Public relations, or what is more commonly referred to as PR, is a persuasion business. Having a good one is what you, as a business owner, should aim to maintain so people will buy your products or services. So you and your product will stay top of mind for consumers.
But what does good public relations entail? What do you need to do?
In my last post, I wrote the top things you need to consider when planning a business expansion. Towards the end, I mentioned being consistent with your message and your brand. And this is where public relations come in.
The Public Relations Society of America defines public relations as a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.
Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), 2012
If you want your business to grow, then consider maintaining good PR as an essential part of your business. From the small online sellers that sprouted during this pandemic, to the big, established businesses that are trying to survive the economic downturn, good, if not excellent PR, is a necessity.
If you are a small business and are just starting, gaining visibility through multiple social media platforms might be enough. Partnering with bloggers who can create a story and make people follow that story might just work.
But if you are already a established business, and you are neck deep in competition with other big businesses, this is not enough.
Working with a Knowledgeable PR & Branding Agency
PR professionals generate positive publicity for their clients. They keep the public abreast of the activities that your company is doing. They write speeches, they write and distribute press releases, they conduct market research, and they craft responses to negative opinions about your product or business online.
What you need to keep in mind is that PR is different from advertising. While advertising will tell the public to “buy this product,” public relations will say “this product is important.” Advertising builds exposure. PR builds trust. While ads are mostly visual, PR uses language. And if what I’m saying is confusing to you, I’d say, collaborate with a PR & branding company that specializes in your business area because they know what they’re doing.
There is a PR company for every niche. So let’s say you are a law firm. When your law firm collaborates with a company like Elite Lawyer Management, for example, you will benefit from the national media outlets they already have relationships with. They can get your law firm’s name in front of a bigger audience. They can also help you with content marketing to help you promote your organization widely and effectively.
Collaborating with professionals who are experts in the public relations niche allows you to concentrate on what you do the best: running your business. It also takes away the high cost of having to do trial and error, and the stress that comes with it.
One the things that a good public relations firm will do for you is establish your credibility. There are two sides to public relations: the story-telling side, and the damage-control side.
The storytelling side cultivates a story that establishes your reputation as a business. They tell a story about your ideas, your products, your projects, your accomplishments. Then they reach out to established news outlets that will feature these stories about you. This will help attract customers to do business with you.
This storytelling aims to show the human side of your brand through PR materials. Sharing the story behind your company’s founder, for example, can build an emotional connection with your audience. Sharing customer reviews can elicit a similar response and build a loyal client base.
The damage control side aims to mitigate any damage to your business’ reputation. Unintentionally releasing a bad product, for example, can damage your company’s reputation beyond repair. PR professionals come in to craft an actionable plan to mitigate the damage. Recall the products. Issue press releases that would inform the public not to buy any more of those bad products. Let the public know what the company is doing to make the products good again. These are actions that cannot be addressed by advertising.
Building Awareness for Your Product or Service
The storytelling side of PR also aims to build awareness of your company and your product or service. Let’s say you have a complex product or service. The PR professionals working with you can break down the complexities and make it easier for the public to understand.
There is what we call social media, and traditional media.
Traditional media is the likes of the New York Times, or the Huffington Post. Social media is Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. You cannot post a press release on social media. It will be too boring.
PR professionals can take this press release apart and make it an announcement with just 140 characters for Twitter; create a captivating graphic for Instagram and Pinterest; or create a video explainer for Facebook and YouTube.
Easier, Yes, But It Still Takes Time
While it is indeed easier to just work with a reputable PR firm, it will still take time to reap results. Success does not happen overnight, even for the biggest companies out there.
Over time, though, you can expect to see results as your business starts to become a household name and stand apart from your competitors. Growing your business will be a walk in the park once you’ve leveraged the use of
good great public relations.
The Happy WAHM
Marge, also known as The Happy WAHM, is a virtual assistant who turned her passion for entrepreneurship into a worthy endeavor of offering complete business solutions to CEOs and business owners around the world. She turned her back on a thriving corporate career to become a hands-on mom and created a lifestyle that allowed her to build a homebased career, homeschool her children, and still have time to pursue her passion for arts and crafting.
She only posts her content on her website, TheHappyWAHM.com. If you see this content on someone else’s site then it is NOT by any means authorized.
The Happy WAHM