fbpx

Beat your competitors with effective PR campaigns

Don’t you just hate it when you open a magazine and one of your competitors is featured and you just know that they will get customers from the publicity? You ask why were they featured and not me? The answer is a public relations program.

Public relations (PR) is an extremely efficient method of communicating with a target audience – and it doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. Business owners can choose from a variety of simple and cost effective activities that will help achieve their business objectives.

The reason that PR works is that it provides third-person credibility not obtainable through paid advertising. In fact, it is said to have 10 times the impact of traditional, paid advertising, placing you above your competitors as the “top of mind” choice for customers, investors and business partners.

Some common features of a PR campaign can include:

The foundations
Key messages – are designed to ensure that the target audience hear and remember the most important aspects of the business. Key messages are, in essence, a description of a business’ competitive advantage, and are commonly known as elevator statements.

It is best to have no more than seven key messages. Once developed, they should be incorporated into all oral and written business communications.

Target audience – knowing your target audience is one of the simplest ways to achieve your marketing communications goals and save money.

When defining your audiences, really drill down to specifics. For example, rather than “all small businesses in the north shore area” it should be, “businesses employing up to 10 staff, located in the suburbs of Neutral Bay and Mosman etc, in the industry areas of marketing and business consulting etc”.

Study the various segments of your particular market and develop strategies to reach each one.

Media program
Although developing a comprehensive media plan can be difficult, you can start with a few easy steps. Think about which media outlets your target audience gets their information from. Make a list of each media outlet and the journalist and start reading/watching. A well-defined media program which reflects the target market and includes realistic activities will be more likely to succeed.

Media releases
The most important element about media releases is not so much the quantity of them, but the quality of the stories, and ensuring they are written for the target media. Media release topics can include the work your business is doing, issues and trends in your industry, launch of new product, new office opening or a new contract win.

Contributed articles and editorials

Many publications are stretched for resources and welcome contributed articles, as long as they aren’t heavily branded by the business. They are also a very effective generator of sales leads as articles position the business as an industry expert.

Online PR
Social media has never been more significant than now, with the growing importance of blogs, podcasts and social utilities as a source of information. Blogs are ideal for businesses as they allow products and services to be marketed to readers through the information provided in posts. They also improve organic search engine rankings. The powerful viral effect of social networks and online communities builds on traditional PR strategies to have a positive effect on the brand.

Customer case studies
Case studies provide ideal opportunities to leverage business successes and reinforce the business’ key messages through “story telling”. They provide audiences, including journalists, an idea of how the business’ products actually work through the perspective of customers.

Sponsorships
Targeted sponsorships are an excellent way of building brand awareness in key markets. However, it is recommended that any sponsorship is very targeted. Two of the most effective sponsorship opportunities are industry awards and conferences.

Advertising

Advertising can be one of the most effective ways of generating sales leads and building brand awareness. It also can be the most expensive! One way of avoiding dedicating huge budgets to advertising is using vertical market publications, such as industry association and trade publications. It is possible to negotiate free editorial if paying for an advertisement in many of these publications.

These are just a few of the many ways to improve the communication channels between your business and customers using PR. These activities will increase sales leads, improve brand awareness and, ultimately, lead to business success.

—Catriona Pollard is Director of CP Communications (www.cpcommunications.com.au)

People who read this, also liked:
Business benefits of partnership marketing
Beginners guide to social media

Seeking to promote your business? Create your free Australian business listing with Dynamic Search business directory – Sister site of Dynamic Business.

  • Interesting!

    In the past, offline media was one of the major mediums to promote one’s business and brand awareness. However, with the increasing popularity of the online media and its positive results, more people are turning to online marketing techniques to build a strong business presence across the globe. There are several online marketing strategies we can use for our Internet marketing solutions, but SEO (search engine optimization) today has taken a stance much ahead of any other technique.

    SEO brings with it tremendous scope for business improvement with improved keyword positioning, improved ranking and overall increase in the ROI and cuts down on the PPC cost extensively in the long run. This is a proven marketing solution if done the right way using the right techniques based on your website requirements.

    I thought this information would be helpful for those who wish to promote their website and get great results.

  • i beliving most of the business should outsorce theur business in foreign country and also use web technoligies to develope their markete.
    Business Development Manager
    Web developing and Softwaredeveloping company
    Nepal.

  • Most of the people do not give sufficient attention towards link popularity, and how pagerank and linking strategies are associated. If they act, they recurrently make the incorrect decisions through unawareness of what linking strategies works and which do not. In fact, it is not difficult to understand once you begin to grasp the fundamental speculation of how major search engines analyze your website. This is not say that webmasters recognize search engines, since nothing do. Not except they are also accountable for building the algorithms that decide your position in the search engine listings for the keywords/key phrases, or search terms, concerned.

  • Now a days most of the people are looking for online business.. I think the benefits of SEO makes one of the most effective tool to promote internet business opportunity.

  • Don’t forget promotional merchandise!

    If you have a new business service, company logo, or even if you are just looking for a way to reintroduce former clients to your current services something as simple as a free gift with the right message can reinvigorate your client database.

    Chances are the business decision makers you are competing for the attention of are looking for something to help them make a choice. A well-timed (and well crafted) corporate gift could be that thing that pushes them in your direction!

  • Don’t doubt your own abilities! Instead of spending a lot of money hiring someone to create PR for your small business look into books or even community college courses to educate yourself on the subject. I took a few classes that were only 3 hours each at a local school for business and they totally transformed my views on promotion and marketing. You know your business better than anyone – there is no reason you couldn’t devise you own PR plan.

  • Corporate Gifts and Promotional Products provide those little employee extras that will have your company talked about for years to come. At the end of the day, your employees will love free items and marketing to them with company name or logo will only expand your brand in whoever’s eyes come in contact with. A simple cost effective loyalty program.