How Using PR and Outreach Can Help Boost Your Small Business
Updated: Apr 7
PR (Public Relations) and outreach strategies are really important tools that can be used to help your small creative business grow. You might think that PR is only something that benefits large corporations or big businesses, but that's not the case at all! It can be just as beneficial, if not more so, for a small business looking to grow its brand awareness and build its customer base.
PR outreach is a type of marketing process that involves reaching out to relevant industry contacts such as journalists, influencers, media outlets, podcast hosts, presenters, or bloggers. The aim of which is to publicise yourself or your brand through that outlet. Essentially, it is a method of pitching yourself or your brand to someone in the media and encouraging them to collaborate with you on their specific outlet.
Using press coverage, you can easily get your voice heard and your business/product/service in front of your target audience. Providing an opportunity to boost your business profile and consumer awareness.
As a small business owner or creative entrepreneur, when it comes to marketing and PR, you are unlikely to have the budget or resources that larger organizations have access to. So, it's important to be creative and determined when it comes to reaching your target audience.
PR outreach is a super effective way for your small business to achieve success, and yet it's not something all small biz owners invest time into! By understanding how PR and outreach work and implementing it into your overall marketing strategy, you are allowing yourself to connect with potential customers on a personal level while also sharing what it is that makes you stand out from the crowd in comparison to your competitors.
In the majority of cases, outreach marketing involves reaching out to individuals that you don't already have a relationship with. So, it's important to craft your campaign strategically to avoid coming across as spammy and ending up in their junk bin!
What do you do first when it comes to PR and outreach?
You need to make a plan. A plan of who you're going to contact, how you're going to contact them, why you're getting in touch with them and what you're hoping to achieve by communicating with them.
For example, if you're a home decor brand, an ideal place to start when it comes to PR and outreach would be looking at relevant media publications that feature home decor brands. You want to be strategic in who you're considering, so look at things such as price point, physical location, and customer engagement - do they all align with your brand?
There is no point liaising with a media outlet that is focused on a customer completely different to your target audience, as the PR venture won't achieve anything for you. You need to focus on brands that also deal with your target audience, as it is another way of getting your brand in front of them.
It might also be that you want to use PR to boost your lead generation and collect data. So again you need to be sure that you're looking to collaborate with media that is relevant in this sense to your consumer base.
A great way to stay organized with this is to make a list or spreadsheet compiling details of the companies that you'd like to connect with. Look at their employees and contacts, make a list of the contact details of the relevant person that you want to connect with and start compiling all of these details into a document so you can keep track of the research that you've done and who you have previously contacted.
Once you have compiled your list and you've created a strategy for what you're looking to achieve with your PR plan, it's time to put it into action. Your outreach marketing type is dependent on your business model, target audience and the platforms that your prospects use the most.
What are the different types of outreach marketing you can leverage?
The two main types of outreach marketing I'm going to talk about are email outreach and social media networking. There are more traditional methods such as cold calling and networking events, but in the modern digital marketing world these two are going to be your most relevant and effective.
Email outreach is a method of sending out cold emails to potential prospects to engage them in conversation about your product/business/service and introduce yourselves to them. It is the modern day version of cold calling, but with a lot more potential and is possibly the most effective form of outreach marketing.
By the end of 2023, email marketing revenue is anticipated to be close to $11 billion, demonstrating just how important it really is. So you really should be making use of it.
It is a time consuming process, but there are some brilliant platforms and online tools that help automate and streamline the whole cold email outreach process for you.
Here are some tips on getting that email outreach strategy just right:
Be specific with you're contacting
Know who you're engaging with and be personable
Keep your emails concise but compelling
Get straight to the point
Include clear call-to-actions in the email
Use an email marketing tool
A/B test your emails
Personalize your emails and approach
Stand out from the crowd
Use a subject line that doesn't seem spammy and encourages opens
SOCIAL MEDIA OUTREACH
You can use social media as an outreach platform on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and even TikTok and Twitter. They are all community based platforms that are full of relevant media outlets, influencers, personalities, businesses and journalists for you to easily connect with.
The purpose of social media outreach is to build real relationships, whether that be with your customers or with influencers and other brands. You don’t want to seem spammy, as that’s bad for your brand reputation, so a careful, well-executed outreach campaign is a must.
An advantage of using social media as an outreach platform is that you can easily use find people who are a perfect match for your brand and goals. On LinkedIn specifically, you can easily scrape the profiles of people who engage with the kind of content your brand publishes.
Social media is a very powerful tool when it comes to outreach marketing. It’s a place where your company and brand can humanize themselves and connect on a personal and emotional level with customers.
The key to successful PR and outreach marketing is being really clear on who you will reach out to. Spending the time doing research on finding the best people to connect with is crucial in this game plan.
When you pitch your offer, focus on how it will benefit them and their followers. Keeping their audience engaged and providing value to them is their main priority, so make sure you state clearly how your offer will do that.
Outreach marketing is a powerful strategy that can help you achieve different business goals. From boosting your content marketing efforts to PR to link building, a well-planned and executed outreach campaign is a great way to partner with influencers and brands who can help you succeed.
Have you ever used outreach marketing? Share your experiences and outreach marketing ideas in the comments below - I'd love to hear them! If you're after more tips on PR, outreach, or any marketing in general - you know where to find me!
Creative Virtual Assistant at Kelp Collective