MEDIA RELATIONS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
Kemi Olawoye is an award-winning entrepreneur and media personality passionate about improving health outcomes in Nigeria. She is the CEO of Bora, a communications company focused on providing public relations services to health, wellness, and lifestyle brands.
Media relations for small business is all about Brand Perception.
What is Public Relations?
The practice of deliberately managing the spread of information between an organization and the public.
What is Media Relations?
This involves working with media for the purpose of informing the public of your organization’s mission, policies and practices in a positive, consistent and credible manner.
Why Media Relations is important for Small Businesses;
– It improves your brand’s perception by stakeholders including customers/clients
– It boosts employees morale and good people will want to work there.
– Investors are more likely to invest in the business
– In the long run, it increases sales and revenue
Many people mistake public relations/media relations with advertising but they are not the same.
In simple terms, advertising is you putting your products in the faces of people and telling them to buy from you. Public relations is you telling a compelling story and positioning your brand in a way that attracts people.
Why do you think Airtel will make an Ad that tells a relatable story of an African mother calling her son for long hours and praying? Instead of just telling you what they want you to know and do. That is Public Relations.
Why do you think Piggyvest will raise funding and deliberately put it in the media? Is it our business? But they know when we see it in the media, it improves how we see their brand or small businesses will do a charity work and deliberately call the media to cover it? How is it really your business that they helped people somewhere? It’s because they want to appeal to your emotional side.
It will improve how you see their brand. You will be shocked that some businesses you keep seeing in the media are 1- or 2-man businesses but they always look big to you. In the long run, it will pay off.
Another great example we might all be able to relate with is Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship program. Before the application opens, they send it out to thousands of media houses. Same thing when it’s time to announce the winners. But it’s paying off. Everyone across Africa now know about them. They are getting more donations etc.
I always say ‘most of what you see in the media is deliberate’.
There are also some specific situations when media relations is very important for your business;
- When you raise funding
- When your organization is part of a charitable cause
- When the CEO or anyone in the organization wins awards
- When you introduce new services
These are just examples but you can build a relationship with the media regardless that keeps your Business in the media every now and then.
Don’t forget there are countless media houses with countless shows and they are always looking for content. THEY NEED YOU.
When getting started;
– Be clear on your story
– Have a well crafted profile
– A good profile picture is also becoming a necessity
– Be clear and know the topics you can speak on. Of course, the topics should be directly or indirectly related to what your organization offers.
The next step is to pitch to the media. After doing the right thing, the Next thing is to let people know about it
Session Moderated by:
Oluwatomisin Olowoyo, Principal, CSA Academy