Small Firms Must Harness The Power of PR

Bristol, United Kingdom (PressExposure) June 12, 2009 -- Marketing budgets are being squeezed across the board and small businesses are no exception. In these difficult conditions, PR offers one of the most powerful and cost-effective ways for small firms to promote their products and services, according to Edwina Hughes, director of Eddy & Co and expert contributor to Marketing Donut, the marketing website aimed specifically at small firms.

“Very few small businesses have the luxury of an advertising budget that is sufficient to achieve any real impact,” says Hughes. “PR is not only a viable alternative, used wisely it can reap greater rewards over a more sustained period.”

The unique advantage of PR over other marketing methods is it can give products and services the stamp of approval from a third party, whether a magazine or a local paper. “Not only is it free, PR provides a way of reaching target audiences without giving them a hard sell,” says Hughes. “People are much more inclined to listen to a message when it is in the form of a press article, a blog or a radio interview rather than an overt advertisement.”

Editorial mentions are invaluable because they provide an endorsement, continues Hughes. “If the editor of one of my favourite publications waxes lyrical about a new product or service I will be much more likely to trust in it. So getting journalists to try your product or service can be a way of making a greater impact.”

So why do some small firms shy away from seeking publicity? Many small firms feel they don’t have the skills to promote their business. With expert PR advice on Marketing Donut, that’s not a problem.

“Don't be scared to pick up the phone!” advises Hughes. “Editors and programme makers need to fill pages and air time. They want interesting stories. There are a number of ways of engaging with the local media — organising events to which you invite relevant journalists, sending out press releases with photos and the old-fashioned lunch is still a winner. The aim should be to develop a long-term relationship.”

It’s vital to have something interesting to say, she adds. “It could be a human interest story, the creation of jobs, an environmental or creative innovation or a link with a charity or community cause.”

However, any PR strategy needs to be well thought-out, not a scatter-gun approach. “Small businesses need to be focused and pragmatic about their PR and how they obtain publicity,” says Hughes. “Any activity — whether it is an article, an interview or a Twitter — needs to be consistent in its message and reinforce the image of the business.”

Further information: • Register for Marketing Donut here • Find out more about Eddy & Co here

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Press Release Submitted On: June 12, 2009 at 4:39 am
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