Starting a business is a complicated and daunting process. Thankfully, there are local business incubators designed to help you navigate the process. These incubators help you realize what goes into starting a business and create a plan to execute the process. A part of that process is creating a strong communication and PR plan.
For some reason, businesses of all sizes have neglected PR for years. Executives would call upon PR practitioners when they were between a rock and a hard place and needed someone to “spin” the situation. This could not be further from today’s reality.
Smartphone technology and the onset of the 24-hour media cycle have made communication with potential customers easier than ever. And, small businesses that don’t fight for attention end up lost in the shuffle.
As you create your business plan, you need to create a promotional plan that you stick to (or pay someone to manage) from day one. Here are a few questions to consider when making this plan:
1. How do you want to talk about yourself?
Words matter. And the words you choose to associate with your brand need to be carefully selected. Spend time writing your website copy and social media bios, and make sure that language is consistent. If you don’t consistently describe yourself, your customers and the public won’t be able to, either.
2. Who is your target audience?
As you’re creating your brand language, think about who your audience is. The words you choose need to resonate with your audience, and if they don’t, it will be difficult to make an impact. You’ll also need to consider where this cohort gets their news, where they are during the evenings and weekends, and how they like to be contacted. All of these considerations will drive your future promotion and PR tactics.
3. In what areas am I an expert?
As a new business owner, you don’t have the same level of influence that longtime community business leaders have. But, you’re going into business because you have a marketable skill and area of expertise that is different from everyone else. Positioning yourself as an expert and offering your expertise to the media will help break the initial barrier and get you in front of your audience.
4. What’s my communication budget?
A communication budget is essential to the success of a small business startup. Without one, your business will teeter on the verge of nonexistence. Carving out a budget, even a nominal one, will help bring in business which makes you money. Even a small budget can go a long way when you pursue endeavors like Facebook advertising or event sponsorship. Set aside a small budget and consult professionals on how to use it
Have questions about where to start when creating a PR plan? We’re happy to help. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week is National Small Business Week! Obsidian is committed to helping the Greater Memphis Chamber’s small business population by sharing tips and tricks to help promote your business. Follow this week’s series for valuable information and advice.