In this tough economy, business owners cannot afford to sit back and hope that business comes their way.  Efforts need to be made to build and maintain relationships with potential customers to justify to them why they should spend their tightening budget on you.  To that end, here are five free PR tactics you can implement to help your business succeed in tough economic times.

  1. Set a Google Alert for your business name to monitor where and how you are being mentioned online and if possible, interact with those making comments about you.  For example, if you set a Google Alert for “XYZ Flower Store” and Google sends you an alert showing you were positively reviewed by a customer on Yelp, write back to the reviewer and thank them for their kind words.  Also, as an aside, check out Google’s other free business tools from software to website analytics.
  2. Attend free business and other events that will attract people in your target market.  Network, introduce yourself, hand out your business card, collect other people’s business cards, and afterward, write “nice to meet you” emails to those you met.  There are many no- or low-cost networking gatherings, such as business association meetings.
  3. Use the services of the U.S Small Business Administration’s Small Business Development Center.  They provide free, high quality information and advice about business planning, financial and competitor analyses, small business loans, marketing planning, and more.
  4. Use email to your best advantage.  Send regular email communications to your allies.  Provide free tips, update them on your services and activities, and if applicable, include a promotion.  Be sure to have an “unsubscribe” option at the bottom of the email in case recipients no longer wish to receive your communications.
  5. Read our online catalog of free PR tips and choose a few to implement.  You’d be surprised how much can be done for free or minimal cost.

Building relationships with your publics doesn’t have to be expensive, and can be the key to your success regardless of economic and market conditions.

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