Last editedMar 20222 min read
A lot of people think public relations, or PR, is only for large corporations with huge marketing budgets. However, small businesses can benefit hugely from effective PR too. In this post we’ll illustrate why public relations is so important for small businesses, as well as discuss the influence it has on growth, advertising and marketing.
What is public relations?
While it’s a term we hear often, public relations meaning is rarely clearly defined. PR broadly refers to strategic communication operations which develop mutually advantageous relationships between organisations and the public. In simpler terms, however, it’s about garnering attention and reaping the rewards of free publicity in return.
Today, PR is more affordable and accessible than ever before, meaning small businesses can benefit from the numerous advantages of good PR too.
Benefits of public relations for small businesses
There are numerous advantages to PR use for small businesses. Below are some of the main perks you can expect to experience.
For small businesses, every dollar counts. Getting journalists or influencers on board to speak highly of your business is often cheaper than advertising and marketing costs, but can result in the same level of brand exposure.
Positive third-party opinions and reports are generally more trusted than a businesses own advertising. Whether they come in the form of media coverage, journalist reports or customer testimonials, they all ring truer to potential customers than either ads or marketing campaigns.
Word-of-mouth marketing is crucial to the success of small businesses. Bad customer experiences can quickly spread and damage a brand’s reputation. A key aspect of PR, however, is staying on top of negative publicity and stepping in to mitigate it.
Positive media coverage invariably provides greater exposure for a business. The advantage of online media is that it’s available indefinitely, and a quick Google search will cause it to crop up years after it was first published. You can capitalise on this by sharing links to PR material across multiple channels, boosting the visibility of your brand, and in turn, attracting more and more customers.
Build relationships with customers
A key aspect of public relations is relationship building, which is also hugely important to small businesses. PR helps customers to feel connected to a brand, meaning they're much more likely to make a return visit or tell their friends or family about it.
A good PR team always knows what angle to take to get a business noticed and keep it relevant. Since the climate is always changing, it can be useful to have experts on hand who know precisely how to generate good publicity and how to show your company in the best light.
Marketing and PR are not mutually exclusive tactics when it comes to attracting customers. Effective PR will perfectly complement marketing in helping to build an attractive brand image. PR, for example, can take elements of your marketing campaign and demonstrate how it has real value with customers.
With advertising, it’s mostly a company themselves talking about how great they are. With PR, however, it’s external parties singing a company’s praises. Ultimately, the latter is going to strike a chord with customers as it simply seems like a more reliable perspective.
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