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Good question. The issue came up at breakfast with a partner in a very successful regional investment bank the other day.

He and his firm are busy. High-quality middle-market businesses are in much demand. Strategic and financial buyers are out there. Sellers—particularly owners of family businesses—have lots of reasons to sell now. Money's available for financing. Prices have stabilized. Capital gains taxes are on the way up. And competition for market share is only going to get harder.

But, in part because they are so busy, he and his partners just don't have time for "PR," which worries him, too:

  • Are we underinvesting when we're busy in ways that will come back to haunt us when the current pipeline is empty?
  • Are we missing organic search opportunities that provide billboards to owners who need to know about our services?
  • Do we not know about new ways to target those owners?
  • And how do we avoid just talking to our peers and competitors who are also out hustling for deal flow?

Good questions.

So, how can busy executives of emerging growth companies continue to do what they do best and grow their businesses while also ensuring they are continuously keeping up with their marketing efforts and staying ahead of the competition?

Here's what we told that busy investment banker.

1. Define your audiences by geography and industry segment

You don't need to try to reach everyone. Focus instead on the key regions and targets that mean the most to you and your business, and provide them with the information that they care about.

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Greg Miller is founder and president of Marketcom PR. He is a communications strategist whose clients have included large firms, including PricewaterhouseCoopers and General Nutrition Centers, as well as smaller growth companies and startups.