Oswestry traders can put themselves on the map by learning the very latest digital marketing techniques at a training course being held in the town.
Kirsty Smallman, who runs PR agency J&PR Ltd, said digital marketing gave businesses a wealth of opportunities to put themselves in front of new customers, but many did not know where to start.
Mrs Smallman, who grew up in Oswestry and continues to work with clients in the town and surrounding areas, said she was saddened to hear another independent trader Honey Pots was leaving the town. It comes after Chrissies and Gooseberry both closed.
The 35-year-old PR consultant said her passion for Oswestry and the wonderful businesses within it had sparked her to host a PR, social media and digital marketing course exclusively for businesses within the market town.
The one-day course to be held at the Wynnstay Hotel in Oswestry on Thursday April 27 from 10.30am to 4.30pm, will inform traders of the advantages and benefits of social media and digital marketing, encourage business owners on the best way to promote themselves and offer advice on how best to target the right audience for their business.
J&PR director Mrs Smallman, who runs her business in Telford with co-director Rhea Alton and their team of PR consultants, said: “Social media and digital marketing are playing an ever-increasing role in the success of businesses, but many are not taking advantage of what is on offer to them through these platforms of promotion.
“Small business owners need to embrace the changing marketplace and realise the importance of social media and digital marketing in improving what they do. These are useful tools to get yourself out there to a wider, targeted, audience.
“We want people to come to Oswestry and know the offer the market town has – independent gift shops and coffee shops are a strong pull, and each and every business needs to build on that attraction.
“If every business can work together through social media to increase the awareness and offering of the town and in turn increase footfall then that can only be a good thing.
“If every trader had the knowledge and the ability to raise this awareness then together they could really make a difference and put the town on the map.
“A digital campaign brought by the traders and business owners themselves would be excellent but first they need to know how.
“This collaboration could also attract more businesses to the town which would see fewer empty units.”
Mrs Smallman said the practical course would focus on those businesses which rely on local customers as well as those who need and have products and services which would attract people to Oswestry from other towns.
She added: “As someone who still considers herself as an ‘Oswestry girl’ who still visits family and friends in the area on a regular basis and works with Oswestry clients, I am passionate about helping the town and those small independent businesses to succeed in what can be incredibly difficult times for some.
“In fact I still do a 70-mile round trip to use an independent optician in Oswestry because it is impossible to find the same service anywhere else!
“Oswestry is a beautiful town and has so much to shout about – including fantastic businesses which are hidden secrets. We don’t want them to be secrets anymore.
“We want the business owners to have the confidence to promote their products and services through the local media and social media platforms.
“Our one-day course is practical and gives business owners the chance to think about their target audience, key messages and the fantastic success stories they should be promoting.
“We give them top tips and tools of the PR world, including press release and blog writing and will show them how to use social media to ensure they are attracting their target market and engaging with both their current and potentially new customers.”
The course costs £99 + VAT per head including refreshments and lunch.
Anybody who would like to book a place on the one-day PR, social media and digital marketing course in Oswestry, or a one-to-one PR mentoring session should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (01952) 567817 to discuss further.