Why PR might just be the secret weapon you need to turn 2020 from a mess into a success

Well we’re now halfway through 2020 and it’s safe to say that no-one could have predicted the events which have taken place during the past 6 months! It’s been a quite extraordinary time for everyone and made running a business extremely hard work. However, if you have managed to batten down the hatches and survive the past few months, you might be starting to look at ways to open back up.

I thought it might be useful to give rural business owners some ideas for press outreach that you can carry out now. It might just help you to ride out the next 6 months (whatever that may hold!) and perhaps even thrive...

Pivoted your business?

Tell the world about it! I know of so many businesses that have found new ways to sell their products. From a DJ who normally delights people at weddings offering personal, live-streamed sets for music lovers to gastro pubs reinventing themselves as upmarket produce shops, the creativity is incredible. But have you relied on word of mouth so far? Why not drop a line to your local newspapers and glossy magazines to see if they are interested in mentioning you, so you can tell more people near you what you’re up to.

Offer expert commentary

Do you operate in a sector which is part of a national conversation? Wedding venues have had a particularly tough deal with the latest guidelines, leaving couples unsure of what to do. By offering to appear on local (or even national!) TV or radio to talk about how you’re managing the fallout, you’ll certainly raise the profile of your venue and be seen as an expert to call for future press opportunities.

Support charities in need

If you own one of the very lucky businesses which has managed to ride out the Covid-19 storm without a significant drop in income, perhaps you might consider a donation to a local or industry charity? Many charities rely on events and sporting challenges to fundraise so have seen their income dwindle. Perhaps arrange to volunteer for them or donate a sum of money to help them carry out their work. A press release written in conjunction with them will help spread the word about what they do and perhaps attract more help.

Heal a divided community

The rural tourism sector is a clear example of where communities are at odds about the road to recovery. How do we balance the worries of people living in our beauty spots, who may not be keen to see tourists return while Covid-19 is still in circulation, with the needs of small businesses to generate income? If you feel like you are well-placed to help offer some calm and reasoned perspective you might help heal a divide and get some press coverage too!