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  • New Year, New Strategy—PR Tactics to Broaden Your Business Scope

    Lori MacGregor Considering adding PR to your marketing strategy this year? Consider this: PR, generally understood as securing third-party endorsements for your brand, is widely thought to be more influential (and less expensive) than advertising. That said, it’s called “earned media” for a reason—good PR takes effort and a dedication to building relationships with journalists, online influencers, and consumers over time. If you’re willing to put in the work, you can reap the benefits for years to come.

    Here are five ways to use PR to boost your business within the coming year.

    • Develop a press kit, a collection of assets that communicate the key message points and vision for your business. Press kits typically include a company backgrounder, service menu, location images, and a bio on the business owner or key staff. You might have printed copies to hand out, but most media prefer digital.

    • Connect with media influencers. Note local media outlets such as city magazines, newspapers, blogs, and TV news, and invite the appropriate contact in for a complimentary treatment—media will be better able to capture the spirit of your brand if they experience it first-hand. Reach out via email, briefly explaining what makes your business, staff, or menu unique. Then, roll out the (figurative) red carpet: confirm details the day before, give a full tour of the space, and ensure they are booked with your top-performing talent. Remember the old adage: you never get a second chance to make a first impression!

    • Provide unique content. Reporters cover news, so they’ll be motivated to cover a business that’s just opened or expanded, a seasonally-relevant skin treatment, expert tips that consumers can try at home, or local stories that benefit the community. Many publications plan weeks and months in advance, so be ready to preview your unique summer skin treatment in March. Be thoughtful about outreach; contact only with newsworthy topics, and never badger a writer with calls or emails. You want to build a relationship; be respectful and understand that if an idea doesn’t work, there may be another opportunity down the road.

    • Team up. There’s power in numbers. Partner with local businesses to create a neighborhood event, where guests receive exclusive deals, previews, or add-ons when they attend. Invite local business owners, customers, bloggers, and social media influencers, and encourage them to post photos on their social media channels, tagging your business. Social media is powerful media!

    • PR your PR! Amplify your accolades. Add press clips to your website, create display sheets for shelves, and highlight wins on social media. Always thank each journalist for coverage. Do it publically over Twitter, privately via email, or more personally with a handwritten note. You’re not obligated to send a gift, but complimentary product will keep your business top of mind as they plan their next story or segment.

    Adv. vs. PR

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