Most business owners understand the importance of marketing. However, they often assume that their company’s marketing strategy begins and ends with advertising. Many companies completely neglect their public relations (PR) campaigns. You should differentiate yourself from your competitors by executing a successful PR campaign to promote your business.
Why You Need to Focus on PR
Public relations is the process of presenting information about your company as news. You will craft news stories about your company and submit them to well-known publishers. It is a great way to educate your customers about your company, its mission and the leaders behind it.
The average customer sees about 5,000 advertisements every day. Consumers filter many of these advertisements out. They also tend to be skeptical, because they don’t know much about the company behind them.
The weaknesses of advertising are the two biggest reasons that PR is so important:
- People are more likely to listen to non-promotional messages from publishers that they trust.
- Your news stories help customers learn more about your business, which enhances your brand and encourages them to purchase your products and services.
You will want to make sure that you create a well-thought-out PR campaign that fosters these goals.
Most companies that use PR have found that it was a more effective way to influence customers than traditional advertising. This is especially true with B2B companies. A recent study from the Content Marketing Institute found that 84% of business decision makers prefer to receive information about companies they plan to work with through press releases and other articles than advertisements.
Elements of a Successful PR Campaign
Public relations is an essential component of your company’s marketing campaign. However, it will be implemented differently. Here are some important tips that you will need to follow to create a successful PR campaign.
Build Message Around Your Mission Statement
Your PR campaign needs to support your company’s brand image. The best way to consistently promote your brand image is to review your company’s mission statement. You may need to revise your mission statement over time, but it should always reflect the values and philosophy that you feel is important.
Establish Your Goals
You will need to decide what your primary goals will be for your PR campaign. Your objectives may include one or more of the following:
- Educating customers about your company’s mission
- Building your relationship with the community
- Attracting new customers
- Improving your company’s reputation
You will want to make sure that your goals are clearly laid out before you begin your campaign. You will also want to create a system to objectively measure the impact your campaign is having.
Frame Your Message Towards Your Audience
You will need to make sure that your message is tailored to your audience. Different demographics respond to different stimuli, so you will need to keep that in mind when creating a call-to-action. You will also need to make sure that your message is submitted to publishers that cater to your target audience.
Remember that a demographic’s views can change over time. The messages that your business used to reach 20-30-year-old consumers in 1990 may no longer be effective. You will need to constantly evaluate your messages and make sure that they fit your target audience.
Emphasize Your Strengths
Why makes your business better than your competitors? You need to answer this question every time that you market your business. Your PR campaign needs to emphasize the strengths of your business to stand out from the competition.
You need to be confident in your claims if you expect them to sound genuine. However, you also need to make sure that you aren’t make unrealistic statements about your company. Far too many businesses fail to be objective when they discuss their strengths. Steve Cody of Peppercomm has said that many of his clients make unsubstantiated claims that their business has changed the marketplace. Cody said that these businesses haven’t been open long enough to make such a difference.
Stick to making objective arguments about the quality of your business. Here are some things that you can include in your PR campaign to gain credibility with your customers:
- Awards from other organizations
- Testimonials from satisfied customers
- Unbiased studies emphasizing the quality of your product
Focusing on solid evidence about your company is much effective than bragging.
PR Should Be Newsworthy
Leading publications are looking for stories that are timely and interesting to their readers. You need to make sure that all of your PR stories fit this theme. Here are some things that you will want to consider:
- You introduced a new product or service.
- Your company just participated in a new study.
- You launched a new website.
- You want to respond to a current event.
Customers have learned to filter out advertisements, but they are still engaged by captivating news stories. Make sure that your PR campaign utilizes them effectively to connect with your customers.
Create a Personalized Outreach Campaign
You will need to submit your story to leading journalists that can get your message in front of your target audience. Keep in mind that these people are serious professionals that want to protect their own reputations. They are not likely to respond to a template email that was mass-mailed to dozens of other publishers.
You will want to carefully tailor your pitches to every journalist. Make sure that your pitch describes how the study would be interesting to their readers.
By: Kalen Smith
PR & Media Contact:
Matt Bird, CEO
C: +1 (646) 401-4499