In today’s fast-paced business world, competition is fierce, and small businesses often find it challenging to gain a foothold in their respective industries. That’s where public relations (PR) come in.

A well-executed PR strategy can help small businesses to cut through the noise and reach their target audience effectively. So, if you’re a small business owner looking to take your brand to the next level, investing in a solid PR strategy is critical.

According to the Public Relations Society of America, “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

What that basically means is that you are engaging and building relationships with “publics,” such as customers, stakeholders, the media, and even employees. And you’re doing this to shape the perception of your small business positively.

PR is an important strategy for any size of business, especially for companies with limited resources. By communicating consistently with the audiences important to you, you can grow and earn more business. And what you do doesn’t have to cost a lot, but it may take a lot of time to see progress.

This article will go through a few strategies you can start using for your small business.

Building Brand Awareness

With public relations, your small business can have increased visibility and gain a more positive reputation.

Routinely communicating with your publics helps them to feel more involved – and gives them more reason to keep coming back.

The first step is to bring awareness to your brand.

You’ve likely taken the time and energy to start a brand for your small business. Elements of your brand can include the business name, color or font choices, and the personality of your company.

Now, how do you get that brand out into the world? Here’s an example –

The Madison Reading Project is a local nonprofit that gives literary resources and free books to the community. They’ve built a successful PR campaign by hosting or getting involved in events, increasing visibility with a “reading bus” around the city, and creating sharable content.

By doing these things, the nonprofit has a positive reputation within the community and can be easily identified by those in the area.

Any small business can do these things within its scope. Three ways you can get started are by socializing, telling your story, and creating sharable content. Let’s take a closer look:

Telling Your Story (Consistently)

One thing that the Madison Reading Project does well is that they have the same core message in everything they do. Here’s their statement:

“Madison Reading Project connects our community with free books and literacy resources that ignite a love for reading and affirm and reflect the diversity of young readers.”

This statement helps tell their story and guides them when they develop or pursue any other types of public relations strategies.


Being present in your community, whether that’s hosting, attending, or sponsoring events can help build brand awareness and make good impressions.

If you’re hosting an event, you want to do something that is relevant to your business and positively impacts your customers.

For example, you may own a small plant store.

You could host an event where you teach customers how to repot plants properly. Customers will come into your store, become aware of your brand and walk away with helpful tips.

Attending or sponsoring events already planned will help you connect with the community, too.

You can go to your local chamber of commerce and meet other business owners, or sponsor signage at a nearby baseball diamond. You can take it to a bigger scale depending on your capabilities.

Once you’ve created a nice base in your community, you can start to move outward for more business.

Creating Sharable Content

Developing shareable content will hopefully be shared and used as a reference to your customers. It can also be content that showcases your expertise and promotes your business. This can include blog posts, op-eds, case studies, infographics and videos.

By using some or all of these strategies, you can increase customer loyalty and word-of-mouth referrals – which is one of the best ways to earn business. You’re involving the publics in your business, which creates stronger relationships and a better reputation.

Managing Reputation

In today’s age of 24/7 social media and online reviews, it’s important to keep tabs on your reputation. Especially when something changes quickly.

Kopp’s, a small burger and custard fast food restaurant in the Milwaukee area, faced negative publicity in 2022 when they attributed a “flavor of the day” to what some thought was a political statement.

They quickly assessed the ongoing situation and released a statement saying they were sorry and that it was a mistake. They still faced negative comments on social media, but tried to move past the issue as time went on.

If your business ever does face backlash or negative publicity, it’s important to get in front of the story as soon as possible. That way others don’t start telling the story for you.

One way to track your reputation is to set a google alert with your business name. And if you’re active on social media, take time to monitor any comments and respond to them as quickly as possible.

If you want to stay ahead of potential crises, planning is key. Sit down and think of many crises that could possibly happen to your business and develop messages for each of them. It will take a lot of time, but it will be worth it. You’ll be ready for anything that may come your way.

Developing Relationships with the Media

One of the main reasons media is your friend is because most people trust the information they’re getting from sources like newspapers, podcasts, TV news, or social media influencers.

The information the media provides shapes public opinion, and that can be negative or positive. When you develop relationships with the media, you can provide them with relevant information that helps them tell stories and helps you get earned media for your business.

A recent example of this is a local brewery announcing they would be bringing back a collection of beers from a formerly closed facility. They sent a press release to the media and earned some articles about it.

This pitch worked because it’s relevant. The former brewery was a fan favorite, and readers are likely to be excited about this information. And the information related well to the writer’s usual subject of Wisconsin culture and lifestyle. It was a win-win for both sides.

To get started, research journalists, podcasters, or bloggers in your area. Find some that write content that would connect with your business. After you’ve researched, you can start to pitch stories and send press releases to them and let them know you can be a resource to them for information.

Remember to follow up and provide any additional information they may need.

Also, building relationships take a long time. Don’t be discouraged when your idea isn’t picked up right away. Take the time to continue reaching out to them and also let them know about the stories that you’ve read.

In the end, this can lead to valuable exposure and credibility for your business when they continue to feature you or your business.

Now’s Your Time to Stand Out

After reading this article, you should be able to walk away with a few basics about PR. Everything discussed comes down to communication and doing it effectively.

By building your brand, managing your reputation, and developing relationships with the media, you’ll find that public relations can increase customer loyalty and earn more business.

Don’t let your brand get lost in the noise – contact Celtic today to learn how we can help you build a strong and effective PR strategy. With our help, you can take your business to the next level and achieve the recognition it deserves. Don’t wait – contact us now to get started!