Making the most of public relations is a cost-effective way to market your business. To spark awareness with new prospects and maintain engagment with existing clientele.
Public relations is not just for big business. Public relations is for all businesses – from startups to those well established.
Remember – ‘Public relations’ refers to those outreach activities you do – to connect with your audience as people.
It’s those activities that put you front and centre, in the minds of the people who matter most – your customers.
Staying top of mind is key.
Endeavour to discover meaningful ways to connect with your customers – to resonate and make a difference – and be remembered long term.
A public relations strategy is a great way to gain maximum advantage with minimal upfront cost. All that is required is you – and the time, persistence and yes, bravery; to reach out, speak out and be heard.
Public relations is great for growing a small business – but how does it work and what are some simple, low cost strategies we can implement here? And most importantly – will public relations deliver a measurable return on investment and boost our bottom line?
The answer is yes, yes and yes!
But, before we proceed any further, a useful quote from Sophocles.
This quote is: “Success is dependent on effort.”
N Sophocles was an Ancient Greek playwright, who lived in Athens from497 to 406 BC.
My guess is that striving to become a successful playwright in Ancient Greece was not a lot different to building a small business in the modern world.
Sophocles knew “Success is dependent on effort.” He knew that to be a successful playwright – he would have to invest time, energy, soul and spirit and form a meaningful network of people behind the scenes (from actors to theatre owners and government officials) – to write the greatest of plays for the greatest of audiences.
This is exactly what we go through as business owners!
We have to invest our time, energy, soul and spirit – to deliver the best for our ‘best’ – that is our longterm customers, our trusted audience.
I think we can all agree with Sophocles – Success is 100% dependent on effort.
So that gives us encouragement with regard to public relations. Successful public relation is 100% dependent on effort.
Ok. Where do we go from here? How can Public Relations help in your business?
Firstly, the goal of an effective public relation is to create or change or reinforce public opinion.
Why not consider your public relation goals in the context of your brand – you goal is to create awareness of your brand, make positive changes to how your brand is perceived whilst reinforcing your brand values.
4 REASONS WHY PUBLIC RELATIONS IS GREAT FOR BUSINESS MARKETING
When you’re planning your next round of marketing activities for your business, include public relations in your growth strategy.
Why? It is a proven performer. Consider these benefits:
- Public Relations Raises Brand Awareness
- Public Relations Generates Leads & Opportunities
- Public Relations Raises Your Profile Amongst Investors
- Public Relations Attracts Qualified Employees
How do you put that into practice? Why would you choose public relations over other advertising.
Firstly – although public relations – or PR can be low in terms of upfront cost – remember that it is never free. It takes time, energy, planning and dedication – but keep Sophocles in mind here, and that “Success is dependent on effort.”
If done right, it is public relations that can give you your the best return on investment and truly take your business to the next level.
While not advertising per se – public relations does not target paid channels – it is a marketing tool; and a powerful one at that.
Public relations leverages intermediaries and intermediary channels to connect with and positively influence your target audience.
PR works best as part of a broader outreach campaign to connect and engage with industry spokespersons, investors, analysts, customers and prospects – across digital and offline channels – and in the process, ideally becoming a key person of influence yourself.
Public relations is not easy. It is a long distance race – think slow, steady and long term for the best results.
Keep in mind that you are your brand. Why not reach out – and share your story – people will respect you for it, and remember your business when they are ready to buy.
Don’t ever sell. Forget persuading.
Just be you. Share what you know. Be honest. Really – that is all you need.
If it helps – think ‘lo fi’. Just get started with the tools you have at hand. Again, this is not about ‘money’ – it is about ideas first and foremost.
Your ideas. Your story. You.
Today, in our digital age, people value authentically real content more than ever before.
Always keep in mind that your first goal in business is to serve your customer.
A servant’s heart. Get to know your audience. What do they need? How can you help?
Build relationships – put yourself in other’s shoes – remember what it was like when you started out. Try to connect with people one on one – whatever your chosen medium of communication.
HOW DO YOU FIT PUBLIC RELATIONS INTO YOUR MARKETING PLAN?
Public relations informs these essential marketing and brand building activities.
How does PR work in practice?
PR & MEDIA MANAGEMENT
The goal here is to define an ongoing PR strategy that delivers maximum media exposure, promoting leads and building credibility. You media management has to align closely with your brand vision and business goals.
PR & MEDIA RELATIONS
The goal here is to deliver quality stories to media channels that promote your story, to find those points of interest that create interest and deliver value to your audience – whilst remaining on brand, in terms of message delivery.
PR & BRAND REPUTATION
The key goal here is to be aware of your brand values – and work consistently to broadcast those values across all channels. This will build your brand’s reputation over time.
PR & CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS
Ensure your internal communications promote your brand story and your core values while building positive connections between all stakeholders.
PR & SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Contemporary audiences care about the world at large. They demand corporate responsibility and positive social agendas in return for brand loyalty. Use PR to find innovative ways to build your business and help your broader community at the same time.
PR & IMAGE CONSULTANTS
Every picture tells a story. Every image has a message. Make sure that all of your company visuals and images are on brand – and communicate the right way. A brand style guide is a great help it. It will detail how your brand will be represented across all media channels. This ensures that your message is clear and consistent at all times.
PR & MEDIA PERFORMANCE
Reach out to journalists, you tubers and other media personalities. Aim to keep your performance in line with your brand goals and PR strategy. Again, though – be yourself.
Just relax! You’ll do great!
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO GET STARTED WITH PR?
He is a simple go-to list to get started with PR?
This ensure your presentation is consistent and your brand message is clearly presented at all times.
Before getting started, review this list and take on board what is most relevant to you and your business:
- Your Logo
- Brand Statement
- Your Style Guide
- Associated Icons
- Service Examples
- Product Photos
- Demonstation Videos
- Corporate Videos
- Case Studies
- Press Releases
- Social Media Profiles such as Facebook
- Your Biography
- Your personal motto Quotes
- Company Contact Details, Office Locations
This is just for starters. You website is of course a key way to feature all your information – but you can take it a step further with a bespoke media kit.
When Sophocles said “Success is dependent on effort,” he got it right.
Put effort into your public relations activities and results will follow – as sure as night follows day. But keep it simple, diy and do-able. One step at a time.
Good luck with your public relations efforts – and trust in Sophocles – that consistent effort will always yield consistent results.