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PR tips for growth businesses

For many growing businesses, especially those without dedicated communications staff, PR can seem like the reserve of bigger companies. PR and marketing agency Active Profile explains that this isn’t the case, though

It’s a myth that PR is something that only multinational corporations can do. Make no mistake: businesses of any size can harness the media to help shape and grow their profile. You just have to understand how PR can be used and what can be achieved.

Many people’s view of PR comes from expensive stunts created by big brands and reported in the mainstream media. In reality, it simply involves communicating with an organisation’s target audiences through publicity of one form other. This just means having a story to tell and finding the right places to tell it.

Know where you're going

What is it you’re trying to achieve as a business? Once you have an answer to this question, everything else can fall into place. A business’s goal should inform its business strategy, which in turn informs its communications strategy and activities. Put it this way: if you’re doing something for the sake of it or because you think you should be, you’re doing it wrong. Every piece of communications activity should be being delivered with the aim of helping your business to achieve its ultimate goal.

Speak to your audience

Who are your customers? If you want more of them, you need to know everything you can about them. How old are they, how much do they earn, what’s the gender split, what are they interested in, what publications do they read, what are their favourite websites? All of this information and more can be used to build up a profile, or “persona,” of your ideal customer that can be used to understand their behaviours, their habits and, crucially, the things they like to read.

Find your media

If you know what publications your persona (or personas) read and what websites they visit, you know where you can reach them. That could be through trade press, events and conferences, relevant blogs or on social media. If that’s where your personas are, that’s where you need to be. Research those places so you know what sort of content they produce. Pick up the phone and speak to magazines and industry websites. Find out who will take content and what they want.

Be an authority

A lot of businesses are quick to compare themselves to larger competitors and then dismiss their own opinions as not being worthwhile. Don’t fall into this trap! If you’re good at what you do in any industry your expertise and insights will always be of value to those who aren’t. Feature articles and commentary on relevant, topical news can help to position companies as thought leaders in the eyes of existing customers and potential clients alike.

Buddy up

The strategic relationships you develop will make your life easier. It’s not just about building relationships with publications though, but with likeminded businesses, suppliers, industry influencers, potential sponsorship opportunities and events. A strong network will mean you always have someone to draw on when you need help in a certain area.

Active Profile is a PR and marketing agency with offices in Liverpool and Manchester.