How PR can transform your home business Written by Julie on March 21, 2016

 

Do you struggle to get clients or customers in your home business?

Do you feel that not enough people know about your products and services?

Do you find it hard to attract the attention of your ideal client?

Are your marketing and social media efforts not having the effect that you had hopped?

Ok, here’s one more question:

Have you ever tried to write a press release or pitch an interview with the media?

If you haven’t tried, or if you have but not been successful, this post is for you.

As a public relations (PR) professional for many years (and a writer of articles for magazines, newspapers, and online publications for many more years), there are almost no words to stress how much PR can transform a small business.

However, there are many myths that tend to stop moms from implementing PR tools and tactics. For example, have you ever thought one of the following?

“PR is only for big corporate businesses”

“PR is only for already-established businesses”

“PR is too expensive for my budget”

“I would need to hire a highly skilled PR consultant”

These are just not true; so let’s dispel the myths and uncover the truth:

“PR is only for big corporate businesses”

A small start-up or home business needs a PR campaign just as much as a larger business; and for the same reasons.

The media (radio, tv, magazines, newspapers, and online publications) gathers your target audience and commands their attention. Imagine the impact on your home business after a journalist or editor says your product or service is brilliant and needed? That will have a greater impression on your target market than any other single thing you do.

PR has an objectivity that is not achieved through marketing and advertising, no matter how much money is invested into the campaigns and no matter how skilfully they are executed. Of course there is a time and place for those types of campaigns, but they will meet different objectives.

“PR is only for already-established businesses”

PR creates and establishes industry leaders. Sometimes this is the hard part for mompreneurs to accept (and maybe a reason why many moms steer away from PR).

“Me, an expert?” you say.

Yes – you.

Whatever industry you are in, you solve a problem; you are an expert in your field. And a problem does not need to be about world hunger, economics, or finance. A problem to your audience may be cakes that never rise in the oven, how to use a glue gun for household projects, or, how to write a press release! The reader has a problem and you hold the solution!

The media literally gathers up a captivated audience: your target market, so you can easily reach your ideal client.

“PR is too expensive for my budget”

Hiring a PR agency on a retainer basis or for a project can get expensive, but there are ways around this for the home business owner. Freelance PR consultants will charge a much lower fee, for example, or you can hire someone only to write – or even just to edit – a press release on your behalf.

But what if you budget is really tight?

Everything you need to know in business is a learnable skill; the tools of PR included. Writing a press release can be daunting if it is not something you are used to but rest assured; it is absolutely possible.

“I would need to hire a highly skilled PR consultant”

It is true, a large communications agency can charge a lot for their services, but there is no reason why you can’t implement a few of their tactics on your own, for free.  There is one exception to the ‘doing PR on your own ‘rule; crisis communications. When things go wrong, they go wrong fast.

But in all seriousness; how much trouble can a home business get into?

A lot: it can, and does, happen to even a small, mom-owned home business so read When Bad things Happen to a Good Home Business to be sure you recognize the signs of a crisis before it happens.

PR is a large field, but in a nutshell, communicates a message from one group to another group, using all the tools, tactics, and channels required to successfully transfer that message. This can be press releases, interviews, events, and even crisis communications.

By developing relationships with the media as you go along (which goes along way should you have a crisis or even when the media wants to run a story that they think you may be good to comment on) you can also have a huge impact on your potential clients and customers, and in time: your bottom line.

 

Claire Winson is a public relations (PR) professional and writer (magazine, newspaper and online articles), who understands what it takes to get a small business in the media. In 2010, she traded her executive lifestyle for a work-at-home PR consultancy which allowed her to spend more time with her son. Since then, the consultancy has blossomed into EntrepreneurMom where she focuses on helping moms create awareness of their home businesses.

See her speak live at the BAM Success Summit on May 20th.  Register before it sells out!