Small Business Savior

interview_woman.jpgAwareness of your goods and services and your professional credibility are essential to the success of your business. Most businesses fail when their marketing, sales, and public relations efforts don’t achieve these results.

Public relations is the small business owner’s most effective tool in creating a memorable brand and driving sales. A well-executed public relations program results in increased consumer recall, expanded referrals, and more profits. This is accomplished by leveraging the absolute powers of the media to generate placements referencing your business in the newspapers, magazines, radio and television shows, and internet sites that are important to your target customers. Consequently, information about a company reaches the consumer base in an unadulterated, genuine context, such as a favored periodical or program (and not as one of the pesky ads that interrupt such cherished publications and shows).

Public relations is not only extremely powerful, but also cost effective. Many small businesses have tight budgets and, thus, cannot afford risky, expensive marketing. Most placements are secured by public relations professionals at a fraction of the cost that it would take to advertise in those same outlets. In addition, the placed story is viewed as more credible than is an advertisement. After all, the business was reviewed by an impartial member of the press; the placement was not merely sold to the highest bidder.

The selection of a highly skilled media relations professional that will be responsive to your public relations needs can be daunting. You are choosing a firm to act as your representative to the media, and ultimately to the public-at-large. A plethora of firm listings can be located online, in industry directories, or through personal referrals. When making your selection, ask the firm exactly what strategies they will employ, and precisely how accountable they will be; find out if, and how, they intend to keep your company involved on a day-to-day basis. The best firms offer transparency, accountability, creative ideas, leadership, and readily available, detailed reports. Creating an enthusiastic partnership with a firm like that will build your firm’s credibility and exposure to achieve success.

DeAnne Merey has 10 years of public relations experience. She graduated from Barnard University and holds a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School. DeAnne Merey Public Relations provides the full range of public relations services, which are designed specifically to meet the business and professional needs of our clients and help them compete more effectively both in the U.S. and abroad.