What comes to mind when you say the words ‘grand opening’? Balloons, red carpets, dignitaries shaking hands? All of the above? Grand openings don’t have to break the bank to bring in the crowds – in fact, a grand opening doesn’t always mean hosting a physical event at all.
In some cases, a grand opening can simply refer to the launch of a business. A new business endeavour offers a prime opportunity for a great PR story and is always worth sharing with your target media. Why? Because there’s nothing people like more than a bit of good news!
Here are our five reasons why promoting your grand opening can make all the difference for your business – and a few other top tips along the way.
- Establishes long-term media contacts
More often than not, journalists are keen to hear from entrepreneurs and business owners looking to improve communities by starting a new business. If you’re hosting an event, invite them to come along and cover it or, if your launch doesn’t include an event, send in news of how well your first few weeks in business have gone.
But a story about the launch of your business is just the tip of the iceberg. Once established, you’ll be generating newsworthy moments on a regular basis, by donating to local charities or creating employment opportunities for the community. After a journalist has covered news of your launch, they’ll be familiar with you and your business when you approach again them with your second, third or tenth story – read our blog on what makes a good news story here. Just make sure you’re not compromising the relationship you’ve worked hard to build by bombarding them with sales messages.
- Introduces you to your customers
However big or small, communities are always intrigued by something new. Whether that’s a new shop on the high street, or a large business opening a headquarters nearby, it gets people talking. Generally, their interest will be in what the business does, the person behind the brand and what impact their business is going to have on the community. So, when sending a news story to the press, take the time to introduce yourself, provide the journalist with a short but detailed bio, and explain that you’re also open to interview opportunities. Simply put, make it as easy as possible for the journalist to learn about you so they’ll share your news to your potential customers.
- Generates trust in your product or service
We could talk until the proverbial cows come home about the value of third-party recommendations. In a nutshell, new customers are more likely to trust in your product or service if they’ve read about you in their local paper or heard you being interviewed by a much-loved local radio presenter. Although leaflet drops and social media advertising should be part of your marketing mix, a journalist covering news of your business launch will certainly catch the attention of the people you’re trying to reach and begin to build that all-important trust.
- Builds connections with your business community
Sharing news of your business launch with the press is also a great way to initiate relationships with other businesses in your community. Bear in mind that if you’re operating a B2B brand rather than consumer, the local press isn’t necessarily your only target audience. You’ll want to send news of your launch to trade titles too. This is where you can begin to build trust with clients, suppliers and affiliates alike.
- And a chance for you to celebrate how far you’ve come!
The launch of any business often comes at the end of a long and very intense process of getting a business off the ground. Congratulations – you’ve made it! Whilst a whole new kind of hard work is about to begin, this is a great opportunity for you to stop, take stock of the journey you’ve been on and enjoy seeing your name up in lights (or in the paper, at least). Enjoy a glass of bubbly and toast your success. If you don’t share news of your new endeavour with your target media, you’re in danger of it passing potential customers by. This is your chance to make an impact from day one.