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Why PR & Marketing Strategies Are A Must For SMEs

Updated: Sep 14, 2022

Immediately you read the title of this blog and my professional title, you will know I’m all for PR and marketing as tools to help grow your business.

I launched Shiloh PR jointly with my daughter in 2013. Well, that’s the date from which I gave up my full-time employment as a broadcast journalist working for the BBC to embark on this entrepreneurial journey.

Shiloh PR Co founders, Karen & Evadney Campbell
Shiloh PR Co founders, Karen & Evadney Campbell

The real fact is that my daughter and I have been doing some form of PR work since 2005 alongside our full-time employment.

At that time, it was purely a hobby, taking advantage of our media contacts to promote events, in particular music events. OK, so why give up a secure, if not entirely lucrative job to start on the journey of self-employment?

There are a number of reasons, which I cannot go into now; but deciding to set up a public relations & media training agency, was for me the obvious choice.

As a Black person and a journalist, I cannot count the number of times I was asked, how do I get this into the media? I’ve seen them do a story like this ….. and mine is the same, so how do I get them to report on it?

My experience sadly was that for many, the reasons their stories were never covered by the media were numerous but, mostly they did not know how to ‘pitch’ their story to journalists.

Be Seen

One of the things I say to all SMEs at my workshops or even when I give talks, is.....

‘It’s pointless if you have the most amazing product or service but the only people who know about it is you, your family and maybe some of your friends’.

This limited number of people will not give you longevity, you need to ensure you reach as wide a potential pool of customers as possible.

The most recognisable way to do this is through Marketing or Advertising. Now, this can be costly and if you’re a new and small business owner, this is something you may not have.

What you should be investing in first therefore is yourself, learn how to do your own PR campaign. Statistic shows a good public relations campaign is seven times more effective than marketing.

This is simply because, PR is 3rd party endorsement, i.e someone saying you, your product/service etc is amazing. Marketing is you telling everyone how wonderful you/your product or service is!

Spread the Word

When you are new, you need to build awareness of you, your brand, your service or your product. You do this effectively by eliciting good public relations, marketing/advertising.

Make sure when you put your business plans together, you account for investing in these areas to build your business.

At Shiloh PR, we’ve managed to survive as long as we have not only because we believe we deliver good service, but we’ve always used every opportunity to exploit good PR coverage.

Over the years, we’ve worked on many, many projects, all of which have either been through referrals or repeat work or by clients reading about us and our achievements.

We’ve also won numerous awards, this year alone, we’ve been listed in the PR Week PowerBook and in Women in PR’s '45 over 45' list of influential women in PR.

We’ve exploited all these by notifying the press of these achievements, leading to numerous articles – good PR!

We’re convinced it is from these coverages why we were contacted by the Internationally renowned Victoria & Albert Museum in London to work on one of their latest exhibitions, Africa Fashion.

We’ve been the PR Agency for the Windrush Caribbean Film Festival, since its inception three years ago as well as having been the PR Agent when the acclaimed Black feature film ‘Hero’ undertook its 40 city tour of the UK in 2019.

Article written by Evadney Campbell MBE, Co-founder, Shiloh PR

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