There are many parallels between health and fitness PR values and small business operations.
Public relations professionals work to build long-lasting, honest relationships.
They help their organizations and clients remain relevant and valuable.
As a small business owner, you strive to be the resource consumers think of to meet a specific need.
Your success is attributed to a loyal customer base that keeps coming back.
PR values ensure customers, employees, and the community are deliberately considered.
You can leverage the following health and fitness PR values to guide your small business operations.
Honesty is the Best Policy
An ethical public relations professional represents his or her organization or clients honestly.
When communications are based on lies and deceit, the truth will eventually come out.
This can escalate into what could have been an avoidable crisis.
Your customers and employees will turn on you, rather than support you, if the truth comes from a different source.
Transparency Builds Trust
Closely tied to honesty is transparency.
If you’re transparent, you seem more human and trustworthy.
One way to build transparency is to set up feedback channels for your employers and customers.
I guarantee you’ll learn valuable insights that can help improve your business.
Any quality communications professional is prepared to manage a crisis.
A key component of this is taking responsibility for your actions.
The fact that you operate a small business means, at some point, you will receive criticism.
The criticism may or may not be rooted in reality, but you need to be prepared to respond.
If the critique is online, a good barometer is to consider how you would respond if the interaction was in person.
You likely wouldn’t yell in their face. (If you would, that’s a different discussion).
Acknowledge their concern and work to find a solution.
Here is a perfect example from a coffee shop I frequent:
Look Beyond Your Front Door
Ethical health and fitness PR pros carefully evaluate how their actions could affect public interest.
As a small businesses owner, you should use your assets to advocate for a cause in the community.
This could be a passive sponsorship or a more active endeavor, such the Des Moines Bicycle Collective.
The bike shop regularly collaborates with city planners to develop bicycle and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure. They also offer an earn-a-bike program, bike shares, bike giveaways, and more.
Adapt to Stay in the Game
Health and fitness PR pros continually adapt to the evolving communications landscape and wellness industry.
As a business owner, being willing to continually evaluate and tweak how you operate keeps you relevant. It will keep your doors (or online shopping carts) open.
This could entail introducing or removing different products and services, or experimenting with social media advertising.
Build and Nurture Relationships
Building these relationships illustrates personal drive and willingness to contribute to others’ success. The individuals that give to the field are the ones that stick out from the rest.
You can show you aren’t strictly about profits by building relationships with the community that supports your existence.
Greenhouse Yoga, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, offers a donation-based class at the farmer’s market and collaborates with SoPro Brewery to offer a fee-based class that concludes with a beer tasting.
Implement Customer-Centric Communications
All of the above values support your ability to be customer-centric.
Communications professionals are obsessed with learning all there is to know about different audiences to resonate with their unique needs and attributes.
You can start by crafting messages that go beyond sales mumbo jumbo.
Instead of “We’re excited to show you our new studio design,” try “This morning’s go-getters got to test-run our new studio design. Let us know what you think!”
A few minor tweaks to your message can throw the spotlight on the real stars – your clients.
It’s not about you and your megaphone, it’s about them and their interests.
PR Values and Small Business: A Perfect Pair
Public relations professionals encourage dialogue between an organization and its public.
These interactions build valuable relationships.
Likewise, small business owners can nurture a loyal customer base by being responsive to customer’s needs.
When PR values shape your business operations, you become more than an organizational robot.
You become a key component of your community, you build long-lasting, loyal relationships, and you become human.
A version of this article originally was published on Spin Sucks.