July 9, 2014
This is one story about PR and small businesses. Read What do small businesses spend on PR, How small companies do PR and what big companies can learn from them, PR firms should avoid startups, and Why small businesses struggle with PR firms for more.
Don’t just get bigger, get better.
In almost every small business, there is a big company yearning to break free. Even if you’re not actively seeking to significantly grow your company and are happy exactly where you are now, you surely wouldn’t turn down a few more customers and some more profits.
Sir Isaac Newton advocated standing on the shoulders of giants to get bigger. We suggest that you merely try to see the world from their vantage point and not be afraid to think big. No matter how big you are – or wish to become – you can look at how big companies handle their PR and discover ways that you can tailor their methods to fit your needs and increase your profitability.
1. Speaking of spokespeople
When you see or hear media representatives and spokespeople from big companies, they are typically polished and professional. They appear relaxed, confident and seem to always say the right things, even when skirting answers or delivering bad news.
What this means for you:
Make sure that anyone authorized to speak for your company is well trained. If your spokesperson comes off as nervous or unprepared, it can look like you’re hiding something or don’t know what you’re doing, which can make your entire company seem untrustworthy. Let PR professionals help with spokesperson training so that you are always ready.
2. The long and the short of it
Big companies have the luxury of focusing on long-term goals and spending time planning for the future.
Why you should take note:
Flying by the seat of your pants may have worked well in getting you to this point, but in order to grow and stay relevant, you may need to follow the lead of the big companies. A PR firm can help you develop long-range strategic campaigns to better establish your brand and achieve stronger customer loyalty. And it takes time. Big companies are investing in PR for decades, not weeks or months.
3. The devil is in the details
Big companies check and double-check every press release, promotional item and customer response through multiple channels.
What you can learn:
While you don’t always have to go that far, you can emulate their sense of caution. In the drive to be first and spontaneous, many small and medium-sized companies have a habit of shooting from the hip, sometimes with disastrous results – especially when it comes to social media communication. Before sending out that tweet or distributing that creative little video, have it checked first. Or, better yet, let your PR firm handle it for you.
4. Blog and blog again
One advantage that big companies have over small is the sheer amount of information and data available about them. This keeps big companies at the top of search results and the front of consumers’ minds.
How you can be, too:
Big companies use size to their benefit, but smaller companies can also do the same. New technologies and social media help level the playing field in terms of name recognition and adding value. Blog consistently to improve your standing in both areas. PR can help you develop a sound strategy for outreach and engagement with your key audiences.
5. Do the math
Big companies allocate more of their budgets to PR. According to the recently released Public Relations Generally Accepted Practices study, published by the Strategic Communications and Public Relations Center at USC Annenberg, a majority of large coportations are increasing PR staffs and spending.
Find room in your budget for PR campaigns and initiatives. At Axia, we will work beside you as a strategic partner to make the best use of your PR budget and help you achieve your goals. Never look at PR as a quick hit or a quick blast. It's a long-term endeavor.
Download our e-book, Maximizing Your Public Relations Investment or give us a call today.
Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business, higher education and technology PR. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter at @axiapr.