Many small businesses and nonprofits might think they can’t afford to invest in marketing and PR (public relations). However, the reality is they can’t afford not to. Marketing and PR are not just about spreading your message; they are about strategically connecting with your audience, building trust, and driving tangible outcomes that contribute to the success of your organization.

The Vital Role of Marketing and Public Relations

Often, companies make a budget line-item decision to cancel marketing contracts in a knee-jerk reaction to turbulent times. However, the marketplace isn’t a Field of Dreams – they won’t come if you build it and don’t tell anyone about it.

A marketing budget is a must-have for small businesses because it is fundamentally about understanding and meeting the needs of your customers.

Marketing helps small businesses to stand out in a crowded marketplace, build brand awareness, and drive sales. It’s not just about spending money; it’s about investing in the growth of your business.

The Importance of Marketing and PR together

PR goes hand-in-hand with marketing by managing the reputation of your business and establishing it as a credible and trustworthy entity by building relationships with your audiences. Through effective PR strategies, small businesses can build strong connections with their community, the media, and other stakeholders. These relationships are crucial for managing crises, promoting positive stories, and enhancing the overall image of the business. Successful PR campaigns, as shown through the examples in our BetterPR podcast episode, Award Winning Campaigns,  like Nevada Health Link, the 2022 election in Washoe County, and the Reno Rodeo, illustrate how well-planned and executed strategies lead to significant positive outcomes for organizations. A quick look through our own case studies on IPSM’s own award winning campaigns can also show you that small agencies like In Plain Sight Marketing are here to help your small business stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Listen to our Plain Talk about Marketing podcast episode to learn more about Award Winning Campaigns!

We achieve this through our use of the basic tenets of public relations as the structure for your marketing. Through the strategic public relations process of research, planning, implementation, and evaluation (RPIE), businesses can identify the most effective ways to reach their target audiences and convert them into loyal customers.

The Power of Public Relations

The IPSM public relations and marketing strategic process is a comprehensive approach that ensures marketing and PR efforts are aligned with your business and sales goals, and, most importantly, are results oriented.

Exploration and analysis:

We begin our journey together with discovery meetings to help us learn about you, your industry and your business. We also do a ton of research (see why research matters in our recent blog post). In this phase, we’ll establish:

  • Your organization’s core values
  • Your MVP – mission, vision, purpose
  • Business goals – short and long term
  • Target audiences
  • Your unique value statement
  • Competitive analysis
  • Market analysis
  • Gap analysis
  • Your brand personality
  • What keeps you up at night

Without this step, pretty much everything else is throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.

Strategic planning, implementation and evaluation

With the research we’ve gathered in our exploration and analysis phase, we can begin to create the roadmap to your marketing success. This plan is chock-full of key performance indicators to make sure we are hitting your goals and objectives, strategies, tactics and activities to make it happen, and a strong implementation plan to make sure everyone knows who does what and when.

Without a plan, implementation is m~e~s~s~y.

Then we evaluate, measure, analyze and tweak the strategies, tactics and activities so we meet those KPIs. Where do you start with setting measurable goals? Read Five Digital Analytics that Matter Most to Your Business to get an idea of where to start. Then, sit down with your marketing professional to figure out what really moves the needle for your business’s success.

These posts are designed to help you understand the importance of marketing and public relations for your business. We know you’re busy and we know how much you have to offer the marketplace, but without marketing and public relations, your target audience may not!

While we focused on research in this blog post, we’ll cover planning, implementation and evaluation more thoroughly in upcoming posts, so stay tuned!