To some, small businesses are just that… small businesses; but to our government, the youth and industries at large, small businesses are a big part of the solution to South Africa’s economic crisis. But are they without challenges of their own? Absolutely not!
Some of the challenges SMEs face are money matters, capacity and business development. Of course, a PR practitioner cannot tell you where to invest your money, where or where not to invest, but they can guide you in making decisions that can build your brand’s credibility and make sure that the way your target market sees you is in a way that will encourage them to invest in your product.
In a recent article, I wrote that “the greatest advantage public relations has in the entire marketing and advertising ecosystem is that the majority of clients are finding it hard to spend their budgets on billboards and TV ads. In fact, it has been proven to be a very costly exercise that might not yield good results, if not done right. But how do you get the necessary reach and engagement with your product or service at a cost-effective price and have a much better impact of engagement? The answer is PR”.
PR doesn’t only put you in the newspapers and magazines that you’d like to be featured in, but it helps you build your brand from the ground up, by telling stories about your brand that your potential customers can align with. Trust me, journalists and editors don’t just run with a story for the sake of it, they actually see value in your content and believe that someone else will benefit from it and by virtue of that, they will run with it.
Most small businesses want to take on the tasks by themselves, not because they like to, but because resources are scarce. As a business owner, your efforts cannot be spent on everything – marketing, advertising, business development, implementing the work – the list goes on and on. If you cannot spend tons of money on getting resources to help with certain functions, freelancers and smaller agencies are more than willing to help grow your business with you, while developing their own.
PR also increases your SEO and helps you rank better on Google, making it easier for people to find your business. This results in more potential business leads, an opportunity to acquire talent, and also increase the brand’s validity. PR businesses are always developing content, for both traditional mediums and digital, so they can also help in building your online presence through digital newsletters – distributed to the right people – as well as social media.
If PR is done properly, it can be a cost-effective way to get your message to a large audience and to an audience that actually wants your content.
Gee Motsepe is managing director at Motions PR, a lB2C and lifestyle PR agency.
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