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iPublicist
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First, congrats on the business, Ian!

In case you haven’t yet decided how to tackle PR…

I agree you shouldn’t go with publicity alone, but I certainly would include it in an integrated marketing communications strategy to instil awareness of your business and what it does, and generate enquiries you’ll convert to transactions.

I’m not sure what PR agency Hugh has dealt with, but no practitioner worth their salt would do a ‘broad publicity push’. The publicity (primarily media relations) should target those most lucrative to the business.

A common mistake with DIY or amateur PR is, as you say, spraying the message and hoping some of it lands in the right places. For instance, getting a small piece in the Herald-Sun when you’re a bakery in an outer-Melbourne suburb will not be as effective at raising awareness or sales as a piece in the local paper (even though it’s less glam and has far fewer readers, those readers have the capacity to behave in the way you wish).

Good luck!

Bec