Small Business Guide - Small Business Resources
    (Add to Favorites  |  View All Articles  |  Resource Directory)

Putting PR "magic" to work for your small business

Arent Small Businesses Lucky?

Why? Because they have access to world class public relations no matter how small they are.

That's one way of saying, take care of your key target audiences, Mr/Ms small business owner, and they'll take care of you.

What's that based on? Why the fundamental premise of public relations, of course.

"We know that people act on their own perception of the facts before them, which leads to predictable behaviors about which something can be done. So, when we create, change or reinforce that opinion by reaching, persuading and moving-to-desired-action those people whose behaviors affect the organization, the public relations mission is accomplished."

And here's the first step towards putting that "magic" to work for your small business. Look closely at those outside audiences whose behaviors actually help or hinder your particular business. Decide which is your KEY target audience and concentrate on it for starters.

Next, mix in with members of that audience - we call it a "public" - ask questions and clearly monitor the answers. Anybody have a problem with your business? Notice any inaccurate perceptions or mistaken beliefs about your products or services? Are there misconceptions about your business involving pricing or quality? Do you see any kind of problems brewing down the line?

The answers to these questions should be grouped, then prioritized so that you apply limited resources to the most threatening problem areas.

The answers will lead to setting a clarifying public relations goal. Such as restoring understanding and acceptance by correcting that inaccurate perception; solving that frequently mentioned pricing glitch; or clearing up that misconception about service quality.

Now you need a strategy to help you reach that public relations goal.

As luck would have it, in public relations we choose from just three basic strategies: create perception (opinion) where none may exist; change existing perception; or reinforce it.

So, you have gathered input from your key target audience, and you've established a public relations goal and an enabling strategy.

But there's still work to do. You need a persuasive message to move opinion in your direction, but not just any message.

This one must aim squarely at setting down the truth about the misconception, or inaccuracy, or even an unfortunate rumor. The message must be crystal-clear, to the point, and believable. After all, there's a lot riding on it.

Of course, if you stopped right here, you'd never reach your public relations goal because no one would have seen or heard your message.

You need "beasts of burden," otherwise known as communications tactics, to carry that superb message of yours to the right eyeballs and ears.

And what a choice of communications tactics you have! Face- to-face meetings, emailings, feature article interviews, facility tours, press releases, speeches, open houses, consumer briefings, brochures, letters-to-the-editor and on and on.

But, at some point, you'll be curious as to whether you're making progress towards your public relations goal.

And that means tracking print and broadcast media coverage, but especially interacting once again with members of your key target audience. Only this time, you'll be looking for "changes of heart" with regard to the particular misconception, rumor or inaccuracy targeted by your public relations goal.

As you again speak with audience members, do you notice movement in your direction? Are there signs that your message and communications tactics have had a positive effect on people's understanding of the issue in question?

Yes? Your public relations effort looks like a success!

No? Back to the drawing board to ratchet up increased, and possibly redirected communications tactics, AND a reappraisal of the message itself. Could it be more pointed, more aggressive, clearer? Try it out on colleagues and watch their reactions.

Sounds like a lot of work?

Sure. But when survival could become an issue, isn't it worth it?

Please feel free to publish this article and resource box in your ezine, newsletter, offline publication or website. A copy would be appreciated at [email protected].

Robert A. Kelly � 2005.

Bob Kelly counsels, writes and speaks to business, non-profit and association managers about using the fundamental premise of public relations to achieve their operating objectives. He has been DPR, Pepsi-Cola Co.; AGM-PR, Texaco Inc.; VP-PR, Olin Corp.; VP-PR, Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co.; director of communications, U.S. Department of the Interior, and deputy assistant press secretary, The White House. He holds a bachelor of science degree from Columbia University, major in public relations.

Visit:; [email protected]


News provided by Yahoo! News and Google News

GST burden killing small business
Politicians and central bankers scratching their heads wondering why businesses aren't investing ought to speak to Sydney hairdresser Penny Martin. Ms Martin decided to work from home instead, letting five employees go and turning down clients to keep her annual revenue below $75,000 - all to avoid GST paperwork. "I have purposely scaled down my business for that very reason, because it's all ...

Small Biz Breakfast on Changing Technology Trends - HamletHub

Small Biz Breakfast on Changing Technology Trends
Aaron Syman and Denise Echegaray, technical specialists from Verizon, will discuss Technology Trends that Are Changing Small Business. Wireless communication is the key to staying ahead of your competition. Our focus will be on the Internet of Things: ...

and more »

Lt. Governor on pro-business legislation: 'We're on the cusp of changing our ... - Albuquerque Business First

Albuquerque Business First

Lt. Governor on pro-business legislation: 'We're on the cusp of changing our ...
Albuquerque Business First
Lieutenant Governor John Sanchez has seen his share of Santa Fe legislative sessions, but he thinks this year could be different. "I think we have a really good chance to pass meaningful legislation and change the culture of the state in terms of the ...

TD Bank Small Business Pulse Check Finds 70 Percent of New York City Businesses Optimistic about 2015 Opportunities
CHERRY HILL, N.J., Feb. 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- New York City small business owners have a positive outlook on their business prospects in 2015, according to the second annual Small Business Pulse Check by TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, a regionally focused survey that explores the challenges and opportunities facing small businesses. TD Bank asked 495 business owners across the five ...

Small Biz in a Digital Age: Analytics - Know Your Options - GoLocal Worcester

Small Biz in a Digital Age: Analytics - Know Your Options
GoLocal Worcester
The world of business is moving faster -- hyper fast. Small businesses face the challenge of trying to keep up and innovate their business to create an advantage. This week, GoLocal brings you a look at how to select where to get your analytics data ...

Small Biz Sentiment Slips In January - Advertising Specialty Institute (press release)

Advertising Specialty Institute (press release)

Small Biz Sentiment Slips In January
Advertising Specialty Institute (press release)
Weighed down by worries over inventories and investment, U.S. small businesses were less optimistic in January, according to a closely-watched survey released this week. New data from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) showed ...

Fla. lawmakers propose small biz sales tax holiday - First Coast News

First Coast News

Fla. lawmakers propose small biz sales tax holiday
First Coast News
A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Join the Conversation. To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs. Fla. lawmakers propose small biz sales tax holiday. If two state lawmakers get their way, ...
House bill offers small biz tax reliefTire Business

all 22 news articles »

SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard(R): Small Businesses on the Hunt for New Hires
Small businesses are undergoing a major change in their approach to hiring, according to February 2015 SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard. While a year ago their primary concern was the cost of salary ...

Business development centers help bolster local economy with free counseling, seminars
The two small business development centers in the Brazos Valley area have helped local businesses obtain nearly $16 million in loans and generated more than 250 new jobs in the last fiscal year.

Home | Site Map | Privacy Statement | More Articles
© 2006