Are you ready for PR?

Once you’ve learnt a little about PR and its many powers, it’s natural to want to jump right in.

That enthusiasm is fabulous (and hold onto it, you'll need it later!) but it's important to pause before wading in to consider if your business is really ready for PR and all the wonderful results it can bring.

Here are 5 things to tick off your PR checklist to ensure you're ready to go...

You have your business basics in check


From your brand story, mission, vision and values to information about your products and people, it’s important to have all of this ‘background’ information ready to go before setting about your PR plan. Having this information finalised and to hand is best practice for your business anyway, but it’s particularly vital in PR. Journalists appreciate this background information when getting to know you and your brand, and deciding whether your story is of relevance to their readership.

You have a functioning and appealing website


There’s little point in trying to drive traffic to your business if there’s no ‘home’ for that traffic to go to. Despite social media being the powerhouse that it is, websites remain the first place many people head to when checking out small businesses, and journalists prefer to link (or refer, in offline media) to websites. So, it’s best to have one up and running before more eyes are on your business.

You have high-quality photos and graphics


(Don't be like her ^ )

Most journalists like to include imagery alongside any pieces they publish, so it’s important to have some accompanying shots ready to supply with any pitches you send. If your business sells products, high-quality images of your product offering are a must. If you’re a service provider, snaps of yourself as the business owner always go down well. In either case, a high-res logo is a necessity too.

You’re confident and comfortable with your branding


In the early stages of running your small business, it’s natural to want to make small changes to your branding as you find your feet within your niche. For that reason, it’s best to wait till you are happy and confident with your branding before embarking on PR activities. You don’t want to risk confusing all the new followers you’ve gained through PR by changing up your look too often. So, make sure that you’re in love with your business name, logo and branding before putting yourself out there.

You have plenty of stock


While PR as a practice doesn’t focus solely on generating sales, this is often a result of a well-executed PR plan, not that we're complaining! For this reason, it’s sensible to ensure you have the means to cope with this potential new demand for products. It’s no good securing yourself a feature in Grazia if stock is running low and you can't supply the goods!

Once you've got these elements sorted, you're one big step closer to getting started with PR for your small business. PR is all about raising awareness and building brand credibility, so it's vital to get everything shipshape before leveraging PR to elevate your brand. "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail" is a quote that takes me back to my university exam days (shiver), but the sentiment is valid, and it works this way with PR too.

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