Every business owner needs public relations. PR can be a great way to help with both sales and delivering your message to consumers. There is something powerful about a respected magazine, newspaper, or TV show talking about your product or service. This has far more credibility than if you try to tell your story via advertising alone. Because great PR can create credibility, more so than advertising, it tends to also result in greater revenues.
“Utilizing public relations as a way to grow your business is an important, but often overlooked as an affordable opportunity for businesses to expand their reach,” says James Judge, president and founder of Tampa, Florida-based Judge Public Relations. “Ultimately, you want to do good things and then you want to tell others about the good things you’re doing.”
The following fundamentals from JudgePR are essential when building a strong brand presence for any business, organization, or individual through effective PR strategies:
Become your own news source: Entrepreneurs should define what they want to accomplish, craft a message aimed at accomplishing this goal, and then tell everyone who will listen. Create a news page on your business’s website, and make it easily accessible through your home page. Feature anything newsworthy about your business on this page and share stories on social media. Creating original content and linking readers back to your website is invaluable for search engine optimization.
Be honest and transparent: All news is good news as long as you disclose maximum information with minimum delay. Always be honest and never try to cover up or hide something from the public or media. Being proactive with negative situations as fast as you would with positive situations can generate positive exposure from media outlets or at least help you to tell your side of the story.
Be persistent and consistent: News organizations receive thousands of press releases per day and it is possible for a story to get overlooked or lost. Don’t be afraid to call the assignment desks and editors to make sure they are receiving your press releases. You can also use this time to give them a brief pitch on why your story is important.
Broaden your horizons to get noticed: Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone on occasion. Only promoting your business in industry publications or writing about topics within your professional wheelhouse can be detrimental because you are limiting your brand’s sphere of influence. You will stand out more if you are a musician on ESPN rather than being just another musician on VH1.
Patience is key: Public relations doesn’t happen overnight. Don’t get discouraged if you aren’t getting the results you want and never give up. It takes time and effort to get content covered by media outlets. If you aren’t seeing the results you want, change your approach or seek additional help from a PR firm.