By now I’ve come across numerous reasons for companies of any size and structure to engage in Public Relations activity – whether it’s in-house or through a PR agency. Some Businesses are realizing that PR has turned into a measurable and cost-effective practice that translates to sales, while others wish to embark on a periodic reputation and branding track. Whichever objective relates to your current endeavors, there are a number of ways to begin and gain from PR practices that you might want to consider.
I would like to address three major business entities and how they can benefit from tailored-PR. My first advice is to small businesses. Industry statistics show a shift in expenses from advertising and marketing to PR. Not surprisingly, I have noticed newly-coined terms and definitions to this area of practice, such as “converged communications.” It stems from the notion that PR and marketing serve identical goals and, with new media opportunities, these two areas actually share several practices. Analysts covering our industry now state – with confidence – that new media management belongs solely to PR, as well as the evaluation of social media models in online campaigns.
I’m sure you’ve considered this long ago or as a recent initiative, but on some level, you’re convinced that social media is something you cannot afford to pass on. To that end, some thoughts:
PR can essentially get the coverage, targeted audiences, and attention you deserve. What companies refer to as “free media” is actually the PR practice of offering unique angles and the story of you, your company, or your product that can potentially interest readers and viewers alike. Now, with media ranging from broadcast TV to print newspapers, and from blogs to social media, there are several ways to get that PR you seek.
This is an unprecedented era where small businesses don’t have to rely merely on word-of-mouth marketing due to limited budgets. Your small business and entrepreneurial success can get a boost by engaging in low-cost tailored PR.
Website: After launching your website it is important to make it noticeable and search-friendly. Use your field of practice’s key words and repeat them across your website’s pages. This is a basic SEO practice that will benefit your company down the road as people search for your services. Make sure your webpage offers multiple ways to connect with you. Share as much information as you can on what your company is up to, such as a new service or product. Use appealing images and post accurate enticing descriptions.
Facebook and Twitter: Open a Facebook company page. This is where some of the less-official communications take place and where actual leads can grow. Make sure to add images of your products and company. Try to combine multimedia if possible: company brand video clip, product review videos, links to service-related pages from your website, and other sites that fans can find relevant. As for twitter, twitter is like a pet, if you don’t feed it often, it dies. Twitter requires a personal perspective and that means someone needs to post interesting content on it, and regularly. Do not use twitter as a bulletin board for advertising purposes. It is the “water cooler” where people come together to share and “tweet” what’s on their minds. You will be ignored and avoided if you come and shout slogans and ad content.
Blogging: It is a great way to promote your service and website using SEO methods. First, it is interesting to read what you share. This includes your expert tips, insight, and opinion on various issues relating to your business and industry. In addition, if managed properly, your keywords come to play a major role in advancing your searchability online. Whatever it is that you share, make sure to synchronize your website and blog. Make sure each can be accessed from both outlets. If you decide to start a Facebook and a Twitter page, make sure your blog posts appear on both Facebook and Twitter; on the other hand, make sure your Facebook and Twitter page are accessible through your blog. There are numerous apps that automatically synch every post on social media across your channels so you don’t have to feed each separately. Use them.
Media management: If you’ve followed the previous points, you are now ready to invite in external media to check out what you offer. Make a list of media outlets that cover your area of practice. Collect the fax numbers, emails, and phone numbers of contacts within those outlets and update it occasionally. Now, remember this: media management is not about the one-time dance. You will not get the coverage you seek just by sharing the big news. Share the everyday news too. When you reach out to the media, strive to relate to an ongoing story or development that is relevant to your company. With consistency and persistence you will be marked as a quality resource of expertise in your area and, in turn, media will reach back out to you for stories as they happen.
Content: Wrapping up all of these methods is the key that cannot be overlooked. Only genuine, original, quality content will work. Whatever it is that gave you the drive to initiate your small business is the same passion that should be put into your PR efforts.
Following these simple, and free, five steps will make an impact and ultimately create an in-house PR department. As your budget grows, you may want to add pay-per-click campaigns, sponsored social media ads, advanced social media tools and fee-based press release services.
Ronn Torossian is president and CEO of the public relations firm 5WPR.Get more information about PR agency then Please Contact www.5wpr.com
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