Publicity for Small Businesses
Owning a small business can actually be an edge in the publicity business. This website tells you how to make the most out of your small size.
If you've been in business for any amount of time, it's sure to feel like you're constantly fighting the big guys. They can buy products cheaper and can afford better service. Then I come along and claim that being smaller is an advantage. How could that possibly be true?
Many small businesses fail because they allow themselves to be lured into the big guy's playing fields.
The American colonists were faced with just such a battle. They were incredibly outnumbered and out armed by the British, and yet they chose to take them on. They couldn't afford the big ships, and they were sadly lacking in weapons. So they used what they had.
While the big ships sat motionless in the ocean, not able to move quickly, the colonists swooped in close with smaller, faster, more maneuverable boats and sank them. While the Federals lined up in perfect formation and marched forward towards the traditional battle lines, the colonists invented guerilla warfare and took pot shots at them from high atop trees and from spread out positions in trenches and caves.
In much the same way, your strength as a small business is the fact that you are small.
If American Airlines decides to change their policy regarding using boarding passes at the gate, it'll cost them millions in training seminars, notices, conferences, etc. Boards would have to debate what color to make the new passes and studies would have to determine if there is any way a con man could use the system to his advantage. And they won't be able to make it happen for at least two or three weeks.
If you owned one plane that ran a charter route from Ft. Lauderdale to the Bahamas, you could change your boarding policy, employee uniforms, even plane color all in one afternoon, for relatively no money.
You can also use publicity very creatively.
Instead of having to spend millions at advertising agencies hoping to come up with a package quick enough to still be able to keep a pulse on the spending habits and current social focus of the American public, a small business can move quickly.
Moments after hearing about the Enron fiasco, you could have a press release written explaining how this problem would affect the taxes of the Enron employees (if you ran a CPA or tax preparer's office).
Therapists could immediately send out press releases explaining how this would affect the emotional makeup of our nation or how Enron employees were probably going to feel now that all of this was coming down.
Getting a release like that out at the speed a one-person business can operate is almost a guarantee that you'll get picked up by several stations and papers around the country.
They all want to be quick and topical. They don't want to bring on a guest who'll explain what's new for Christmas moments after a company files for one of the largest bankruptcies in American history. They want to talk about Enron, it's people and the ways it'll affect the rest of us. You might not know any more about Enron or even that part of Texas than the rest of the world, but you might be able to quickly find ways to tie it in with your business.
Being small gives you another advantage when working on your image. You aren't dealing with a lot of momentum. If Enron promised to "mend their ways" most of us wouldn't believe them. There are just too many moving parts all pointing in the wrong direction.
A single person can easily create, and change, their public image quickly.
That allows us to benefit from the best of both worlds. Nobody has to know that "Anderson Enterprises" is made up of you and your girlfriend. If you make up nice letterhead, envelopes, business cards and set up a good telephone system, most people will assume you're running the classic 5 to 10 employee business. When you work the press and get good publicity quickly, they'll assume you're a 5 to 10 employee business doing great things.
You can also get a lot of free local press by associating yourself to a local charity. Every advertising medium is required by law to give away a percentage of their venue to charitable organizations. It's something called a Public Service Announcement. McDonalds gets all kinds of free publicity by running the Ronald MacDonald House. If you sell insurance, you might take a portion of your commission and convert it into the payment for a baby sitter at a daycare for unwed mothers.
Or you can offer sales where a portion of the proceeds goes to help a local charity. Suddenly it becomes the "Anderson Insurance Fund Drive For Muscular Dystrophy". They may get all but the basic expenses, but you get all kinds of free publicity.
You can write up a solid press release, email or fax it out around the country and wait for program managers and editors to call. It gives you the air of not only being one of the "big guys" but it also suggests quality, dependability and value. If radio programs around the country want to talk about your business, you must be good. I call it the "halo effect" and it's all covered in my do-it-yourself publicity kit "How to Get $1 Million Worth Of Publicity…FREE!" which you can find out about at: www.Hartunian.com/prkit
You can also go to my www.PressReleasesMadeEasy.com web site where I get you started on the right track to becoming famous.
Want to discover more about how publicity can help you? Click on the links on the left side of this page.
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Paul Hartunian, Box 43596, Upper Montclair, NJ 07043 - (973)857-4142