I have a local boutique which I set up six months ago. I want to do PR but I’m not sure what media will reach my customers. The local paper is always approaching me and says it’s perfect, but how do I know?
Louise Findlay-Wilson writes:
Firstly, let me applaud you for wanting to get your media right. It’s absolute madness to embark on any kind of PR campaign if you really don’t know how to reach your target audience, as you will end up throwing lots of effort in all the wrong places!
Right, now for your question. First off you need to be really clear about who you are trying to reach. You say ‘your customers’ but I urge everyone to be certain about who that is. What makes them tick? How old are they? Do they have kids? How far are they likely to travel to come to your boutique? What socio-economic group are they in? What other complementary products/services do your best customers buy? Who else influences them?
It’s only by garnering this kind of information and really getting under the skin of your target audience that you can identify the best way to reach and attract them to your business.
Having got really clear about who your audience is, you can now look at how your target audience gets their information. Here’s how…
Advertising sales reps working for most media will be only too pleased to tell you how many people their site, e-zine, magazine, newspaper, TV or radio station reaches. Indeed, most will have a media pack which describes what they do and who their audience is. While this is useful, be careful. As you have already found, the media want you to think they are the best at reaching the people that matter to you, as they want you to be tempted to advertise with them at some stage in the future. Don’t take it all at face value. Ask:
Lastly, don’t be media prejudiced. Just because you don’t use Facebook or like your local radio doesn’t mean your customers and potential customers don’t. Be open-minded!
Louise Findlay-Wilson is a regular speaker and commentator on PR issues. The creator of PrPro™, a radical new service designed for smaller companies who want to go down the DIY PR route, Louise has worked in PR for over 25 years. She has advised and promoted household names such as the BBC, Cap Gemini and St Paul’s Cathedral, through to exciting start-ups and owner-managed businesses, helping them use PR to accelerate their growth.