How to Make Publicity Work for Your Business: Six P.R. Strategies to Use Right Now
Public Relations (or P.R.) is a wonderful, yet often overlooked marketing tool. P.R. is an intangible ? making it a tough sell for many P.R. professionals. It is our job to sell the concept and show the client how it will enhance marketing efforts and, in many cases, replace costly or one-off advertising. Public relations is just that ? relating to the public. Every outward communication should be carefully executed and the mission of the company should never be compromised. How do your customers find you? How does the public perceive your business? These points can be incorporated into a P.R. strategy that maintains consistent messages to your customers, thereby keeping your company top of mind and, in turn, growing your business.
Below are six P.R. strategies that can be implemented today. Whether you hire an outside professional or keep your publicity in-house, these strategies should be a part of your marketing plan.
1. Brand Building: It is very common for businesses to use advertising in brand-building strategies, however publicity can be less expensive and much more effective in establishing a brand's identity. One complimentary news piece in a publication read by your target consumer can produce significant results. Publicity, whether performed by an external company or executed in-house, can also be cost-effective.
Several online distribution services are available making the cost to send out a press release affordable, and sometimes even free depending on desired reach. It is important that any news release is informative and factual. Many of the online distribution services even offer templates to assist in the development of a release for a small fee. Before paying for such a service, however, be sure to identify hidden talent in your organization ? there may be a great writer in your midst.
2. Generate Press Releases: Press releases are for announcing newsworthy information to the media only. If the information is not news, it should not be announced. In addition to news, a press release should contain only facts ? not hype. Business as usual is not news. Celebrating a milestone such as a ten-year anniversary, one-millionth sale, or appointing a new CEO is newsworthy. In many cases, a newsworthy story can be developed with some creativity.
For example, if your company manufactures comfortable walking shoes you can create a "Walk to Work" day. Provide fun facts about the health benefits of walking and why the right walking shoes are so important. This can be pitched to your local media outlets and may get picked up nationally. Many times current events will also create an opportunity for a press release (see #3.) Remember to always include your company's website at least once and be sure accurate contact information is listed.
3. Tap Into Media Trends: Many times businesses can tie into current events and trends in the media. For example, if the evening news is covering storm damage to an area in your town and your company sells a product or service that would benefit people living in those areas, you have a topical news announcement. Call, fax or email the news desk and tell them about your product and why their viewers need to know about it. Be sure to mention that your story idea is time-sensitive. Watch your local news for one week and take notes. Identify what types of stories the local reporters are covering. Chances are at least one of the subjects covered was a direct result of a recent news story. Listen and learn how one led to the other then be ready to pitch your service or product when future opportunities arise.
4. Increase Awareness by Increasing Search Engine Listings: Each time a release is distributed over the Internet or a story is written and posted online, be sure your company's web address is included. The more links to your site, the better the exposure your site will receive in search engines. In addition to press releases, link swapping, article postings, quotes, and endorsements are great ways to generate links online. Google your company and your competitor's company daily. If your company is not as prominent as your competitor's, read their results listings and learn what they are doing to generate links.
5. Website Improvements Produce More Traffic: Optimize your company's website often. Be sure keywords on the website are targeted toward your consumers. Ask customers what words they would enter in a search engine when looking for your products or services and add those to your keywords. Small adjustments can mean a big difference in traffic to the site and subsequently increased business. Constantly updating web content is an easy and effective way to generate better search engine results. Be sure to update news and information at least once a month. Always add press release announcements to your website press area ? and be sure your press area is easy to find, easy to read, and easy to print.
6. Highlight Expertise: One of the best ways to generate publicity is to establish expert credibility with the media. Do competitors continually get quoted in industry trade publications and you don't? They've probably done a good job of alerting the media about their expertise in your field. Don't worry, however, all journalists want to have more than one expert in any field. Begin to define yourself as an expert by writing articles, including the word expert in press releases, biographies, announcements, and descriptions. If you make a living doing what you do, you are an expert. If you are having trouble determining your area of expertise: ask friends, family, and colleagues to help identify your strengths and start spreading the word. Update the company description on your website right now by including your newly identified expertise and you've accomplished #5 and #6 already!
Angela Garcia is a founding partner in Starfish Public Relations, a Los Angeles based public relations and marketing company specializing in personality driven strategies. Garcia has held several positions in the entertainment industry including HITS Magazine, Warner Bros. Records, Maverick Records, MCA Records, and House of Blues Entertainment. She credits her success to her creative and enthusiastic approach to work and life. For more information about Angela Garcia and Starfish P.R. please visit: http://www.starfish-pr.com
Business Gifts for Your Clients and Employees
Tis' the season for business and corporate gift-giving! Ifyou believe in the law of reciprocity, and if your businessis the least bit successful you must; you know that givingback is not only the right thing to do, but it's very smartbusiness as well. Let's look at some of the benefits andmechanics of Christmas and holiday gift-giving.
A Sensible Way to Use PR
The most sensible way for business, non-profit or association managers to use public relations is to strive to alter individual perception among their target publics, which leads to changed behaviors, thus helping achieve their managerial objectives.
How To Get Zero Cost Publicity For Your Business Part 2
This is the ending to my previous article, How to get no cost publicity for your business. Some other options include signature files, joint ventures, free for all links, informational articles, webrings, and giveaways.
Competition in the News Creates Spin
In larger cities with many outlets they are competing for more news that other outlets cannot get as fast. "THE SCOOP" and also the spin, this spin thing is so that articles can cater to the readership or so they say. I have found that many reporters including at the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Christian Science Monitor, etc completely spin articles. How would I know this? Well I have my sources and I will not tell you!!! Just kidding, thought you might want to hear that excuse one more time.
Driving Near School Buses in Company Vehicles
Ramp Up Your Newsletter to Build a Strong Business
To survive in business, you've got to focus your attention on the areas that will guarantee you success. Your clients are your greatest asset. Taking the time to educate them and connect with them will pay big dividends over the long haul. There are lots of ways to spend your marketing dollars. But I've found that the number one most effective marketing tool around is a newsletter. This is the perfect time of year to fine tune - or develop - yours.
Keep The Publicity Machine Rolling with Reprints
More than half of America skips the Super Bowl, the nation's most-watched TV event. So it stands to reason that not all your prospects will see your publicity, even if you're on 60 Minutes and Oprah. Create a strategy to use your publicity proactively to reach and impress everyone with it. Here's how?
Publicizing Your Company
Got a huge need for publicity and a tiny publicity budget? You don't need to have a Madison Avenue-sized advertising budget to make your name known.
PR - More Than News Releases
Public relations and news releases are synonymous in the minds of some. Because the media relations aspect of PR is so "public", the PR discipline often is narrowly defined by this tactic. PR is much more than cranking out positive client fodder for the media.
The Most Important PR In America
Just happens to be public relations activity that alters individual perceptions leading directly to changed behaviors. PR pulls that off by persuading a manager's key outside audiences with the greatest behavior impacts on the organization, to its way of thinking. Then it moves those external stakeholders to take actions that help the organization succeed.
Pressure From the Top?
Yes, and that pressure often comes from a CEO who knows what a public relations investment SHOULD produce.
How to Write Press Releases That Work And Get Free Publicity
One study found that as many as 90% of the stories you read every day in the newspaper came about because someone sent a press release. Why aren't some of those stories about you?
Financial Planners Garner Free Publicity by Making it Easy for the Media
Would you advise clients to buy a stock based on the say so of an investor relations person, or something you overheard at a restaurant? Of course not. You want to see at least some independent research before suggesting it be added to your clients' portfolios.
A Well-Oiled Strategy Machine
Yes, that's what public relations really is when it tracks important external audience perceptions and follow on behaviors. And again when it does something about those perceptions and behaviors by reaching, persuading and moving to actions you desire, those people whose behaviors affect your organization the most.
Public Relations: Why it Works
The short answer is, it works best when its fundamental premise is the guide, which insures that the primary focus of your public relations program is the behaviors of your most important outside audiences. Not less urgent matters like personalities, communi- cations tactics or administrative concerns.
PR Buyers Beware!
It can bite you and waste your public relations budget when the program emphasizes communications tactics instead of how to make certain your key outside audiences understand who and what you are.
The Ten Ps of PR
Everyone is talking about the Ps of successful marketing, so I thought it was time that PR had it's own Ps - essentials that will help you maximise your PR activities and results.
Killer Press Kits - Press Kits That Demand Attention
So, you've had your book published or you've gone the self-published route, but what do you do now?
Levines Laws For Pitching With Panache
Excerpted from "Selling Goodness- The Guerrilla PR Guide To Promoting Your Charity, Nonprofit Organization, Or Fund Raising Event"
Publicity for Financial Planners--Eight Tips For Success
Individual financial planners can outscore bigger competitors and gain market share with publicity. The key to doing it well: don't mimic the big guys and gals. Do it smartly, but on your scale. How? Here are eight rules:
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