Small Business PR

Public relations is huge in the beauty industry. It’s one of the most efficient ways for brands and beauty businesses to get across the desks of a wide range of editors and writers, to cut through the noise and get noticed amid the sea of others vying for the media’s attention. A good PR forms relationships with journalists and editors, proactively pitches them instead of waiting to hear from the journo, and makes sure clients are always front of mind. But what if you don’t have money to hire a PR agency? How do you compete with bottomless budgets for attention? Especially in the current climate, with so many businesses needing to cut costs.

The guides to DIY it

Sydney-based MVMNT Agency has created something to bridge the gap between doing no PR at all and having Big Beauty budgets, with its newly launched No Boundaries series of downloadable e-books (Media Black Book, Champagne Taste On A Budget and Pitch Pitch Pitch). No Boundaries by MVMNT AGENCY offers a unique insight into PR and shows you exactly how you can do it yourself. “It’s solving a problem that many businesses face when they first start out. They can’t afford PR, yet they desperately need it to drive awareness, communicate their offering and get their business out there! So, I show them exactly how they can do it themselves until they grow large enough to be able to afford a PR agency long-term. You don’t need to have thousands of dollars to create an amazing PR plan, but you do need to know how to do it.”

MVMNT Founder and Director, Grace Garrick says agency PR is still absolutely essential, but she saw a real need among micro and small businesses starting out with zero budget for any PR activity. “I created these workbooks as I wanted to bridge the gap between businesses with big pockets who can afford PR and those that can’t,” Says Garrick. “They’re also meant to help small businesses understand what PR is exactly and what they can expect from a relationship with an agency down the line if they grow and require more robust help. Garrick says “This … just allows small businesses to build and grow in the initial stages so that when they do have a budget, they are ready for a PR agency and understand what to be asking a PR agency and what they should be expecting in regards to value exchange. This means small businesses can communicate their requirements and manage their expectations.”

What PR does for your brand

So why do small businesses need PR? Isn’t it just enough to launch into the world? Sadly, no, especially not in a modern world where thousands of brands a day are vying for everyone’s attention. “PR allows a business to build credibility beyond what advertising alone can offer you,” says Garrick. “PR allows brands, products or people to portray an image and convey a story and emotive feeling and that is so important in today’s world. We have so many brands and people out there trying to get awareness and drive sales which is important but focusing on this alone is a small term mindset. A lot of people forget about the long-term power of building credibility, a community and effectively having a beautiful story that people wat to buy into. PR does exactly that.”

The quick win

When asked what some quick PR wins are that small business can undertake right now, Garrick says “Focus on social media and building a community through their social media.

Always make sure that your social media account adds value to your audience and is engaging. Don’t post for the sake of posting. Use your social media to connect with your audience, ask them questions – they are your prospective target, focus on what they want and how they listen and mould your communication around them. Use your social media to push the unique selling points of your product or service which is ultimately free brand awareness.”

What small business gets wrong about PR

Some of the things she sees small businesses getting wrong about PR are expectations of immediate sales, incorrect messages and too much messaging and not being ready for when the PR really takes off. “People want sales immediately,” says Garrick, “and expect PR to bring that. When PR doesn’t bring that to them, they immediately give up on PR. PR is a fantastic tool to drive awareness, build community and create a story, which in turn results in sales. PR takes time, which is why when you are not ready in the initial stages of your business, I don’t think it’s wise that you invest a lot of money into PR until you are ready for a long-term focus on PR.”

So how can the No Boundaries e-book series by MVMNT Agency help you, a small beauty business owner, DIY your PR successfully? “They show you simple step-by-step ways to drive press for your brand without paying a company the hours,” says Garrick. The focus is on three key areas, with a fourth coming soon. Garrick and her team have harnessed their expertise to help small brands build a media database and nurture media relationships, learn how to pitch and get brand press and create successful press releases. The forthcoming topic is on working with opinion leaders to drive brand sales and awareness. The books are meant to help you figure out how to keep your brand front of mind and relevant.

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