Walk into most stores today and you will see Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations vying for space on store shelves. It’s become a race to the finish line as one year comes to an end and a new one is right around the corner.
For companies, it’s a reminder that it’s time to start budgeting for the next year. Regardless of whether you are a small business or a large corporation, if you want to continue to reach your intended target audience then adding PR and marketing to your budget is essential.
Where to begin?
In a world filled with digital media, the opportunities continue to evolve, you just need to start taking advantage of them. The two biggest complaints I hear from small business owners is “I don’t have a budget for that” or “I don’t have time to engage in social media or public relations opportunities.” My response: “You can’t afford not to set aside even a small portion of your time and budget.”
If you have not even begun social media and PR outreach efforts, then you are already losing out to the competition. Google your competition, take a look at what they are doing. Are they on LinkedIn? Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? YouTube? Yelp? Do they have a blog? Is their website fresh and up-to-date, while yours was created years ago?
So many options, so little time
Yes, there are a ton of social media options available today and you can’t be on all of them (well, you can, but it’s best to start small if you are just getting started). Pick one or two and go from there.
If there’s one thing I do a lot, it’s write. I write press releases, blogs, website content, marketing material for brochures, advertorials, the list goes on. Each has its own style and often, as in the case of blogs for my clients, its own voice.
Sometimes the writing comes easily, the research goes well, my thoughts flow, and my fingers fly on the keyboard. Before I know it, the first draft is done. On other occasions it can be like giving birth – slow and painful – but when it’s done I feel like a proud parent.
Regardless of what I am writing, I always try to give my writing time to breathe. Depending on my deadlines, this can be for a few minutes, a few hours, or even for a day or two. Novelists tell tales of letting their writing sit for weeks. Unfortunately, I don’t have that luxury.
During the course of writing I might be interrupted by a phone call from a frantic client, an e-mail, a text message from one of my kids, or a dog that just can’t wait any longer to go out. Ah, the pleasures of working from home!
While it can be a bad thing, because such interruptions can cut into the flow of my writing, it also can serve as a stopping point for me to review what I wrote and perhaps revise my work. (A little insight here, I often pause after writing five or six paragraphs and review what I wrote, making revisions along the way).
Garton-Miller Media is a full-service, South Florida-based public relations firm. Founder Susan R. Miller has 30 years of experience as a writer, journalist and PR professional.