Artisan Marketing Communications offers clients PR and marketing communications advice, practical support and implementation.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

PR for small businesses is effective and within your reach

I like technology but I am not adept at using it.

I managed to delete a lot of my archive, so I am going to re-publish some of those articles.

If you have already read them on Networking4Business' newsletter or somewhere else, please excuse me.

I have a couple of really interesting articles to come.

So if you have a few minutes I hope this will be of interest:

PR is often discounted by smaller businesses as a way to generate real interest and leads. Many reasons are cited but none should really stand in your way. The following short article explains why.

Many small to medium enterprises (SMEs) do not consider PR seriously enough as a way to really generate business. The reasons fall into two broad categories. Firstly, can we find a PR supplier that we can afford and will take our business seriously? Secondly, does it really work?

The answer to the first question can pose a lot of problems for a small business venturing into PR for the first time. PR agencies can seem intimidating places to approach if you do not know what to expect. When you are presented with the £600 per day plus tariff, you might wonder what you will get for your hard earned cash. Will you be treated with the same respect and diligence as bigger name clients? After all, you do not want the most junior member of staff to champion your livelihood.

There are ways to find a provider that will be cost effective and work well for you. Ask trusted business associates for recommendations. Go outside the big agencies. Smaller agencies and freelancers will often provide a better service because your fee will be more important to them. And without the overheads of a prestigious office to pay for, you will have a smaller bill without any loss of performance.

The second question concerns PR’s effectiveness. How can you be sure it works? An often-used objection is that with advertising you can be sure your product or service will appear in the paper, with PR you cannot.

Unfortunately, you cannot guarantee PR coverage. But you cannot guarantee your advert will make anyone pick up the phone or that your mail shot will even be opened.

A good PR man - with imagination, tenacity and a good product to promote - should generate excellent results.

What is more, as a form of marketing communications it is hard to better. Potential clients will trust and take notice of a good piece of PR more than they will of direct mail, advertising or tele-marketing. After all, if a well-respected paper or trade magazine says your product is newsworthy, then, in effect they are saying to your target market, your product and services are worthy of their interest and attention.
This does not mean that you should give up other ways to bring in leads. When PR is combined with your other business development work, it adds up to more than the sum of its parts. Networking, referrals and PR can be a highly effective combination in itself. By all means, use advertising but add PR to increase your leads pipeline.


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