Get attention and build credibility on a budget with these expert PR strategies.
Firstly, what is PR? It stands for Public Relations and is all about the image that you build of your business and connection you create with the public through earned media coverage. It’s not to be confused with advertising, that involves paying for placement. PR is important for any business and while you can certainly achieve great results by splashing a lot of cash, it’s still possible to create and execute a great strategy if you’ve got little to no budget.
That’s where Nikki Milne comes in. Nikki has extensive experience in the world of PR as the founder of The Perth Collective. She’s worked with a number of clinics and has some valuable advice to share.
Can you explain the role that PR plays in small businesses like spas and clinics?
NM: PR is a key tactic to set your business apart from your competition. Consumers trust authority figures such as journalists, newsreaders, and influential people, and when these people talk about your business, value and trust is created. Traditional media is still the most credible news source, essential for conveying brand messaging. It’s instantly recognisable and carries an incredible amount of authority. PR is not just media coverage, PR is also about building relationships, sourcing mutually beneficial partnerships and creating opportunities for our clients that they otherwise may have not found.
“Publicity makes your business stand out. Media gives your business credibility. Opportunities build relationships.” – Nikki Milne
What are some of the ways a business can achieve effective results with no budget?
NM: Journalists are always looking for new news stories – but they must be interesting! It’s not enough to say you are a great clinic or salon, you need to share a news worthy story with them about a new unique treatment or something controversial. Once you have this hook, then reach out and start pitching your “hook” to the media. It’s free to do, and provided your story and hook is strong, you might just score yourself a free media feature!
And if they have a small budget, how can it best be used to get results?
NM: Host an event, invite the local media, VIPS and Influencers. Call it a “Media Night” – it’s not something you invite clients to. It’s a specific evening for the media to meet you, listen to your story and take a tour through your clinic or spa. At this event, form relationships and network, they will be beneficial to you in the future – oh and don’t forget the gift bag! Everyone loves a generous gift bag, especially the media! Add a voucher to it so they can come back at a later date and experience your services. It will help keep your business at the forefront of the journalist’s mind long after they have gone.
How can spas and clinics use the press they generate from their PR efforts?
NM: Once you have the PR feature, it’s your job to market it and repurpose it. I would suggest adding it to your website, sharing it in your newsletter, posting it to your socials and talking about it with your clients.
What kind of results can be achieved if clinics have the budget to work with a professional?
NM: The last clinic we worked with achieved $42,000 worth of media coverage on a $15,000 investment with us for a 3 month campaign. How do we work out the value? Each page in a magazine or on a digital platform has an advertising value, as does an Influencer’s post. We add up all those features over the 3 months that we achieved for the client and then work out the advertising rate, which in this example equated to just over $42,000. Not only is the earned advertising valuable, it also made this clinic the go-to clinic setting them miles in front of their competitors. It was a brilliant way to launch their new location and they also gained an influx of new clients due to the authority the media features bought and the brand awareness the campaign created.
What strategies will you be putting in to your PR plan? Let us know in the comments.
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