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Eight top tips for perfecting your local PR

If you have a business which sells to the local area, it’s really important you get your company messages and news seen and heard by potential customers. On day three of Small Business Advice Week we explore the importance of spending time on PR to create awareness of your business in the local area.

Research is key

Make time to read the publications and listen to the stations you want to get publicity in so you know the type of content they produce. There’s no point sending them something which they will never use as it doesn’t fit with their reporting style.

Use other events to find stories you can link to and make a calendar so you have a clear plan of what you will say when. For example, if you sell homemade produce then British Food Fortnight is the perfect time to shout about your local sourcing and food miles. Food allergy awareness week is the best time to remind everyone how you cater for medical diets as there is already a media focus on it. There are tools such as Year Ahead which tell you this information but for some small businesses these can be beyond your marketing budget so simple searches online is a good start if you don’t have access to these.

Find your supporters

Find your brand advocates and use them. These are customers or influential people within the industry who are really happy with the service you provide and are willing to tell others how great you are. You can then use quotes from these contacts in your press releases and other publicity material. Build relationships with these people so they will assist you when you need them.

Get to know local journalists and help them where possible. For example, if you hear a radio station is doing a discussion on small businesses why not get in touch to share your views and talk about all the great things you are doing in your business. The same applies in the local press; offer your opinion on a feature or write a letter to the editor.

Share your successes

Shout about your success. People prefer to read positive news stories than a sales pitch so write about things you’ve achieved. This could be everything from an anniversary, to a thousandth customer to a new contract.

Supporting the local community is another way to get publicity in the area. You could team up with a local charity and fundraise for a cause that helps those in the area or support a local environmental initiative. Stories like this will be of interest to the readers of the publications and shows that you care about more than products you sell.

Review what has worked for you by keeping cuttings of press coverage and recordings of radio or TV publicity.

Avery WePrint is proud to support Small Business Advice Week and recently shared the results of their small business survey. Check out the full results here >>

For more business branding & design ideas, check out our Business Get Inspired page.

2 September 2015