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Key Steps To Small Business Marketing Success


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This reports presents the key elements of a successful marketing and pr strategy for small businesses

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Key Steps To Small Business Marketing Success

  1. 1. © 2010 by Christine Henry Woodward My PR Tools
  2. 2. In difficult economic times like these, itʼs hard to get a leg up on the competition and get in front of your target market on a regular basis. In a tough economy, an aggressive marketing and PR strategy is the key to driving sales. I’m Chris Woodward and I show small businesses how to create and carry out their own marketing and PR campaigns. My affordable personal coaching package and easy to follow marketing and PR guides bring the benefit of my years of corporate marketing expertise to the small business owner. This overview briefly highlights the key steps in a powerful marketing and PR campaign. For everything you need to know to carry out your own successful program, go to to learn about: Personal Coaching Package: to help you get up and running with a tailored to do list and the tools at hand to reference. My PR Tools Handbook: a comprehensive, step-by-step marketing and PR guide. My PR Tools Media Guide: shows you how to get exposure where it really counts. My PR Tools Resource Guide: features a complete list of resources. If youʼd like more information when youʼre finished reading this, Iʼd love to hear from you. Contact me for a free 30-minute phone consultation: Now, letʼs get to the Eight Key Steps…
  3. 3. . Before you even begin any public relations activities, you need to set goals for your PR campaign: where do you want to grow, which products or services do you want to promote? Next define your target audiences: whom do you want to reach with your marketing and PR efforts? In addition to defining your target audiences, itʼs important to know what they think about your company. Find this out by conducting a series of informal interviews with your clients, business associates, vendors, and the like. With your goals in growing your business firmly in mind and your target audiences defined, itʻs time to develop your key messages. These are the messages that will be emphasized in all your materials and activities. They should clearly and simply communicate what sets you apart from the competition and the benefits that you bring to your clients and customers. Your company needs a strong brand identity that your clients easily recognize. Professionally designed marketing materials with a compelling message support the branding of your company and enhance your credibility. This identity should be carried across all your print materials: stationery, business cards, brochures, folders, and flyers. It will also carry over to your website and electronic marketing campaigns.
  4. 4. Communicate with your target market on a regular basis through a direct marketing campaign. This is a great opportunity to publicize your products and services, your expertise and your successes. There are a number of email marketing services that make electronic campaigns quite easy. Printed direct mail can range from a simple postcard to elaborate foldout mini-brochures. Good topics for mailers include: • Project wins, launch of a new service or product • Product and service promotions • Events • Opening a new office, an anniversary, an important milestone An electronic newsletter is an excellent way to position you and your top people as industry experts, while also promoting your services and products. Your newsletter should give your readers relevant and timely information that will be of interest to them, not just what you want them to know about your company. You can hire a graphic designer to create a newsletter template for you to follow or use an online email marketing service. These services have a variety of easy-to-use newsletter templates. Make sure to keep a regular schedule! For more newsletter tips, see the My PR Tools Handbook excerpt at
  5. 5. Another great way to increase visibility and position your company professionals as experts is to host small seminars, roundtables or panels. These events also provide the opportunity for valuable face-to-face time with existing and prospective clients and customers. The most important step in organizing this kind of event is to come up with a topic that will provide a draw for your audience. Your event might enlighten clients about the hot issues of the day, offer valuable information in your area of expertise, or highlight important new rules and regulations. Becoming active in high-profile professional, business, and civic groups builds your firmʼs visibility and increases networking opportunities. The trick is to pick and choose among all the organizations out there and focus on the ones that your clients and customers are active in. Speaking engagements provide excellent opportunities to raise your company profile. To determine prospects for speaking engagements, research the meetings, conferences and events in your industry or in your community scheduled in the next year or two. Check out where your competition is speaking for ideas on future events. Winning awards is another area where you can take a proactive approach. Research the upcoming call for projects from your major associations to find out what awards might be a good fit.
  6. 6. The Internet is the first place your clients, customers and business contacts will go for information about your company. Your website is a great tool to showcase your products, services and projects. It is also an essential tool for the media. Your companyʼs site needs to look professional. It becomes part of your overall brand image, and an amateurish site can damage your credibility. Your site should be visually captivating and engaging. All content must be accurate, reliable, well written, and up-to-date. Make sure your site is easy to navigate and clearly guides the visitor to the information that you want to emphasize: • Showcase your projects and products • Highlight how you stand out from your competition • Be crystal clear in your benefits to clients and customers • Have a strong “Call to Action” that clearly tells the visitor what you want them to do. You should have a presence on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to help drive visitors to your site and make the most out of your public relations and marketing opportunities. While there are literally thousands of social networking platforms, these three are the most popular and will help grow your customer base if you use them regularly and join in the conversation.
  7. 7. Now itʼs time to talk about how the media fits into your overall PR plan. Up to now, all the steps I have listed are completely under your control. Gaining media exposure is more difficult. But there is great potential to raise your visibility with media coverage. The first step is to develop a media list. Your list should consist of the publications, business journals, professional newsletters, and online news outlets that your target market reads. Next create your media kit. A media kit is simply an information packet about your company. A valuable resource for reporters and bloggers, media kits are also useful for marketing to potential clients, investors, and others. These kits usually consist of a company overview, history, a sheet on your products and services, biographies of key executives, and relevant news articles. Media relations programs can include a range of approaches, from press releases, letters to the editor and op-eds to guest columns and feature articles. The most important thing to remember is that editors print what their readers are interested in. The best press releases have three important qualities: 1) they focus on why the product, service or event is significant now; 2) they clearly demonstrate why itʻs relevant to the news outletʼs readers; and 3) they present clear and timely information. For more press release tips, see the My PR Tools Media Guide excerpt at A letter to the editor is in response to something printed in the newspaper. These should be short and specific. Op-eds are essentially
  8. 8. guest columns in the opinion section of the newspaper and should be tied in to the issues of the day. Authoring a guest column or article is a good way to underscore your role as an industry expert. If you have an interesting or unique product, project or area of expertise, you can get a great deal of exposure by successfully pitching the idea as a topic for a guest column or article.
  9. 9. Now that you have an overview of the critical components of a powerful marketing and PR strategy, learn how to get started on your own marketing and PR campaign. Go to for more information on how to grow your business. Personal Coaching — Gain confidence and direction • Get up and running with your own tailored marketing and PR plan • Two one-hour phone sessions • A written six-month plan • The tools at hand to reference: includes all three guidebooks My PR Tools Handbook • Use this definitive guide to design and implement your own marketing and PR campaign to raise visibility and increase sales. • Find out how to design a strategy that targets your clientsʼ interests and needs. • Learn how to gain media exposure, maximize your Web presence, create print and electronic marketing campaigns that make an impact, host successful client events, become highly visible in the right business organizations, and much more. • This step-by-step guide is designed to get you up and running right away! • Includes real-life examples, case studies and workbook exercises.
  10. 10. My PR Tools Media Guide • Get exposure where it really counts, in the key news outlets in your target market. • Find out how to write powerful press releases, articles and guest columns. • Discover the secrets of pitching to the media. • Learn how to develop a “nose for news” and build editorial relationships. • Find out how to create targeted media lists and develop a comprehensive media kit. • Includes real-life examples, case studies and workbook exercises to help you create a media plan tailored to your business. My PR Tools Resource Guide • An all-inclusive list of resources to help you carry out your public relations program. • Donʼt waste your valuable time—we did the research so you donʼt have to. • Includes: copywriters, email marketing services, graphic design services, media services, photography, printing sources, podcast recording, video production companies, Web services, and more. Iʼd love to hear from you. Email me at to set up a free 30- minute phone consultation to find out how to help your business thrive!
  11. 11. Christine Henry Woodward, founder of My PR Tools, has more than two decades of experience creating successful marketing and public relations campaigns for companies across the Western United States. She has represented clients in a wide range of industries, including real estate, retail, insurance, health services, law, high technology, financial management, engineering, entertainment, aviation, recreation, and education to name a few. Her full range of do-it-yourself marketing and PR guides are available at These step-by-step guides are the culmination of Christine Henry Woodwardʼs years of experience in the public relations industry.