3 ways for small businesses to move forward in uncertain times
The current challenging and tough climate is forcing a lot of small business owners to focus on what they can accomplish today opposed to in three months or in a year. While it's very hard to plan ahead at the moment and think clearly, one area that is more important than ever to dedicate your time to is PR.
Whether that's joining in on an online conversation or pitching your brand to press, keeping your awareness going means that you'll be able to stay visible.
Here we share some tips to help you move forward in these uncertain times.
Staying at home= more online content
because people are spending more time at hom the demand for at-home entertainment has increased, putting more pressure on the media, digital in particular, to produce more frequent and more tailored features.
During this uneasy time people's mindset and priorities will be shifting. The press understands that they will need to adapt their content to what's happening right now and a lot of editors are turning to their readers asking what they want to read and see.
Time Out London is changing from TimeOut to TimeIn. Stylist Magazine have launched the initiative Working from Home with Stylist covering practical, reassuring and valuable advice and content. Stylist’s sister email brand Stylist Loves has also renewed and sharpened their focus on fashion, beauty, food and interiors to bring their subscribers great ideas and great products.
Press are also doing what they can to raise smaller brands’ profiles and there’s been a notable increase in features putting the spotlight on indie brands including WhoWhatWear and Stylist Loves.
With consumers turning to press and social media for entertainment this is a great time to ramp up your online press presence. Prioritising your PR strategy now will help you stay on the forefront of people’s mind, even if they’re not buying at this exact moment.
It is also good to use this time to build a rapport with the press beyond email pitching. They are likely to be spending more time on social media and by interacting with relevant editors via Instagram or Twitter you’ll be able to capture their attention and nurture long-lasting press relationships.
Remember to bear in mind how relevant your products are at this particular time. Be more careful than ever about the wording you use in your communication to press as you don’t want to risk leaving a bad taste or damaging your reputation. The same applies for your marketing strategy.
Rethink your marketing and be mindful
While it’s not business as usual for anyone, you shouldn’t feel guilty for marketing your business. You need to do what you can to stay afloat, and both marketing and PR is vital now. But be extra mindful as to what you post. Limit your posting, soften your communication and make sure to ditch any sales-heavy and tone-deaf marketing campaigns and promotions. We’ll all be looking for added meaning and you’ll need to rethink your messaging so that you speak to your audience in a human, thoughtful and honest way.
Do you normally schedule your social media content? Because the effects of the pandemic is evolving rapidly, pre-scheduled content should be replaced with real-time posting for now.
Everyone is being affected by the current circumstances and you also shouldn’t feel ashamed about sharing some of the challenges you might be facing. Don’t feel like you have to openly talk about specific numbers, but share what you’re comfortable sharing.
Show your support
Because most small businesses are feeling worried about what their future holds, supporting other businesses is more important than ever. Use any opportunity to put the spotlight on other indie brands. From joining in on online conversations and campaigns to rounding up your favourite brands through your Instagram Stories, now is the time to use your voice to support you fellow small business owners and their teams. Don’t underestimate how powerful your voice is and how helpful any little effort can be.
PR Dispatch is a small business too and the best way we, as a business, are showing our support is by making as much useful and actionable content free to small businesses right now. We have our PR Power Hour (usually £24) and additional webinar both free at the moment as well as discounting our services with the code ‘supportsmallbiz’.
We know times are tough but as a community we can weather this storm together and we will all come out on the other side.