Public Relations Tips for Small Town Folks

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When most people think of people working in PR they imagine someone with a Bluetooth device in their ear, a latte in one hand, a tablet/phablet in the other, and driving downtown in the big city with music blaring. While some of that is undoubtedly true (where’s my phablet and latte?), it’s not the case for a large portion of the PR world. 

TiradentesBusinesses in small towns need PR work as well. And while many of the tips and tricks that work in more urban areas have the same effect, many must be tailored to your small town audience. Attempting to play them the same way could negatively affect your standing in the community and sales.

Here are a few ideas on how to successfully adapt your message.

Keep Your Audience in Mind 

If you’ve ever lived in a small town, you know there’s a different “feeling” there. It seems like everybody knows you and your business, or they at least know your cousin or best friend. You go to the grocery store and run into at least one person you know (and wonder at the contents of their cart when you know they’re on a diet).

Male Bullhorn

In any case, your audience isn’t quite the same as a broader, more widespread audience in a big city. For example, if you’re speaking to an audience in a small town for a shoe brand, you wouldn’t talk up how great it is on city streets. You would accentuate walking out in the countryside, perhaps, or something that shows how great it is at keeping feet healthy when you work a more rural job.

The “closeness” also gives a bigger incentive to focus on the “word of mouth” factor. If you tell someone you know has a lot of pull in the community or someone else who loves to talk, they will likely spread it around town for you. However, that also means if you make a mistake, it’s more likely to rocket through the community faster. This will keep you on your toes.

The Feel of the Town and Your Brand 

Possibly even more than your audience, your brand is vital to your business succeeding in a small town. If you live in the town it’s generally easy to get the “feel” of the town, but you might be going after that niche while living remotely. Either way, though, the trick is to understand what makes the town tick.

For instance the shoe company might want to focus on the “small town” feel of the little community. However, they’ve never actually been there, and they don’t quite understand how the town works. They pride themselves on being “bigger than they are” and are excited about all the growth they’ve had recently.

This means any reminder that they’re a small town is a big no-no. They want to feel more metropolitan than they really are. If your shoe company keeps talking about farming and other rural matters, you could be totally losing any goodwill you gained before.

Does this fall in line with your brand? If not, and you really want that niche, you might want to rethink what your brand really is for the long run.

What’s the main difference between small town and “big city” PR?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab your free 160-page copy of the Big Press Release Book – Press Releases for Every Occasion and Industry here:

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