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Take some positive action for your publicity

January, 2023

Erica Jones, Account Director at Kent-based PR, marketing and public affairs agency Maxim, offers some advice for raising your profile on a budget.

If you’re that way inclined it’s possible to find something to grumble about for every month of the year, but even if you’re the happiest of people, it’s hard to disagree that January and February are – literally and figuratively – the darkest months of the year. And that’s at the best of times.

You don’t need me to list all the reasons this year’s start is even darker than usual, instead I’m here to help inspire some light.


For a small business battling big budget advertising from multinationals it’s really important to keep your name out there, or when spring arrives your customers may have forgotten about you. But how do you maintain your profile?

You already know advertising is important, and even if the budget is smaller than usual it’s definitely still worth paying to advertise in some way because it’s a guaranteed audience and helps to keep you memorable.

Open doors

Next you need to engage with people. If you’re a shop or office in an easy to access location, hold an event. Bear with me, this idea isn’t as crazy as it sounds.

Find a local charity that’s important to you and offer to hold a coffee and cake morning. You open your doors for a few hours on a date and time of your choosing and invite customers, neighbours, passers-by and anyone you can think of to pop in for a spot of elevensies in exchange for a voluntary donation to a good cause.

For the price of a couple of cakes, emails to contacts, chats with neighbours, and a few simple posters on noticeboards you’re raising your own profile while doing a good deed for others: you’re developing good public relations with your community.

Corporate Social Responsibility

If your premises are less accessible, then instead of an event, why not use a quiet winter day for some CSR? Contact the local foodbank and see if they might benefit from a day with an additional team of volunteers to sort donations; maybe a community centre needs their meeting room painted; or ask if the animal sanctuary might like help fixing up an enclosure.

CSR activities don’t immediately improve footfall for you, but take some photos while you’re there, and afterwards they’re a great way of getting your name in the local press in recognition of your good deed. They’re also empowering for your staff, helping them to feel positive and know they’re making a difference.


I admit, not everyone wants or is able to do any of the above, so there’s one other thing I can suggest for getting your name out there and feeling productive during a quiet time. It’s also, mostly, another cheap and easy option: enter an award.

Do your research, because some awards come with an entry fee, but many are free to enter and even if the closing date isn’t for a few months, if you’re quiet now and know the event is happening, now is the perfect time to lay the ground work.

Entering an award simply requires you to review your activities to fill in an application form or write a nomination statement. It’s an opportunity to review business practices in a positive way, share your success, and it can be a great morale boost. In addition, awards are things to publicly celebrate – they’re reasons to get your name out there and remind customers why they need to get in touch.

Whatever option you pursue, taking the time to engage with your community and empower your staff can only ever be considered a good thing for your organisation as it navigates its way to brighter days.

This article originally appeared in Kent Director.

Erica Jones - Account Director

Erica Jones

Maxim / Account Director

posted in: advice, marketing, public relations,

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