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How to use publicity to market your business

press34607811.jpgThere are many different tools that are available, for small business owner to market their business. One of the most overlooked is public relations or publicity. This can be a highly effective tool for reaching a large number of people. One of the major benefits of adding publicity to your marketing arsenal is that it is free. In difficult economic times, publicity becomes particularly important to small businesses. Because of the fact that small businesses are trying to cut costs, and taking advantage of publicity, rather than expensive promotional activities, this makes using it is a smart idea for small business owners. Here is what you need to know about how to use publicity to market your business-

  • Constantly be issuing press releases-If you are just opening your business or expanding it, then you need to write a press release. Keep in mind that most local newspapers will include it, as they are always looking for newsworthy topics. Take the time to examine several aspects of your business and you can think of many ideas for press releases. Ask yourself the following questions-Have you hired a new employee? Has your business won an award? Has your business participated in a community service project? If any of these have happened then issue a press release. These are only a few ideas that you can use to get this free marketing exposure.
  • Close your doors at least one day a year-One of the most important marketing steps you can take is to close your business at least one day a year (or more often if you can),and give a day to charity. You and your staff can then use the entire day to work, for a charity of your choice. Keep in mind that this is a newsworthy even that would get covered by the media. If it does not, then you should write a press release.
  • Give an award to the best customer in your industry-Another great way to use publicity is to give an annual award to the "best" in your industry. If you are a supplier of a particular product or service, you need to find your customer that uses it in the most advantageous way, for the community and give an annual award. This will be considered newsworthy and should give you lots of publicity. In addition to publicizing the award, it will let people know what you business offers.
  • Sponsor a community service project-This is another off shoot of giving to charity, but this time you are in charge of the project. Every community needs support and service. There are a couple different ways to do this. If you are service business then you could offer, your services in your community, for a reduced price.This allows the people who cannot afford to pay for your service to have access to it. Best of all your business will be widely publicized in the local media. Another way to do this is to sponsor an event that your customers would be interested in. Things like collecting food, for food banks, or clothing for homeless shelters. You can offer a discount for every can of food or item of clothing your customers bring in. Just make sure that you tailor this type of community service project to your own business.
  • Tie your business in with the holidays and publicize it-You can take the opportunity to tell the media how your product or service helps your customers during the holidays.Keep in mind that it doesn't have to be just the major holidays, but can be some of the lesser known holidays that occur during slower news times for the media. If your product or service provides help to your customers, it is newsworthy and will garner publicity for your business.
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