Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime – Chinese Proverb

A growing number of companies are starting to recognise the value of Public Relations. Despite the fact that a lot of SMEs would like to do some PR, they often feel priced out or wary of approaching consultancies because they either don’t understand their business or aren’t used to working with such small organisations. At the same time it is also worth noting that a lot of companies need to educate themselves about Public Relations also. If what you have to say isn’t newsworthy then don’t expect to get media coverage and hiring a consultancy doesn’t guarantee you a spot on the front page of the Irish Times either.

A recent post on Stuart Bruce’s website grabbed my attention when I noticed that his consultancy in the UK, Bruce Marshall Associates, are introducing a mentoring and training services for small businesses with the ultimate aim of equipping them with the skills to do their own PR and Marketing. This isn’t anything particularly new, the PRII regularly run PR workshops, but such a tailored service is an excellent business service in my opinion.

I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple of consultancies in Ireland recognised the same business opportunity and start to offer the same service to SMEs. An overview of how the media operate, a workshop on Public Relations, how to write press releases and tailored press releases would be something that I’d say would be of interest to a number of organisations out there.


8 Responses to “Teaching SMEs how to do their own PR”  

  1. 1 Brian O'Neill

    Funnily enough i am planning something similiar for marketing:
    http://www.freshideas.ie/realworldmarketing

    My logic is SME’s generally can’t afford consultancy, but they can afford training. I am planning on offering the course for £200/€300 so its pretty reasonable.

  2. 2 Ed Byrne

    That’d make a great PDF e-book Piaras … I even venture that you could make some money out of it!

  3. 3 Stuart Bruce

    The quote is from Mau Tse Tung – very apt for our new commerical offering!

  4. 4 Piaras

    Ed – I don’t think you could make an e-book out of it because it would need to be tailored for each client.

    Brian – That sounds like a great idea. For the prices you’d be charging I reckon you’d easily make a few bob.

    Bruce – Do I win a prize? :D

  5. 5 Ed Byrne

    Piaras, much as I know PR companies like to sell a consultative service, of course you could make an e-book out of it – just like everyone other training document is done.

    If SME’s want to do their own PR – then you have to educate them on how to do it for themselves. If you have to tailor it to each company, then you’ve defeated the purpose of DIY PR because you’ve told them exactly what to do.

    An e-book or PPT on DIY-PR would presumably explain how to draft a Press Release; How to Determine is your PR is Newsworthy; How to make contact with Journo’s; and so on.

    Anyone else like to see a generic DIY-PR training doc?

  6. 6 Piaras

    You have to understand that every sector is different and they would have different communications requirements. What you’re proposing can simply be purchased in any bookstore. For a meaningful service they would need tailored media lists and attention would have to be paid to their requirements for things like internal comms.

  7. 7 Ed Byrne

    E-books aren’t services – they’re information packs.

    A book an anything can be purchased in a bookstore, but a short, free e-book equivalent would be great.

  8. 8 Piaras

    You’ll get a maybe as a reply then. Prehaps a seperate blog for ‘How to do your own PR’ in an Irish context and then compile it into an e-book at some point in the future.

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