Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 36 seconds

Public relations is how businesses promote their  brand to the public. Press attention from news outlets offers an opportunity for brands to share more details than what can be shared in advertising and gain exposure on a wider scale.

Landing an interview or article in a publication, however, is a highly-competitive undertaking.

In this article, we’ll explain how to give your business an edge in attracting publicity for your brand in ways that don’t require a major financial investment. Use it to create strategies for approaching public relations on a budget.

How Social Media Can Help with Public Relations

Social Media offers brands the opportunity to reach the public directly. Consider the following social media marketing tactics.

Use Hashtags

The social media platform you use for promotion can determine the level of visibility and engagement you earn.  

Facebook, for example, makes it difficult for your content to earn visibility without running paid promotions.

To increase visibility, experiment with hashtags for your social media content.

Pinterest and Instagram include “hashtag feeds,” a which are search feeds businesses can get listed in by including relevant hashtags in their posts.

Publish PR-Worthy Content

User-generated content (UGC) can increase a business's exposure and sometimes help generate press.

UGC is any non-paid content that other people post about your brand, including reviews, videos, and images.

UGC is direct public relations when users share the content to their own feeds, exposing your brand to a wider audience.

For example, Country Walking created a UGC campaign called The Free Walking Challenge to encourage people to walk an hour a day using the campaign hashtag #walk1000miles.

Source: Walk 1000 Miles 2019

 1000 miles

To encourage people to walk, the campaign offered competitions, shared routes, and encouraged photo-sharing on social media.

The hashtag #walk1000miles accompanied all campaign promotions, and users were encouraged to share it with their images and stories across social media.

campaign

The results of the campaign were outstanding: it garnered  4+ million interactions across social media, national press coverage, and an award for the publication and its agency, Bauer Media.

There are many ways to encourage user-generated content that can contribute to your company’s public relations.

Experiment with incentives such as prizes, recognition, or provide charitable donations in exchange for shares to encourage users to share content about their experiences with your company brand.

How Social Responsibility and Social Good Can Help With Public Relations

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and social good aren’t only for big-name brands.

Small businesses also can build a strong connection to the public through CSR, which often results in positive press coverage.

Small businesses can leverage the benefits of social responsibility by:

  • Taking a stand on an issue that resonates with customers
  • Donating a portion of every sale to a social cause
  • Starting a movement around a social cause
  • Setting company standards that include sustainable, environmentally or pet-friendly policies.

Finding ways to give back to the local community is another way your business can practice social good.

For example, Geekdom co-working space in San Antonio gives back to its community by allowing its office area to be used for local blood drives.

posts

There are many causes that people care about, and learning which ones are important to your target audience can help steer the direction of your company’s social activities.

A recent survey from Clutch found that company attributes people find important include:

  • Environmentally-friendly business practices
  • Giving back to the local community
  • Social responsibility
  • Support of social movements

While your company can benefit from the public relations aspects of social good, the causes you support should align with your values and represent causes you genuinely want to support.

CSR is not a public relations strategy – it should be an authentic expression of social responsibility.

All Businesses Can Benefit From Public Relations

Working within a small budget is a reason to pursue public relations, not shy away from it. There are many things a brand can do to generate exposure to the public and in the press, including social media, social responsibility, and social good campaigns.

If you’re still unsure of how PR can benefit your businesses, consider consulting a public relations agency in your area.


Bio: Grayson Kemper is a Senior Writer for Clutch, a B2B research, ratings, and reviews platform based in Washington, DC.

Last modified on Sunday, 24 March 2019
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