Even schools and government bodies now hire public relations specialists. These experts help to navigate the media and streamline their communications – crisis or no crisis. Thus, the days of PR agents working only with celebrities, big politicians, and household name brands are long gone.
Because of this, small businesses and even freelancers must find a way to get professional PR help on a tiny budget. The short answer is of course to hire us, but a smaller PR agency isn’t your only option.
Let’s take a look at this and other recommendations for getting professional PR services on a startup budget.
Hire a Smaller PR Agency
When it comes to outsourcing services as a small business, often the best option is to pick someone your own size. In other words, if you’re a small business, hiring a PR agency that is also a small business has its advantages.
Smaller businesses are usually juggling less clients, giving them the opportunity to zero in on your projects and provide the kind of dedication and attention to detail that successful projects need. There’s also a wealth of creativity to tap into.
In addition to this, smaller PR agencies understand what it is to be a small business; including the the challenges you face, and how to overcome them.
But perhaps even better than all these benefits, smaller PR agencies can provide the very same services as big firms for a fraction of the cost. How? PR is not like other areas of business.
A firm doesn’t need a big in-house budget to do great PR. What you really need is talent, creativity, and experience — and what they need is a client who can pay for enough hours to get the work done, and on time.
Hire an In-house PR Specialist
While it’s great to have an entire PR team at a reputable firm handling all your PR business, having an expert in-house can do wonders as well. A small PR firm knows what it is to be a small business, but an in-house PR expert knows what it means to work in your small business.
Finding someone to fill the role should be fairly easy. Great candidates include college students and graduates with majors in business, English, journalism, mass communications, and even psychology.
Since PR is half knowledge and half talent or skill, there might even be someone outside academia who fits the bill: someone who is at least a decent writer and editor, creative, good with social media, and has great organizational skills. Maybe it’s time you gave them a job.
Invest in Social Media
If full-on PR help is still way out of your budget, then consider investing in social media. Of all the areas of PR you can get away with neglecting, social media and building an online presence isn’t one of them.
Why? Because these days, no matter how young or how old, when someone wants a solution to a problem in the form of a product, service, or company, they do an online search. If you have no online presence, then you’re missing out on a lot of great leads.
Creating a social media account on any platform is free. If you’re looking for help expanding your reach, then you can’t go wrong with paid promotions on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Just remember to tailor the ad settings to meet the demographics you want to target as customers.
There are also many third party apps online that can help to boost your social media reach at a cost. Always do your research before using them, as they may violate user agreements, and lead to your account being suspended or closed.
At a first glance, professional public relations can look far too expensive to consider. There are brands paying as much as $500 per hour just to consult with one person from a firm. However, this isn’t the pay-scale for all of us.
If you’re interested in more affordable PR services backed by a decade of experience, then check out our What We Do tab for information on services like branding, writing and editing, business consulting, and crisis communications.
About the Author
Alexis Chateau is the Founder and Managing Director at Alexis Chateau PR. She is an activist, writer, and explorer. Follow her stories of trial and triumph at www.alexischateau.com.