Merrick, NY—Free, plentiful good publicity is a goal for every business owner, and a retail jeweler is no exception. Spending time and effort on local public relations (PR) can pay off handsomely. So does advertising, but that’s another subject entirely, not to be confused with PR. There’s an old adage that says, “advertising you pay for, [good] PR you pray for,” and it’s entirely true. Image at left: Blue Sand Group
Today, with so much emphasis being placed on the importance of storytelling as a means of communicating to consumers, having a good story to tell is the first step to getting good PR. There needs to be something compelling that’s out of the ordinary. A jeweler selling jewelry, or a designer designing jewelry, is what you do every day; it’s not news. But a jeweler on a mine tour who brings a suitcase full of school supplies for local schoolchildren and spends the day in the classroom teaching them is a good story. Get the idea? It doesn't have to be that dramatic, either--just doing something unusual or new in your hometown is a good story, and in fact the local angle makes it more interesting to local media.
Good PR can bring in new customers, re-interest customers who haven’t been in your store in a while and help increase your bottom line. It’s free in terms of dollars paid for exposure, but it’s not effortless. Let’s look at four strategies you can use to create a buzz in your local market.
1. Focus on a partnership with a non-profit or a charity. Hands down, this is the number-one best way to generate good PR. Today’s customers are especially appreciative of businesses that do good, which makes them feel they're doing good by extension when they shop with you. And your customers will love learning about a relationship that gives them all the feels, especially if it’s local.
An added benefit for you is that the nonprofit you work with may have their own PR team that can help give you a boost—even as far as getting TV coverage for some kinds of events.
While partnering with a nonprofit is a good approach, it’s not a requirement. A one-off special cause unrelated to an existing nonprofit—say, raising money to save a local historic building or to benefit the family of a sick or fallen first responder—also is newsworthy enough to attract multiple news outlets. The reason the entire concept of doing well by doing good was a main theme this year at the Las Vegas trade shows is because it works.
2. How to get noticed: the press release. Now that you know what gets noticed, the next step is to tell the story in a way that ensures you will get noticed. First? “Write a great press release,” says website Marketing Donut. “Press releases serve two purposes - you can add them to the news section of your site, link to them from your social media accounts, and send them to journalists. Ensure you have an eye-catching headline and a strong, summarizing opening paragraph before getting into the details.”
And don’t bury your lead—make sure the most important thing about your efforts is in the first paragraph!
Keep your press list up to date so you can quickly and easily send a press release at any time. Cover the usual local media outlets (television, radio, and newspapers), as well as non-traditional outlets: bloggers, influencers, social media superstars and any content creators that can help you reach a wider audience. Most press releases today are emailed, so make sure your digital contact info is up-to-date. And a great image to accompany the release is a must-have.
Finally, make sure your email subject line is short and purposeful. Try to keep it to 40 characters or less so it shows up as fully as possible on a mobile device. “Media Advisory: Jeweler Benefits Purpose” is one example to try; obviously substituting your own name and event.
3. “Delivering a great product or service is the best PR strategy,” says Entrepreneur magazine. “All the publicity in the world will be useless if your business doesn't deliver on its value and promise to its customers.” If you are not providing an exceptional product or service, stop reading this article and fix that first. A parade of happy customers spreading the word about your business is the most effective public relations strategy any company could ever have. Your message is only as good as your products.
4. Build your annual strategy and work on getting the word out. AdvisorPR.com offers this advice:
Use these strategies to ramp up your public relations efforts. They are tried and true strategies that will help you stay in contact with your customers throughout the year. Watch your influence spread in the community and your bottom line grow!