If you're a small business and you haven't thought about a PR strategy for your company, I just have one question for you: What are you waiting for, my love???
Listen. PR is THE most cost-effective alternative to expensive traditional marketing. It's one of the best ways to let people know you're here. It's word of mouth and it works. Trust me.
Before I give you some PR tips, be sure to think about your strategy first. That includes understanding your audience, determining your company goals (be specific!) and creating effective communication (key messaging that will reach your audience, tone, etc.). Start there and remember to plan your strategy based not on the here and now, but where you want to go.
Here are some other PR tips:
Social Media - Careful. Just because social media is free, doesn't mean it's a one-sizes-fits-all kinda thing. First, be clear on what your goals are (that's the strategy part). Are you looking to get more media hits? Publicity around your launch or the launch of a new product? More exposure? Increased sales? Second, know where your customers/potential customers are: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc? Lastly, commit to engaging in a social media channel that's right for your business, and do it!
What's Your Story? - If you really want to connect with people, I mean REALLY connect with people, you gotta be transparent. The best way to connect with people is through storytelling. You left corporate America to fulfill a life-long dream of mentoring kids? Share that! Don't be afraid to share nuggets of your life.
Partner With Your Local Community - Tie your company to a non-profit cause. Giving back to your local community is not only the right thing to do, it will likely garner you some media attention.
Don't Be Shy (Closed Mouths Don't Get Fed!) - Get out and about! Make new friends. Meet and connect with people in your community. Attend social events, exchange information with others about their businesses and follow up. Some folks call that "networking" (ugh--I hate that term!), I call it building relationships.