Crafting your story: The power of public relations in small business success

24th May 2024

In the dynamic world of small business, standing out and making a lasting impact can be challenging. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in business, leveraging the power of public relations (PR) can be a game-changer. PR is not just for big corporations; it’s a vital tool that can amplify your voice, share your story, and build meaningful connections with your audience.

Public relations involves managing how information about your business is disseminated to the public, shaping perceptions, and building a positive image. Unlike advertising, which is paid promotion, PR focuses on earning media coverage through strategic communication and relationship-building.

Benefits of Public Relations for Small Businesses

  • Enhanced Credibility and Trust: Positive media coverage can enhance your business’s credibility. When your business is featured in reputable media outlets, it builds trust with potential customers.
  • Increased Visibility: PR can significantly boost your visibility. Getting your story told in newspapers, magazines, online publications, and social media can reach a wider audience than traditional advertising.
  • Community Engagement: For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, PR can highlight your cultural connection and values, fostering deeper connections with your community and beyond.
  • Cost-Effective Marketing: PR is often more cost-effective than traditional advertising. It relies on creating compelling stories and pitches that media outlets want to cover.

Liandra’s PR success story

Liandra Gaykamangu, a Yolngu woman from East Arnhem Land, is one of Australia’s most prolific and sought after fashion trailblazers and entrepreneurs. Founder and Creative Director of Liandra, an eco-conscious lifestyle brand that combines fashion with contemporary Aboriginal art and culture, Liandra has guided the brand through an incredible growth trajectory over the past six years, cementing itself within the Australian fashion landscape, in that time securing national stockists David Jones and The Iconic.

Liandra has strategically used PR to elevate her brand’s profile. Her work has been featured in prestigious publications including Vogue, the Australian Financial Review, Marie Claire, ABC, Sydney Morning Herald, Elle, Bazaar, The Age, ABC, SBS, 7NEWS, The Daily Telegraph, Australia Who and many more.

Beyond her commercial success, Liandra leverages her brand visibility to drive social impact initiatives, prioritising access to real industry opportunities for remote Indigenous communities. By sharing her story and values through effective PR, Liandra not only promotes her brand but also contributes to meaningful change.

How can I start using Public Relations in my business?

  • Craft Your Story: Identify what makes your business unique. Share your journey, your values, and the impact you aim to create. Authenticity resonates with audiences and can set you apart.
  • Build Relationships with Media: Research local journalists and media outlets that cover topics related to your business. Reach out with personalised pitches and offer to share your expertise or unique perspective.
  • Leverage Social Media: Use social media platforms to share your story and engage with your audience. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are powerful tools for spreading your message and connecting with influencers. IBA’s Strong Women Strong Business closed Facebook network is a great place to start!
  • Create Media Releases: Write media releases for significant business milestones, such as new product launches, events, or community initiatives. Ensure your press releases are well-crafted and newsworthy. Need an example? Here is IBA’s media release about our partnership with the Black Magic Woman podcast series.
  • Engage with Your Community: Participate in local events, collaborate with other businesses, and support community initiatives. Think Local Blak Coffee events, NAIDOC, and regional Supply Nation trade fairs and regional Indigenous business chambers and hubs. These activities can generate positive media coverage and strengthen community ties.
  • Monitor Your Media Coverage: Keep track of media mentions and engagement. This helps you understand what works and allows you to refine your PR strategies for better results.
  • Network Effectively: Attend local business events, join online forums, and connect with journalists and influencers on LinkedIn. Building these relationships can open doors for future PR opportunities.
  • Prepare for Negative PR: Develop a plan for handling negative publicity or crises. Address issues promptly, transparently, and professionally to maintain your business’s reputation.


For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in business, public relations offers a powerful way to share your unique stories, build trust, and grow your brand. By crafting compelling narratives, building media relationships, and engaging with your community, you can harness the full potential of PR. Start small, stay authentic, and watch as your business gains the recognition and respect it deserves.

Embrace the power of public relations and let your voice be heard. Your story is your strength, and sharing it can make a significant difference in your business journey.


By Mishalia Birch
Torres Strait Islander woman and Government and Public Relations Manager at IBA.