Ways of working

Three ways to free PR

After day-to-day expenses, many start-ups and small businesses find themselves with very little to spend on making themselves known to the general public. Yet a Regus study found that 44 per cent of you agree that finding customers is one of the biggest challenges for new firms. Is it possible to undertake quality PR without breaking the bank? Here are three low-cost ways to raise your public relations profile.

Social media

The current PR biggy is social media. Having a presence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram is essential for maintaining good public relations. 70 per cent of you believe that smaller companies are pioneering the use of new media in their marketing to a far greater extent than larger companies. You’re the experts.

While the temptation is to use social media solely to tell your followers about your new service or advertise special offers, from a PR perspective it’s far more effective to post about your expertise. Joining forums and posting about topics relevant to your business shows that you’re an active and engaged player in your sphere. That’s great PR.

Write an article

Putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) is still a highly effective PR strategy. 60 per cent of workers are confident that companies that ignore traditional PR methods, in favour of using only social networking or online campaigns, will fall short of success. While 83 per cent of you say that the national press only concentrates on large companies, ignoring SMEs, you’ll find that professional publications and local titles will be more likely to give you the time of day.

Offering your pearls of wisdom and lively opinions on the state of your sector or the health of your local business community costs you only a little time, and doing so can really help with brand awareness and authority. Find out the circulation of the newspaper or magazine you’re writing for, or the traffic of the website you’d like to post on, for a better sense of the number of potential new customers you could reach.

Radio appearances

Broadcasting your dulcet tones on the radio is a great way to drive awareness of your company. There are around 44,000 radio stations across the world, many of which cover topics of local interest. Phoning in, or even better, making a guest appearance to give your thoughts on topics close to your sector is perfect PR material. It’s almost impossible to measure the return on an effective PR campaign – developing a relationship with potential customers is very different to selling to them.

With 31 per cent of you saying that the cost of marketing and promotion is one of the biggest challenges facing start-ups, try these three tips to do it for free.