The importance of using PR in your marketing mix by Reputation Advocate Lorna Jackson, Advance and Get Noticed
When you are first starting out on your business journey there are so many things to think about. The marketing tool box to help promote your business is vast with the old tried and tested methods as well as new digital marketing, which everyone wants to master.
Many people overlook Public Relations and the importance of it being included in your marketing strategy? Many people are under the impression that Public Relations is only used to protect your reputation when things go wrong.
However, Public Relations can be the strategic link to your marketing/promotion that brings it all together, giving the focus to your promotional activity – providing synergy. It’s often ignored as people are unsure how to do it, or think it’s too expensive; for little return.
To grow your business organically, you would rely on your past customers providing referrals and testimonials to build a good reputation helping you become a respected business.
Using PR you can enhance that method and tell a much wider audience about your success stories, achievements, and latest innovative product developments and so on. You can be targeted selecting specific audiences who read; browse and frequent specialist internet sites or media publications.
We have market segmentation at our fingertips, breaking down to the finest details of how people like to be communicated to; and what influences them to buy.
You can use PR in many different ways:
Press releases are written to catch the attention of journalists, which can then result in stories being published to reach a much wider audience.
A mobility shop selling products and furniture specifically for those with mobility issues – goes that extra mile to personally deliver a rise-recliner chair to Newcastle after the customer purchased the chair from their company showroom whilst on holiday down south. This story resulted in a short article in the local newspaper showing the company as a caring and personal organisation that wants to fulfill the customer’s order demonstrating the use of the equipment to ensure customer satisfaction.
Product launch events – there must be a story or it would appear to be an advert. Advertorials – are usually paid for; advert with editorial
Awards – publicising your successes within your industry through trade press or local/national press.
Offering a comment/quote/ as leaders in a specific product or service; to become known as specialists in your industry/professional service.
Celebrating an anniversary – 1st year in business, achievements so far etc;
Sometimes business owners do not see press opportunities as they are working too close to the business and feel they are just doing their job. A PR professional can see the potential stories that can then be told to raise the profile of the business.
Other examples of PR are Articles/Case Studies; these can be prepared in advance and be used as part of your marketing materials when speaking to clients or tendering for contracts. They don’t have to be written articles. More and more companies are using video to demonstrate their products/services, testimonials and training.
All of these examples promote your business and can be used within your marketing mix to demonstrate your company values and ethics, which in turn builds your company’s reputation promoting the benefits of using your company.
Press releases, articles, video, can all be used on social media platforms and internet websites too bringing all your marketing together sending the same message and keeping your corporate continuity.
You can use and re-use PR materials again and again adjusting/tweaking to suit your target audience, making it cost effective and time efficient.
Open your mind to the power of PR.