Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Harness the Power of Publicity

Today is the grand opening of the new IKEA store in Portland. Traffic is expected to slow and snarl for the next two weeks as people swarm to the big blue-and-yellow box.

Local residents began to line up on Monday to be among the first shoppers at today’s opening. Along the same lines of the recent Harry Potter mania and iPhone enthusiasm, many people consider today the culmination of a consumer fantasy.

I’ve never been inside an IKEA store (nor read a Harry Potter novel, nor seen an iPhone for that matter), but even I’m not immune to the excitement surrounding IKEA’s Portland arrival. I’ve heard so much about IKEA that I feel I know the store, without ever having been shopping there.

Since IKEA began building the colossal facility out near our airport last year, I’ve been hearing about how it’s not just a store, it’s a destination. I’ve heard about IKEA’s furniture and how it’s easy-to-assemble, affordable, and contemporary. I’ve heard about its lingonberry preserves and Swedish meatballs.

And I’ve heard about all of those things from publicity and word-of-mouth. IKEA only started putting ads in the local newspaper and on the radio in the last two weeks!

Ah, the power of a public relations campaign.

Publicity seems to be something that many small businesses feel is out of reach, but that isn’t necessarily true. No matter what your size of business or sole proprietorship, you can benefit from publicity, too.

In Guerrilla Publicity (by Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman, and Jill Lublin), you'll learn the step-by-step how-to’s of building your name recognition and getting publicity for your small business.

While it’s possible for you to create and manage your own public relations campaign, you can always call in professionals to do it for you.

Think PR firms are just for the big boys? Think again. Talk to Deborah at The Swift Collective. I spoke with her yesterday and I was impressed by her company’s dedication to meeting small business needs. She offers marketing and public relations expertise with the kind of flexibility and support needed specifically by small businesses.

No comments: