A good public relations initiative is critical for the success of any small business. Unfortunately, small businesses often do not have the type of manpower, time, or budget to make large investments in public relations. Thankfully, there are several ways to use low cost promotion and cheap PR techniques to minimize the investment and maximize the return.
Using the Media
It may be socially unacceptable to mix business with pleasure, but it’s perfectly fine to use the media in conjunction with your small business endeavors. The media is a classic form of cheap promotion that has helped small businesses drum up revenues and create awareness about their presence in the community. Press releases are the starting point for using the media for low cost promotion. Once a press release makes it into the hands of a skilled journalist, radio talk show host, or news reporter, it has the potential to become a feature story. Feature stories are great ways to get representatives from your small business on the air in a positive light.
Cheap Promotion Online
There are a number of different online tools that can help your small business in its quest to pursue low cost promotion. Remember the days when bulletin boards were a primary form of advertising for everything from lawn care service to used cars for sale and special community events? The community bulletin board has been transformed into a more tech-savvy tool with the advent of sites like Craigslist and various social networking sites. Use free avenues on the internet as an effective method of cheap PR.
Customers as Public Relations Specialists
Nobody knows what your small business has to offer like the customers who shop there on a regular basis. Your customers are your most valuable public relations specialists. The ultimate cheap promotion is launching a reward system for frequent customers (i.e. customer loyalty cards) or developing a referral program. The customers you serve with your small business are likely to become your biggest fans and your strongest advocates.
Speak in Public as Much as You Can
No matter if you are a member of the Parent Teacher Association, a book club, or community softball league, take every single opportunity that you can to speak in public. Even if what you are speaking about is unrelated to your small business, you can begin every talk by saying who you are and the name of your business. This is relevant information that audiences want to know in general. The relationships you build outside of the four walls of your business are key factors in developing positive and cheap PR for your small business.
Cheap promotion will save you valuable dollars that can be applied to other areas of your small business. With these valuable savings, you can move on to bigger and better investments. The key is to create a consistent message with all of your cheap PR initiatives so that the integrity and image of your business is maintained at the highest level.