Walk into any store and you will be reminded that the holidays are just around the corner. Halloween, Thanksgiving and yes, even Christmas decorations abound.
For businesses, that means wrapping up the fourth quarter and setting your sites on a new year and hopefully new clients/customers.
If public relations and marketing have not been part of your business plan, now may be the time to consider adding it into your budget. The good news is, it doesn’t have to cost you a lot and some of it you can even do yourself.
If you don’t have a social media presence, what have you been waiting for? Start posting. Where you shine most brightly will depend on your business. Instagram is perfect for companies with a lot of photo opportunities. Facebook translates across the board, you can share photos and information. Twitter is a great place to communicate with customers or potential customers. Regardless of what kind of business you are in, you should be on LinkedIn. This is where you can tell people about you and your company. If you already have a personal LinkedIn page, create one for your business as well. Wherever you post, make sure it’s consistent and be responsive to those who communicate with you via social media.
Graphics are like eye candy, they make whatever you post standout and create a more engaging post. You don’t even have to be an artist to create some awesome graphics. There are a number of simple design programs such as Canva that make it easy and inexpensive. Infographics also are a great way to tell a story in pictures.
It’s one of the most powerful and effective ways to get your message across and you don’t need expensive equipment to do it. If you have a steady hand, you can even make a video using your IPhone. I have shot and edited videos using my IPhone and IMovie in under an hour for posting to Facebook and the hits just kept coming. The videos can be serious, funny, quirky and informative. It’s all up to you.
Although still a staple of the business, press releases are best used when you have something significant to announce. For example: Your company is launching a great new product, or your nonprofit just awarded a significant grant. Press releases can be overused, so consider whether what you have to say is worthy of one. This is where a PR professional comes in. They are the ones with the connections to get your message across.
This is a great way to reach out to existing customers/clients. You can use a newsletter to tell them what’s new with your company, what new products or services you are offering, what deals you may be offering. You can include coupons. If you are in a service industry, they also can be used to inform clients about developments that might impact them or their business. Newsletters are a great way to keep in touch, but don’t over use them, otherwise people will unsubscribe. To get new subscribers, add an opt-in option on your website.
As 2018 nears, now is a good time to consider what tools you will use to grow your business.
Susan R. Miller is founder of Garton-Miller Media, a full-service, South Florida based public relations firm. Susan is a former journalist with more than 30 years of experience. In addition to public relations, she provides web content writing, press releases, social media, photography and videography. She has two daughters, three golden retrievers, two cats and a chatty parakeet.
As we come to the end of another year I thought it would be a good time to reflect on all that has happened in 2015. I have been blessed with a wonderful family, good friends, exceptional business partners and a stable of clients who make coming to work every day fun.
I get to do what I enjoy and work with others who enjoy what they do as well. I can’t believe that Garton-Miller Media will be entering its third year in 2016. From everything I have read, most businesses fail within the first year, so I must be doing something right. I will let you in on the secret when I figure it out.
That’s not to say running a business is all fun and games. There are many things that involve accounting and bookkeeping that I would prefer not to have to deal with, but thanks to a wonderful (and very patient) woman who handles my taxes and takes my calls and texts on a regular basis, it’s been a lot easier. Thanks Maria!
I get to work from home and be there for my kids when they need me. I also get to work with my Golden Retrievers at my feet – it doesn’t get any better than that.
My nonprofit clients do so much good, it’s been a humbling experience to work with them.
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.