Skye Communication, a Connecticut firm that offers e-marketing, public relations and Web site design, recently presented a timely talk to the Connecticut Songwriters Association. They basically rattled off (in a creative and animated way, of course) their top five marketing tips for small businesses in a shaky economy. I’m thinking their tips are useful in any economy. And yes, they fall under the marketing umbrella, but each supports a solid PR plan as well.
Too often, I think small businesses drop out of the PR race, convinced that they don’t have the resources to compete in that arena. Few strategies could be further from the truth. I am a firm believer in one’s own PR for thing, and if the small business has heart and energy, then the PR opportunities could be endless. Here’s part one of my Q&A with Syke’s Jim DeMicco, director of marketing, about the tips.
Leslie: Sometimes it seems like companies neglect to update their websites. What can they do to liven up their Internet presence?
Jim: Companies should give their websites extreme make-overs. They can do this by freshening up tired old colors, font treatments and outdated styles. They should also remove clutter, clean up the layout and add more white space. Examining the text and focusing on what differentiates them from the competition are key. I always recommend that companies stay away from bulky, long-winded paragraphs. Adding more visual appeal such as graphics, pictures, and color blocks for text can really enhance a site as well.
Leslie: What about eNewsletters? Are they still effective?
Jim: eNewsletters are definitely still relevant. Your first eNewsletter should announce the re-launch of your new website. Email your customers, clients, business associates, friends and family. This is the most cost conscious way to do your own grassroots marketing. Start making a habit of aggressively adding email addresses of your contacts into your eNewsletter list. Create a contest or a give-away to collect email addresses. Tell your readers when you have new services or offerings. Share your latest and greatest, but be sure to include value-added general interest information that everyone will appreciate. This will encourage your readers to forward your eNewsletter to others.
Next time: part two.