Why Choose A Boutique PR Firm? Bigger Isn't Always Better!

 

A small boutique agency, with know-how, media savvy, and contacts, can deliver as much compelling exposure in a wide range of traditional and online media as can a larger firm. In fact, if it's personal attention you are looking for, many say go with the boutique firm.

The advantages of choosing a boutique PR firm are many. First and foremost, boutique agencies can provide many (if not all) of the same services as a larger firm for a lot less money. At a boutique firm you have direct access to the top and get great client service from conception to completion.

Boutique PR firms have the ability to specialize in certain areas that allow them to create and maintain close relationships with the media that cover those industries. A boutique PR firm can employ a knowledgeable array of publicity tactics to execute effective strategies such as media tours and press launches, often for significantly less cost than a larger firm due to lower overhead.

Client relations are also much easier for a small public relations agency to provide than a large scale firm. They can focus more of their energy and time on each individual client to provide excellent service.

So how do you choose the right boutique PR firm?

Start by doing your research and check out their website. So much in public relations happens on line now. Make a phone call and speak with the owner. Schedule a meeting. How do they present themselves? Are their strategies on the same page as your business goals? Ask for a PR proposal that outlines their strategy, and of course, cost. Some boutique PR firms work on project based fees, but most ask for a 3-4 month minimum retainer. You will know when the fit is right. Trust your instincts.

When it comes to public relations firms, it is better to be a big fish in little pond than the other way round!

Charitable Giving Can Boost Your Biz! Andrea Foreman Helps to Create BUZZ for Businesses!

A savvy business owner sees the value in being philanthropic. Nothing builds brand loyalty among today’s consumers like a company’s proven commitment to a worthy cause. Whether you plan a fundraiser or sponsor an existing charitable event, the fact that your business is participating will put your company in a positive light. It shows that you stand for something beyond profits. Embracing a charity makes good sense and can help boost your business!

How To Get Started

Decide what kind of charity your business will participate in. Ask your employees which charities are of interest to them. Research charitable organizations that align with your business. You may want to match the charity to your business. For instance, a cosmetic dentist may want to offer free dental services to a battered women’s shelter. A singles dating service may want to support a national cause such as “Bowl For A Cure” and create their own event donating a portion of the proceeds. 

Find Your Passion

Sometimes you just want to lend a helping hand and have a genuine passion for the cause. That’s even better because your enthusiasm comes through naturally, and your customers will feel it when you weave your passion for your cause into your business life. If your cause mirrors your personal values, beliefs and integrity, then your activities will generate tremendous goodwill in your community, increasing name recognition and awareness of your products and services.

Make the Most of It

As with any form of promotion, your business will benefit from the charitable involvement. Get started by telling your story. Publicize your charity involvement or fundraiser. Send out an email blast to your customer database. Include the news on your website or on a separate blog. Post on Twitter and your Facebook page and link to their website to help your charitable organization gain greater attention from your customers.

Write a press release mentioning the involvement with the charity or event. Obtain a media list and distribute it to your local media as well as industry publications. You’re in business to do great things – and some of them are worth shouting from the rooftops.

Be sure whatever you write is not too self-serving. Not, “look what I gave” but rather, “look what I get to give”. The beautiful thing about marketing your charitable giving is that you really don’t have to sell yourself to make an impact.

Sets You Apart From the Rest

By getting involved with a charity and supporting them, both with time and money, you will gain access to other people with a passion for giving. These people will not just consider you for their needs, they will also recommend you to others. Your charitable involvement gives you a perceived trust factor that sets you apart from your competition.


Ten Ways To Create PR Buzz

Andrea Foreman Helps to Create BUZZ for Businesses!

In a previous post I talked about the reasons for “capitalizing” on your charitable giving. This post gives some ideas on classic opportunities to promote your business in your local community.

Become An Authority in the Media

Write an article for your local newspaper or trade publication on a subject that relates to your business. The piece should not be a sales pitch for your company. Instead, you are selling yourself as an expert. You should also consider writing a blog online. It’s a great way to position yourself and your business to your customers, the press and the industry you serve. If a national newsworthy event occurs that relates to your business, let reporters know you are available for comment. Offer your opinion, or write a letter to the editor. You can even offer to contribute a regular column.

Speaking Engagements

Take your expert status a step further by giving talks or teaching others about your profession. You could offer your speaking services to your local Chamber of Commerce, public libraries or arrange your own workshops/seminars at your office, restaurant or hotel.

Learn to Network Effectively

Networking is not a gift. It is a skill you can learn. If you believe you are simply not the networking type, think again. Not only can you learn to network, but in order to generate PR buzz, networking is necessary. One of the cornerstones of successful networking has to do with how you approach people with whom you network. For starters, do not approach them with the idea of getting something. Instead, approach them with the idea of giving in mind. Take an interest in their lives. Introduce them to other contacts in your network, Talk about ways in which you can help them.

Set Up a Referral Program

There are many ways to run a referral program. Print a discount card and ask your customers to hand it out to people they know. The person making the referral could also receive points or a reward for each referral he or she provides. Only pay for referrals that result in sales. You can also set up a referral program online offering gift cards to local restaurants or even cash rewards. Set your business profile or page up on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Be sure your business profile includes a good description, keywords and a link to your website. Look for groups or conversations that talk about your type of products or services and participate in the conversations, but don’t spam them with constant promos for what you sell.

Start a Valuable Facebook Page

The key word is valuable. There are more than 42 million Facebook pages. Give something away for free. If you are a financial advisor, offer to answer questions about certain subjects at specified times. Arrange a blog talk radio podcast with various topics. You can promote it on your Facebook page.

Don’t Focus Solely on Your High-Dollar Customers

Studies have found that the best customers actually referred less than the average customer did. Although, catering to your big customers is important, spending some money on the regulars who do not spend quite as much may be more advantageous over time.

Put videos of your product or service on YouTube

It’s a great way to promote your business. It’s free, easy to use and can bolster your bid for new business by connecting you with customers. Look for something unusual about what you do, and publicize it.

Publicity

Send out press releases to local newspapers, radio stations, cable TV stations, magazines whose audiences are likely to be interested in buying what you sell. Be sure to post the press releases on one or more online press release services, too, being sure to include links to your website. To increase your chance of having the material published, send along a photo (but not to radio stations) with your press release. Editors of printed publications are often in need of “art” (drawings or photos) to fill space and break up the gray look of a page of text.

Finally, don’t let customers simply slip away

Make an effort to reel them back in. It costs a lot less to retain a disgruntled or inactive customer than to acquire a new one. If you haven’t heard from a customer in a while, send a personalized e-mail (you can automate this process), inquiring whether all is well. For a customer who suffered a bad experience, pick up the phone, acknowledging the unpleasantness and ask if there’s anything you can do. A discount can’t hurt either. Being kind to customers is the smartest low-cost marketing you can do.


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