Public relations (PR) is simply getting people to talk about your business with the aim of raising positive awareness about your business. Businesses that use PR attest to the fact it helps build relationships with customers and has long-term gains on building the credibility of a business. There’s more that goes into it and may require considerable resources just like marketing.
We asked entrepreneurs and business owners how they use public relations for their business and here are the insightful responses;
#1- Communicate my story
Part of my industry is having conversations with people and teaching them leadership to help their businesses thrive. It only made sense that part of my story was communicated through Public Relations efforts. With my background, I am able to give advice on leadership and the food and beverage industry so can adapt my responses. Sharing inspirational stories and expertise in the industry has helped me secure national media coverage. I also surround myself with marketing leaders and have teamed up with professionals that can help me craft the messages and find the writers that the stories fit with.
Thanks to Rebekah Goldman, Taking the Wheel Consulting!
#2- Two ways
There are two ways to use PR for business: 1) To try to get your name into the news…and… 2) To try to keep your name out of the news (That will cost a lot more)/ Also…there are two ways to measure the results of PR… 1) You can track how many news items mentioned your pitch…and… 2) Regarding Crisis PR…you can measure the results by how much restitution the company had to pay and how many years the executives got in jail. In each case, the lower the number, the better.
Thanks to Robert Barrows, R.M. Barrows Advertising & Public Relations!
#3- Extend our brand reach
In doing so, we spread our brand authority to wider audiences compared to when we don’t use public relations. After all, one crucial characteristic of a successful business is the ability to create a positive superficial image in the public’s eye. We can easily do that by effectively performing public relations practices in social media, the press, our website, and other platforms.
Thanks to Jared Ebrahimoff, Lavari Jewelers!
#4- In the face of a crisis
I am no different than any other individual, company or brand that should incorporate public relations programs as a cornerstone in their business plan. I practice what I preach. Competition is fierce in any business. In the PR world, to stay top of mind with emerging and existing companies, publicity needs to be consistently generated on all platforms to brand my identity, market my services, attract investors, clients, and employees. One of the ways I use public relations is in the face of a crisis. The coronavirus is by far one of the largest crisis situations that has faced the world. Crisis communication planning is a strategic way to be ahead of the curve when an unforeseen circumstance hits your business.
Thanks to Marie Y. Lemelle, Platinum Star Public Relations, Inc.!
#5-Address issues affecting our industry
As far as public relations is concerned, we’ve used it in the past to address issues affecting our industry head-on. The most obvious example last year was when the college admissions scandal broke nationally. I reached out and spoke with a number of different media channels about how the system is flawed and why such a scandal could occur in the first place.
Thanks to Shaan Patel, Prep Expert!
#6- Build awareness, visibility and credibility
For my business the benefit of PR is that the perception of being included in a story is much higher and more credible than a paid ad because it is perceived as more objective almost like an endorsement. In my experience PR is the single most cost-effective thing a brand can do to build their awareness, visibility and credibility. The smaller the budget the more important it is to do PR because advertising is about reach, frequency and volume so if you cannot advertise a lot you will not get noticed or remembered at all so it can be a waste of money. With PR if you get included for instance as one of Oprah’s favorite things (as many of my clients have) that single mention can literally put your brand on the radar and sell out your entire inventory in hours or days. PR is called earned media because the brand gains exposure by sharing information with the media via a press release or direct pitch and cannot control how or whether the information is used. Anyone can pay for it so earning it is best!
Thanks to Paige Arnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls!
#7- Two ways
Tie PR to HR. The two are really connected – though many people may not realize it. If you treat your employees right, they will create a better public image for you via Glassdoor. Valuable Content. Create shareable and unique information such as podcasts, infographics, or other content. This will paint the image that your company is of high-worth to others!
Thanks to Tim Reitsma, People Managing People!
#8- To reach out and help
As a business owner focusing on digital marketing strategies amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, we are now using public relations to reach and help the community around us. Now, to extend our budget, we use our social media and blogs to post and gather people who would also want to donate for our outreach program and relief operations. Since physical contacts are being avoided, we are frequently posting fundraising campaigns alongside our promotional posts. Unlike advertising, this public relation strategy of ours is not only to let the public be aware of our products and services but to also build trust and show commitment with our consumers. Public relations is an essential facet of every business, in fact, it is recommended to set aside at least 10% of a company’s annual budget into PR.
Thanks to Scot J Chrisman, THE MEDIA HOUSE!
#9- Branding and digital revolution
Digital revolution- Social media and the digital space are the new billboards. To stand out from the rest, you need to constantly talk to your audience about your products, maintain a healthy engagement with your client on the social space and overall show the humane side of your business. #Branding is key: You are most likely to purchase a branded shoe over a nameless one. Branding has huge value today, with most people opting to purchase from well known and established companies. Your PR wing helps spread the word about your authenticity, and your constant presence on digital and social media ensures that you are a familiar brand.
Thanks to Avinash Chandra, BrandLoom!
#10- Focus on the strengths
In this competitive market today, the essential factor in engaging new costumers is word of mouth. The era of the classic advertisement has been almost finished. Now people want to hear from your brand in the words of whom they can trust. I think to take advantage of public relations as much as you can, you should focus on your strength. Try to bold them and show the world how you can create value for them with your capabilities and do not forget to be patient. Your reputation will increase gradually. However, unlike an advertisement, public relations is a two-way street, and it creates responsibilities for you too. The more you connect with your audience, the more duties you have. You commit to protecting their trust, and honesty would be the most significant characteristics that you and your business need to have.
Thanks to Hamim Moshtaghian, Elcid Tour!