Five common PR questions from start-ups and small businesses answered
PR and communication can often be like the last bruised banana in the fruit bowl of your to-do list for start-ups and small businesses. It’s on the to-do list, but neglected over other, seemingly more pressing matters.
Communication needs to be part of your five-a-day. Whether it’s a smoothie concoction of traditional PR, internal communications, marketing and website updates or just social media, it needs to be a be a considered and consistent part of your business strategy.
Here’s five common questions, answered to put your business on the right road to healthy communication.
- Is social media worth it?
Whilst social media may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s a key part of today’s communication landscape – especially in small communities like Guernsey and Jersey. However, each channel plays a different role and reaches a different audience. For example, the LinkedIn communities in each island for example, are great opportunities to promote your personal brand and grow your network amongst a business audience.
For a start-up or small business, budgets need to stretch as far as possible and for the most part social media is free. It can take time to get to grips with and needs constant attention however, it’s a free service which reaches hundreds if not thousands of stakeholders.
- Who is my target audience?
Some say their audience is ‘the entire island.’ Unfortunately, that just isn’t true in most cases, unless you’re the States of Guernsey or Guernsey Water where everyone on the island is using or needing your products and services.
Identifying your target audience is no easy feat, but it’s a necessary first step in the process to communicate with their stakeholders and customers. Small businesses and start-ups need to identify who their customers truly are: who actually needs your expertise? Are they financial directors, or 35-45 years old who have just moved to the island? It’s important to really drill down into who and why you’re communicating to certain audiences.
- Does my business really need a marketing plan or strategy?
In some cases, no, your business doesn’t need a complicated or overly detailed communications strategy. For example, a one-man band who already has connections with a strong customer base and a good reputation with their peers to utilise, has a great starting point.
However, if you’re a business looking to grow, raise more awareness of your existence and unique approach or want to demonstrate your commitment to the island’s community, then focusing on PR in a more strategic way is important. Whatever the size or type of your enterprise, taking time to think about your reputation and how you will communicate with your customers is critical.
- What if you don’t have a day a week to spend on PR?
Time is money for small businesses. Every hour and day counts. Black Vanilla’s Bulb packages have this in mind, especially Step-Up and Train-Up which provide start-up and small businesses with a content calendar/ plan to make communication as easy as possible.
If you want to be an engaged business and bear the weight of PR yourself, then be sure to keep it simple. Before communicating anything think, would you want to hear this as a customer yourself?
- How do I communicate differently to my competitors?
It’s not necessarily about communicating differently to your competitors; it’s following your own journey. It’s important to be authentic and transparent to build trust and credibility. Think carefully about what your business stands for, where your expertise lies and show your own personality.
There’s a fear from a lot of businesses about showing your personality and that it should be kept out of business hours. Whilst of course we need to be careful, humour and other personality traits humanise businesses and make them more approachable.
It’s a challenging world for new businesses and can be a long journey to success. However, Black Vanilla’s Bulb service is here to help. Get in touch with Chris today via firstname.lastname@example.org or 01481 729 229 to take your business to the next level.