For a small business it can be hard to understand where branding can help you. Face it, we don’t have a ton of money to place carefully positioned advertisements straight into the heart of our target customers. And public relations doesn’t seem to have a direct relationship with new business either. It’s nice to get mentioned, but how often does that editorial article or quote result in someone calling you for business? It’s not something I promise will happen on a regular basis if you have anything but a true consumer product. And even then it’s tricky to get just the right kind of mention that will lead to huge sales.
Here’s what does happen with PR, and I’ve seen it time and time again, particularly with B2B clients. PR is a great way to tee up a salesperson or owner when they have that first meeting with a potential client. First of all, a few PR mentions will help improve the chances on an important cold call that the person you’re calling may actually have heard of you. Second, if you’ve identified your core messages well and you are using them in your PR outreach, you have an excellent chance of making a good impression on your client, before you ever meet them. Maybe they’ve read an article in which you’re quoted. Perhaps there is a small mention of the excellent growth your company is enjoying in the local business magazine. Or like our friends at Barefoot Parties, maybe celebrities are wearing your bunny slippers. However you get those mentions, it can warm up those prospects so that when you do contact them directly, they already have a good impression.