In today’s highly competitive business environment, investing in public relations and crisis PR is an absolute must for many businesses and organizations. You never know what is just around the corner, and having a plan of action in place for an unexpected emergency is essential.

But what if you are just starting out and don’t have the budget for a professionally executed PR campaign or crisis communications plan? Rest assured there is a lot you can do on your own. Just remember to share with care and think before you post. If you do, you will get through the storm.

There are many ways you can engage your stakeholders, increase brand awareness and establish yourself as an expert in your industry that will require your time, commitment and common sense.

Need ideas to market your business when you're low on cash? Here are 4 tips to help: #socialmedia #sharewithcare Click To Tweet

Below are four tactics every business can use regardless of its communications budget.

1. Engage your audience on social media

Social media is the quickest and easiest way to connect and establish consistent two-way communication with your customers and potential business partners. Make sure your company has a consistent presence on social media and don’t forget to utilize various platforms for virtual networking.

But be wary of what you post. People are quick to err on the side of outrage to post with thoughtfulness and care. Make sure your reason for posting something is well-grounded so you avoid online disasters that can spiral out of control fast.

2. Share your expertise through public speaking

Research and identify potential speaking opportunities at your local and regional organizations. These can serve as great platforms to introduce yourself and your business to larger audiences, as well as establish your reputation as a thought leader within the industry.

Establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry will set you apart and give you added credibility.

3. Use free channels to engage influencers in your industry

Public relations agencies have access to tens of thousands of local and national reporters, but there are also free tools that allow you to connect with influencers who might be interested in your story. One example is HARO (a.k.a. Help a Reporter Out), which allows you to receive dozens of specific story requests from journalists and bloggers and contact them through the HARO platform with your corresponding pitch. You can also do manual research to identify the influencers who have covered similar companies and reach out to them directly.

4. Share wider industry news and offer your insights

Stay on top of what is happening in your industry by using free news monitoring tools, such as Google Alerts for example. Monitor specific keywords and related trending topics on social media. Share interesting industry-related news with your followers and offer your expert insights into the situation. If you can be informative and offer helpful advice you will continue to gain new followers who could then become your loyal customers.

Interested in what professional public relations can do for your business? Give Red Banyan a call.

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