When implementing a PR strategy for a start-up, scale-up or SME, it can be tempting for marketing teams to go for gold. As a good story falls into their lap, most marketing agencies will try their hand at grabbing the attention of big publications or even bigger names.
On the contrary, it is best to work outward from your location, targeting local publications and outreaching nearby bloggers for PR opportunities. Depending on the the company and its offering, building a brand locally can be the key to PR success.
Send stories locally
Whether you’re an outsourced or in-house marketing team for an SME or start-up, consider the fruit that can be garnered from forging a local PR strategy – this means targeting local publications and attending nearby events. If nothing else, it shows that where you’re based is important to you. Attending events that support local businesses and position the brand as a fellow resident of the area shows that you are a key player with potential.
In addition, more often than not, local bloggers, newspapers or trade magazines will offer similar loyalty to the brand in return if you frequently send material to their desks. As opposed to those big names who might have your story at the bottom of a pile, local news will prioritise local business. This material could be award nominations or wins, events the company hosted or business-growth updates.
Relationship-building using a common interest (a shared location or locally-tied businesses) can really help to solidify a promise of consistent attention and publication. In turn, once these relationships are concrete, your PR strategy can focus on building brand awareness and a group of loyal customers within the nearby vicinity. With any luck, your brand can become a local celebrity.
Making a home
In the event that growth and success is yielded from these PR pieces, it’s important to start giving back to the community that has been home to your business. Not only is this great PR for your company, but it prioritises locality and sends a strong message about the heart of your brand.
Those prior relationships developed with publications will come in handy as they become even more willing to write about updates, events or good news related to your brand.
Eventually, you can tread outwards to regional and national outreach, but in generating initial PR for SMEs and start-ups, it’s better to build a home than a starting point.