PR Advice for Small Businesses

For small businesses, and start ups doing their own PR is all about creativity. Reaching out to the public, and getting pitches to the right people. It takes a lot of time and effort doing PR for yourself but doing things this way can save a lot of money.
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For the community, and the target audience to take notice of the business its crucial that the business has a brand story. Storytelling can help transform a brands identity and presence. A lot of individuals find stories about the business, captivating. The more interesting and genuine the story is, the more trust others will feel towards it. It’s important that business owners tell others why the business exists, its ethics, and how they plan on impacting people. A compelling story will always give the audience a way to emotionally connect with the business as well as business owners.

Keeping up with the industry is difficult but important. For small businesses keeping up and staying informed with everything related to the industry is a must. Business owners need to be as knowledge as possible. You never know who might come around, and that knowledge might just impress the right person.

Networking! There are multiple ways to do this. Keep up with top industry reporters and influences. Look up local bloggers and new sites, then find where you can comment and potentially engage with them. Making social media accounts and staying on top of those can be helpful as well. Tweets, post pictures on Instagram, and give a brief description about events and things going on during the week on Facebook.

These are just a couple of ways small businesses and start-ups can do to reach out to the public. It’s always really difficult at first but with hard work and dedication the outcome is limitless.

Cites:
S. (2014). DIY PR: 8 Public Relations Solutions for Small Businesses. Retrieved December 08, 2016, from http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6671-public-relations-solutions.html

Instagram Helping Businesses

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Instagram is a popular app known to edit and take photos with. But there is a lot to Instagram then what meets the eye. Once you get past just looking at the pictures being posted you’ll see how businesses can find Instagram beneficial.

With Instagram growing and becoming such a popular app, it’s something small businesses and nonprofits should explore and utilize.

A few ways Instagram can help with businesses:

1. The app allows “personal touch” Instagram gives the perfect opportunity to show consumers the personal side. By doing this a business can make things more personable and leaving a lasting impression on the current and future for consumers. Show consumers behind the scenes, and sneak peeks of how things are ran. This could be a picture of the working team in a meeting, or a short video of the co-workers having a good time at work. These type of pictures and videos are simple and can be done in less than five minutes.

2. Instagram connects individuals from all over the world through simple images. Once one starts using Instagram it’s automatically opening yourself up to a completely new demographic of people. For business owners this can be a good thing. Doing this is pretty simple you just download the app and start creating a positive image through Instagram. Staying open to new connections and being active is one of the best ways to interact with others.

3. With Instagram is so easy to get caught up with captivating images. But as mentioned before, there is so much more to Instagram than just the photos being posted. Instagram is like any other social media outlet, and it can be used to network and reach out to its target audience. Liking, commenting, and following others can allow businesses to thrive and have others take notice of what the business is about. Businesses can also connect Instagram to Facebook, and Twitter.

Pictures are worth a thousand words, so why not take pictures and short videos to tell a story and share it to drive engagement. Instagram can be a powerful channel that allows others to see a personal side, and is a great way to network if used correctly.

Cites
Top 4 Ways Instagram Can Help Your Business – BusinessBee. (2016). Retrieved November 30, 2016, from http://www.businessbee.com/resources/marketing/social-media-marketing/top-4-ways-instagram-can-help-your-business/

What a PR Agency Does

When someone is asked about what PR agency does, answers vary and come from all different places.

Some might think PR agencies:
1. Advertises
2. Write stories for reporters
3. Put up billboards
4.Giving reasons for people to buy company products

Answers don’t stop but only get more creative. Public Relation agencies promote companies and individuals through editorial coverage. Which is commonly known to be “earned” or “free” media stories that get posted on website, magazines, newspaper, and shown through TV programs etc.
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Understanding what an agency does, one first has to know what Public Relations is. “PR is a Persuasion Business. You are trying to convince an audience, inside your building or town, and outside your usual sphere of influence, to promote your idea, purchase your product, support your position, or recognize your accomplishment,” quoted by Robert Wynne, founded in Frobes.

PR agencies goals are to promote clients by making them seem successful, trustworthy, honest, and relevant as possible. The agency works with clients to create a communication plan. The plan might include considering competitive advantages, position in the market, challenges the client is facing, a PR strategy, and measurements and tactic tools.

There are a number of things a PR agency does. The most common is utilizing the media. The agency will work with the client or individual to create content from press releases, articles, research, blog post, etc. With the content that is collected the agency will target the media by pitching them and offering information for a story.

PR agencies are trained to create content, so the next most common step to take is feeding it through social media outlets. From posting stories on Facebook to managing Twitter feeds. It’s important to get the point across with accurate information so the client can always be viewed in a positive light.

cites:

Wynne, R. (n.d.). What Does a Public Relations Agency Does. doi:10.1075/ps.5.3.02chi.audio.2f

Starbucks using social media wisely

Starbucks is a well known coffeehouse, with more than 18,000 retail locations in 60 counties. It could probably run on its own without using social media as a tool.
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However Starbucks takes advantage of the social media marketing. They have multiple networks that they utilize, which sets the bar high for other businesses when it comes to content and consumer engagement.

Starbuck doesn’t just focus its efforts on trying to reach out to new customers, but instead they try and cultivate its current relationships. This ensures consumers that their in-store experience is highly valued, while engaging with fans and followers emphasizing the importance of customer service.

When a customers happy with the experience or offer that they’ve received its a possibility that they will share it with friends and family. For example during the holiday Starbucks usually has a “buy 1 get 1 to share” promotion. This spreads through word of mouth, engagement through Instagram, and Facebook which are mainly generated through “likes” and “shares.”

Every customer wants to feel like a valued individual, and Starbucks provides that through My Starbucks Rewards, and personalized signature drinks. Most of their social media outlets such as Pinterest and Instagram, encourages users to share their Starbucks moments whether it be the drink that’s purchased, or just a picture of the holiday cup.

Starbucks is very good when it comes to cross promoting itself. When Starbucks takes a picture it’s automatically shared on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Each network that’s being used provides an opportunity to reach a new audience. Integrating strategy on each network is crucial to increasing visibility.

Starbucks is an successful business many can look and learn from. The company values consumers, provides great customer service, and stays active on social media, these are all important things that many companies now lack.

 

 
H. (2015). Starbucks and Social Media: It’s About More than Just Coffee. Retrieved November 10, 2016, from http://www.econtentmag.com/Articles/Editorial/Commentary/Starbucks-and-Social-Media-Its-About-More-than-Just-Coffee-103823.htm

PR TIPS FOR NON-PROFITS

Nonprofit organizations face many difficult challenges and opportunities. It’s hard to get their share of voice in the media environment that is cluttered, mercurial, and non-stop.

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There are a couple of ways nonprofits can leverage their expertise and communicate effectively with individuals, and those are:

1. Using social media to engage with others: In todays society social media is one of the number one ways for communication. They allow organizations to reach people with their own content on a broad scale and in increasingly creative ways.

Take social media and use it the with the same mindset you would bring to traditional communications. Utilize outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to be message driven, and a way to interact with each individual.

2. Use compelling visuals to stand out: Nonprofit marketers know that visual content helps engage the public. Instead of just limiting press release to just text, make them stand out by including visuals that can make the reader go “oh i want to read this.” Also make sure to assemble and deliver these assets so that they are easy to access.

3. Testimonials: Everyone enjoys hearing about how something changed a life, and testimonials are formal forms of expression that support that concept. They are extremely powerful, and help strengthen the credibility of the organization. People won’t want to help, volunteer, or help spread the news through word of mouth for the organization if they don’t trust you. Many find testimonials valuable, it helps them understand what the organization has done and can really persuade someone in a positive way.

4. Spokesperson: Usually nonprofits will have their founder/executive to formerly speak for the organization which is important. It’s impactful to have one person to actively and consistently engage with the media, donors, and the community. To keep them updated on events, volunteer opportunities, missions, and more.

Of course, there are many other tools nonprofits could use to thrive and these were just a few organizations are becoming more actively aware of. Nonprofits should always think outside the box of what they can do to make others more active and responsive.

sources:

Chung, E. (n.d.). 5 Unconventional PR Tactics for Nonprofits. Retrieved November 03, 2016, from https://www.classy.org/blog/5-unconventional-pr-tactics-nonprofits/

Miller, K (n.d). Developing a Modern Public Relations Strategy. Retrieved November 03,2016, from https://www.nonprofitmarketinguid.com/blog/2015/03/17/developing-a-modern-public-relations-stategy/

How Businesses can Benefit from Yelp Reviews

If decision makers are willing to view social media tools as a component this can help boost companies reputations, and business.

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Yelp being a primary example the reviews become increasingly important to potential consumers. Whether you own a restaurant, retail chain, or dessert spot, customers are always giving feedback on Yelp and what they’re saying has a lot of influence.

For those thinking,”shouldn’t I focus my efforts on learning the latest tips about Pinterest and other cutting-edge social media platforms? Isn’t yelp just old news?” With 70 million registered users and over 30 million reviews posted on the site, Yelp shows a dominant force when it comes to social review sites.

Most businesses know the value of increasing their star rating on Yelp. 75 percent shows that customers turn to the site to make decisions for all sorts of local businesses. Whether businesses are looking to increase in-store traffic, average dollars spent, or just the quality of reviews, reviews sites like Yelp are big opportunities for businesses. There is no better time to take control of your social presence.

A couple tips for businesses to take to draw attention from potential consumers.

TIP ONE: Most businesses on Yelp only have a couple of poorly shot photos, that are usually taken by individuals that have visited the business. This is a huge opportunity for a business to stand out!

Hire a professional photographer to shoot a handful of engaging photos that will inform people what they’re in for when they come visit. Show off the food, and the decor.

TIP TWO: Respond to reviews, respond calmly and respectfully no matter what comments were being made. Show that others perspectives are important.

TIP THREE: Take advantage of Yelp’s additional resources. There are “Yelp for Business owners” section as well as the “Businesses owner’s Blog” where you can stay on top of the latest tools as they become available.

Citations:

Beese, J. (2014). How Businesses Can Benefit From Yelp Reviews [Infographic] | Sprout Social. Retrieved October 27, 2016, from http://sproutsocial.com/insights/yelp-reviews-infographic/

S. (n.d.). 7 Ways to Use Yelp to Improve Your Local Business : Social Media Examiner. Retrieved October 27, 2016, from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/yelp/

Snapchat VS Instgram

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Snapchat VS Instagram which one would be a better use for a business? Snapchat App was released in 2011, and this social media platform allows you to take pictures, videos, and has multiple filters to use to make the picture more attractive and creative. This app lets you send the video or the picture to one friend, or to put on your story to let the people that are following you see it.

Once viewers open your snap they have a total of ten seconds to view it, before it automatically deletes itself. However, the individual is also allowed to screenshot the entire screen but if this does happen the sender of the Snap does get notified.

Facebook, who now owns Instagram has taken a high interest in Snapchat and has offered over 3 million dollars to buy it out.

Snapchat does have some really unique things about it and marketers should take notice in these strengths and utilize them. This platform is popular and growing, it’s easy to take a photo or video of what’s new and let others view that. Snapchat often being used by individuals who are users of this app., which is a good thing. It means that they’re active and receptive to messages that are being sent. Snapchat best for targeting young students, teenagers, and young adults.

Instgram the sister company to Facebook, allows users to post images and videos online for users following them to view. Instgram can also be left on
“public” for everyone to view.

Instgram offers a ton of editing features including filters and picture editing. You can edit the color and brightness of the photo being posted, which makes the image look a higher quality. Unlike Snapchat, the images posted in Instgram stays there unless it’s being physically deleted.

As of now, businesses can use Instgram as an advertisement tool. Restaurants, clothing stores, etc. are using Instgram to post what the business is about and what they are trying to sell to potential consumers. Showing a picture that can catch someones eye is important. If these picture can stop an individual as they “wow” to it, it is likely that the person will go buy/try what they’ve seen.

Instgram also are hashtag friendly. These hashtags are clickable links that take the users to feeds of images using the exact same hashtag. This is a huge bonus because it allows markets to used the hashtag help enhance their brand. Doing this can target users as well as boost engagement and conversation about the business.

So which is better? The two line up side by side it’s obvious that Instagram and Snapchat are pretty similar. The differences are fairly minor, it just comes down to personal preference and what businesses think would be easier to use.

Sources:

Gotter, A. (2016). Snapchat vs. Instagram: Which Should You Use? Retrieved October 19, 2016, from https://adespresso.com/academy/blog/snapchat-vs-instagram-which-should-you-use/

Bell, K. (2016). Snapchat Stories vs. Instagram Stories: How similar are they? Retrieved October 19, 2016, from http://mashable.com/2016/08/05/snapchat-stories-compared-instagram/#3WTqegnRbqqB