If you’re a small or medium-sized company there will come a time when your business will require some level of public relations (PR) support. You may have a new product or service you wish to announce or have company news to share. Perhaps your competitors are shouting louder than you and it’s time to raise your profile and educate your target audiences. Chances are that as a growing business you’ll also have a fantastic story to tell and often the best way to do that is through PR.
Understanding how PR can help establish and improve your company’s reputation both on and offline will give your marketing strategy purpose, clear direction and deliver results.
If you’re taking the PR plunge or just dipping your toes in the water, here are some useful points to consider.
Advertising v PR
While advertising has its place as part of an integrated marketing campaign, there’s a risk your messaging may go unnoticed by consumers who are bombarded by it on a daily basis. With ‘paid for’ media such as advertising, it’s immediately obvious someone is trying to sell you something. PR on the other hand is more subtle.
As consumers we now have immediate access to a wealth of information and content. We can browse online and read product reviews, or visit a company website to check out what existing customers are saying. Many potential buyers will have done their homework before choosing to purchase from your company. Appearing across multiple media channels makes your company easier to find, and if those searches reveal positive reviews and third-party endorsements resulting from ‘earned’ media coverage then your credibility rating rises.
If you’re looking to raise your company’s profile as well as support business growth, then a sustained PR campaign will certainly help build awareness, create brand affinity and generate interest. There are a range of PR tactics at our disposal to help your business achieve these goals such as new releases, images, videos, social media, blogs, webinars, infographics, reviews, how-to content, thought leadership articles, whitepapers, case studies etc.
Ensuring a steady flow of PR content will help position your company as a voice of authority and increase visibility in a competitive market. For smaller-sized companies this can be particularly useful as it may help your business appear larger and more established than it actually is.
You may already have certain demographic information about your target audiences, but how familiar are you with the type of media they consume and their preferred social media platforms?
If you’re looking to raise awareness in the local area then consider regional press and radio. Both of these have a wide audience reach and are effective ways to promote your business. If you have a major news story, ideally with a human-interest angle, then it’s possible a local television channel may pick it up.
Having good relationships with both regional and national media contacts can help deliver positive coverage for your company. It’s therefore important to know how and when journalists prefer to be contacted, where your content might fit and ensuring they are given something their readers, viewers or listeners will engage with. As PR specialists we make it our job to know this. We deal with the media on a daily basis and are therefore well placed to deliver your message in a timely and effective manner, while increasing your chances of positive media coverage.
The aim of the game is for your business to generate more enquiries and drive sales. To do this it’s important to establish trust with your audiences firstly by getting noticed and making your presence known and then by building and maintaining your company’s reputation.
If you’d like to discuss how PR can make a difference to your business, then call us, or drop us a line here.