You do not need a degree in marketing or a fully-staffed department to take advantage of good PR or public relations. A lot of these things that you can do to upgrade or boost the image of your organization or company are as simple as calling your local newspaper or showing up at a community event.
Sometimes, when people hear the term marketing, they immediately think of ads or advertising. The fact is, it is merely one element of what should be a very diverse promotional mix. There are other facets used to promote a company.
Elements like public relations are starting to gain traction when it comes to marketing a business. PR or public relations are considered a big brother (or small brother) of advertising. The difference is that the PR aspect focuses more on the promotion of the company instead of the products or services.
It targets all of the stakeholders, including customers, employees, as well as the community. PR or public relations use a lot of elements that have similarities with advertising. It works with outside media, developing the communication pieces, as well as understanding the target market.
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Another difference between PR and advertising is that public relations are sometimes viewed as being more reliable and credible compared to advertising. It is because people understand that advertising is a paid method by the company of reaching to your target market, and the company is going to be biased since they are the one who is paying the ads.
PR is a favorable and useful tool for every company. It is imperative to develop the company’s image within your community and your industry. To do this, it is important to decide first what kind of image you want the public to see. You want them to look at your company as a “fun” organization that might be best for booth sponsorship or attending a local carnival? Or do you want people to look at your company as a “formal” organization that would not fit well in a carnival or festival setting? Why is it crucial to establish the right community image?
First and foremost, your company operates locally; the people in your area will be your everyday customers. In addition to that, how you engage with your community will have an impact on your business. Your ties to the community can help grow your business in many ways.
After you determine your company image, the next you need to do is to set your goals for your PR effort. For example, if you run a lifestyle PR in Miami, you need to place your goal to have at least five published press releases in Miami in one year. You can work towards the company brochure’s publication.
Tools you can use
Now that you decided on what image you want your company to project to the public and your organization’s objectives let us take a look at the tools you can use during a PR campaign to reach the goals that you set. One of the most common PR tools that you can use is the press release.
It can be sent to your industry or local media on are regular basis. Usually, these releases are sent every month so that when a publication has space they want to fill, they will have information about your business to fill it with. A press release can give a piece of relevant information about an organization or the company like employee promotions or appointments, growth statistics, information about the board of directors, as well as the announcements of new business locations.
Press releases can also point out involvement in national or local organizations as well as charitable donations. The key in getting your press release published with all the information that you want is to make it short, direct and straightforward to the point. Do not add a lot of “add-on” to your piece, because publications will just edit it out.
You will also run the risk of removing essential data or information when they edit your press releases. In other words, you need to stick to what is relevant about the subject at hand. A proper press release is not a full article. In fact, it can be two to three sentences long, and two to three paragraph at most. Anything that is longer than three paragraphs is considered as a full article, and publications will not print it. You can put photos with the press release to attract the attention of the publication.
Another tool that public relations experts use is press conferences. It can be used to announce significant updates and big news about the company. It can be a more substantial way of putting the story out in public, which can gain a lot of positive publicity compared to just sending out a press release.
Mergers, joint mergers, as well as acquisitions, can be reported using a press conference. To implement this kind of PR tool, you can organize an event and invite the local industry press to join. Usually, this works pretty well at trade shows or open houses.
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You need to designate a time to make these announcements, so everyone can arrive on time. You can put together a quality press packet so that all the information can be appropriately cited in different media outlets. Following your company’s announcement, you need to answer all the questions from the media and provide all contact information to address the issues that may arise later.
After the conference, make sure to follow up with the media people who attended, as well as those who are not in attendance. Building a company brochure is another public relations tool that you can use. The catalog can give relevant information about your company.
You can include in your brochure your company history, parent or subsidiary company, location and your mission statement. You can also include data on charitable involvement and community. The same information can be used, along with the organization’s finances, to assemble a yearly report. The brochure, as well as the reports, can be used to communicate with the stakeholders in the organization.