Public Relations (PR) helps build and maintain positive public image of your business to the public. At the heart of this form of communication lies effective dialogue. It includes gaining exposure to audiences using topics of public interest and news items that do not require direct payments.
Across America thousands of small- and medium-sized businesses conduct PR campaigns every day with little investments. Whether you’re a small-business owner or an entrepreneur, PR can help level the playing field between you and your bigger competition. For you to excel in PR you will need to sharpen a set of practical skills and strategies designed to enhance your company’s reputation.
If done right PR can help you achieve your marketing objectives at a fraction of the cost of paid advertising. The key to success in PR is to be creative in your messaging. In a nutshell your PR tasks should be newsworthy and communicate the marketing message.
This is achieved through a planned and sustained set of activities.
PR Vs Marketing
Public Relations is a business tool that often gets confused with marketing or advertising. Though the two are related they are very distinct activities. There are four key differences between PR and marketing. These are appeal, control, credibility and repetition.
Your publicity effort should have an angle. The messaging should appeal to the media, the intended public and customers at large. Ads appeal to only one audience which are sales prospects and do not reach a broader audience.
When you advertise, you have almost total control over the content, format, timing, and size of your message. You specify how big your ad is and when it runs. With public relations however you have almost no control over the content, format, timing, and size of your message as it appears in the media. Though you can write anything you want in a press release, you can’t dictate to the newspaper how it is printed or used.
People are ever more skeptical of advertising. They tend to take advertisements with a grain of salt when it comes to believing the claims. However, people might be inclined to believe what they hear on radio, see on TV, or read in the paper. They come with the belief that if it runs in the news it must be true. This is because publicity is promotion masquerading as editorial, feature, or news.
Advertising is repeatable while PR is not. The same advertisement can run repeatedly as many times as you want it. Conversely, with PR, a media source will run a given press release or cover a publicity event only once.
Public Relations Strategies
Below are some effective public relations strategies that will help guide you to success.
1. Know Your Audiences
For your message to reach the impact that you want, you will need to first understand and segment your audiences. Remember that not all audiences are the same. You can reach some through events, others through social media and yet others through networking events. Whatever content you generate should have your audiences in mind.
2. Get Organized
PR is achieved through a planned, sustained set of activities. You will need a calendar to organize your outreach activities. You must also start generating a contact list of media, opinion leaders, personalities, customers and likeminded companies to engage and collaborate with.
3. Think like a reporter
Your press release should be interesting and to the point with a sprinkle of insightful quotes in it. A brief company history at the end can help too and don’t forget to include your contact details.
4. Do your Research
There are no substitutes for research and careful planning in your PR work. Research is an essential part of public relations management as it allows you to be strategic. This ensures the communication is specifically targeted to audiences who want, need, or care about the information. Study PR campaigns that you would like to take inspiration from. See what the competition is up to and think about outmaneuvering them.
5. Work with a Team
First off you will need to set up a dedicated team for your PR efforts. If you have a staffer who is great in graphics, writes witty copy or simply takes good pictures then get them to your team. Your team will help you add value to your messaging, provide feedback and help you distribute your messages. A team can help ensure that any messages you convey are by design rather than an accident.
6. Enhances Your Online Presence
In this world where everyone is digitally connected you need an online presence to reach to your customers. Your social media presence Facebook, Instagram, twitter are great mediums to reach your public. You can use them to make announcements, make connections and publish content.
7. Know your Competition
The key to any successive business is to strengthen your comparative competitiveness. Your business, and every team within it, must have a source of competitive advantage. Understanding, identifying, creating, and sustaining a competitive advantage is at the heart of a good strategy.
8. Create compelling content
Public relations is about sharing the right information to the right places and people. This helps build your brand and brand reputation. You need to learn your target language, desires, things that resonate with them, and the things they don’t like. Choose the right topic for your content. Compelling content should include elements of curiosity, urgency, relevancy, value and emotion.
9. Think like your Audience
Remember to design your campaign from the public’s point of view, not your own. Subtlety is key here! As a business you will need to use wording that conveys a solidly positive image, forcing opponents to take up the negative stance. Run by your message with friends and family to see what they think of the messaging before sending it out.
10. Define Goals and Objectives
Knowing what you want to achieve and how you want to get there can help bring clarity to your approach. This will help in determining which audiences you need to reach, and which messages and tactics are most likely to help you achieve your goals.
11. Establish a working Strategy
Choose the right PR strategy to suit your business needs. You will need to distinguish between public relations strategies and PR tactics. Strategies fall under the realm of general approaches to achieving objectives. While tactics are the day-to-day activities a business implements to carry out each strategy.
PR Tips for Getting Publicity
12. Get the media’s attention
The key to getting media coverage is to offer them a story that they can’t resist. You will need to understand your marketing message and creatively craft them to get maximum impact. Understand that the media is looking for news – anything that is new, different, and creative. You will need to build a good relationship with your local paper or TV station. Try to have consistent engagement with them so that the press doesn’t omit you because they don’t know about you.
13. Get your Promotion game on
Promotion is a great way to attract customers and could be worth a thousand ads. The better your PR visibility, the more your other marketing communications efforts will draw interest. So, get out your freebies, merchandising, T-shirts and posters and start spreading the love. Your merchandising will help create resonance among your customers. Make sure that your marketing collateral have your logo on them
14. Be funny
Humor has always been a good way to get people to feel positive about an organization. Many businesses produce humorous advertisements, but there is no reason why PR should not also operate with a sense of fun. Look for something that your target audience would like. Use this to tap into their sense of humor; remember this may or may not be the same as your own.
15. Tease them, make them anticipate
Most companies like to blow the fanfare when they have something new to promote. After all, it is a great opportunity to show what can be done with an effective PR campaign. This will allow them to give the media something really meaty for a change. Here success lies from doing something different from what everyone else is doing.
Make sure to offer something that people will find exciting. This often works best for new products in a series, such as a new model car, book and movie sequels, and new menu items in restaurants. To do this first set a date for the release of the product and publicize it. Release the product in a limited way to enhance anticipation.
16. Have them compete
Competitions, raffles, lotteries, contests of any sort always attract attention, but some are more newsworthy than others. Those who compete will remember the firm and often talk about the competition. Think of an issue, event or topic relevant to your business and then launch a competition along that theme. For a great outcome, the competition should make the news in some way. Above all make sure that the competition is strongly branded.
17. Use the reverse pyramid format in your press release
The mainstay of any public relations endeavor is the press release. The ideal press release is simply, thinly disguised advertisements masquerading as news. If you write it in a manner that it is too promotional the media might not run it. First, write it in a style that is familiar to the publication you have in mind.
Make things easy for journalists by writing in a reverse pyramid style. The whole story is contained in the headline, then each paragraph should offer a little more detail. This will prevent your press release from being cut out too much in the editing room. Avoid using more than 1,000 words.
18. Hold a media event
The media is your go-to medium to disseminate your message. Hold a press conference or a media junket whenever you have something important to announce. Don’t do it only when there is a crisis. Remember what you announce needs to be real news—otherwise, the media will not run it and see the event as a waste of time.
These events will give the media a chance to ask questions in a way that a press release does not. Thus, help build a more robust story on your business. Use the opportunity to further build in some time for journalists to talk one-on-one with your partners, customers and staff. Schedule the event to suit the media’s deadlines and always consult with them beforehand.
19. The young audience
Most PR efforts are aimed at adult audiences. You should know that people start forming their opinions of companies long before they are in a position to do business with them. Children, for example, form clear brand associations at a very early age, so why not try to reach them before your competition does?
20. Think local
Major media such as national newspapers and TV news can be difficult to attract. Your press release might be too small to make it in their media. In addition, the competition to get your business in their radar might be too intense. Rather target your local media such as local radio news, local TV news, and local newspapers because they are much easier to approach. As a local business, they are most probably looking for you in terms of familiarity and newsworthiness.
21. Be prominent on the web
The internet is a valuable tool for businesses to get their word out. People seek out information online, and in fact, control the flow of information. What they are looking for is something agreeable. Either from the viewpoint of being familiar and easy to use or from the viewpoint of having content that matches the individual’s own views.
If you customize your SEO and feature prominent on search engines, chances are you are reaching more people. Choose your keywords carefully, based on what your audiences are likely to enter into their search engines. And ensure that your content will not disappoint.
22. Become your Own Brand
People love a business that has a story they can relate to. Be prepared to promote your brand at any and every opportunity. As such, be consistent in your message and positive at all times. You will need to be enthusiastic about your brand and business for people to take notice of you.
23. Cover All your Angles
Being truly newsworthy is a golden opportunity to leverage your brand and it can be a good publicity opportunity. Being consistently relevant to the news is even greater. Think through all the angles when you decide to engage with the media. Know what the media likes, and give it to them.
Never send out a blanket release to everybody—it just creates work as journalists try to figure out the relevance of the story.
24. Create photo opportunities
Pictures are worth a thousand words. Always incorporate your copy with a stunning picture.
A striking picture not only take less space but offers a great deal less effort to produce. Getting the photographers along to your events will make the story publishable and also create a great deal more interest. Also, don’t forget to invite television news crews as well. Good photo opportunities are also good video opportunities!
25. Tell Stories
The media are always on the lookout for good, interesting ideas for documentaries. They want shows with strong human interest, and preferably ideas that are unusual taking on topical subjects.
Humble beginnings, a sense of community, humor, human interest, tragedy all sell. Think from the perspective of the media and the public. Ask what will they gain from it? What spin-offs might there be?
26. Don’t forget the holidays
Holidays like Christmas can be a great time for PR work. This is because people are generally full of goodwill, and appreciate goodwill gestures by companies. Support charities, endorse campaigns and give to charity during these periods. They help create warm, fuzzy feelings towards your business. They help highlight the company has a human face. Also, involve your employees as it will help them get into the holiday spirit too.
27. Involve others
Nothing says a community business as one that forges ties within the community. Participate in events in your local church, support the local football team and network in your local chamber of commerce. Your stakeholders need not just be passive recipients of your PR efforts but also partners. They can join in and be part of what’s happening. In fact, the greater the involvement of stakeholders, the greater their feelings of ownership and loyalty toward you and the project.
Consider carefully the agendas of the stakeholders you want to involve. Also, find common ground and work with them- don’t try to dictate.
28. Write your own story
If possible, publish your own newsletter. You can piggyback media to send out your message. But having your own outlet can help you churn out great content more frequently. Decide to publish regularly either once a week or at least once a month.
Don’t let the newsletter become a propaganda device, encourage your staff to also contribute. The key is to have your own medium and platform where you can engage with your audiences on your terms.
29. Join Associations
By being a member of the Rotary Club, chambers of commerce and local associations you get access. Besides providing networking opportunities for business people, and can also use them to distribute your messages. Establish your credentials as an industry spokesperson and if possible, involve your trade association. Volunteer and support to get more recognition and partnership. Image is everything, be proactive in asking for roles, producing articles, and dealing with the press.
30. Be passionate
As a local business, you should be actively engaged in what happens in your community. Be it the new zoning laws, climate change, support the local hospital or help renovate the local church. By being a business that is passionate about your community you are not only drawing attention to your business but also positively impact your community at large. Think beyond just fundraising, perhaps you could donate your time or the time of your team to a good cause. These are often easy to report on and show that yours is a company with a heart.
31. Involve your employees
A business is run by a collective of people with a common goal to serve its customers. Try to infuse an element of humanity into your business’s story. Highlight what your business does to help staff pay their mortgages, how you as a company have social interactions, and performing interesting and useful tasks as a team. Tell your company’s story from the perspective of your employees. Involve your employees at every opportunity and make sure you have a regular employee of the month post.
32. Link your PR with your advertising
Most firms only link their PR with their advertisement superficially. A smart business will create an integrated campaign based on a combination of communication techniques, each one boosting the other. Infuse collaboration and synergy across all your departments.
33. Get partnered up
One way to grow your audience is to leverage someone else’s visibility. This is a great PR tactic if you have a business that depends on having strong local community connections. Think in terms of co-branding as well as using your business to connect with likeminded businesses and offer activities to engage the local community.
34. Produce your own marketing collateral
It is great to be in the public view. It is even greater to get your marketing collateral as well. Printing collateral such as business cards, brochures and flyers still have tons of value. If you have a physical presence, leaving people with the information they can take with them is a useful way of ensuring they come back.
35. Look for awareness days relevant to your business
Use awareness days to piggyback off for your PR efforts. A quick Google search will give you a huge list of awareness days relevant to your business. By choosing a date and think of a product, service or event you can launch to mark that day and have the media cover it. You can also leverage yourself or your business as a relevant expert to mark the day.
36. Mark Anniversaries relevant to your business
If your business has lasted for a significant period of time think about using notable anniversaries for your PR work. Anniversaries and your company’s milestones are by nature newsworthy and your local media will want to know about you and the story of your success over the years.
37. Highlight innovations in your company culture
Don’t only think about the product and service you provide – think also about how you do it all. Focus on highlighting how you encourage diversity in your work force, how you source your products from the local economy or how eco-friendly you are. Highlight what your company culture is all about and what makes you unique – then share it with media outlets or the national press.
38. Do something Amazing for one of Your Customers
Use your customers as your story piece. Look for your most inspiring customers and think about how you could build a PR campaign around them. Maybe you can make a long-held wish or dream of theirs come true for them. Nothing sells like a business giving back to its valued customers.
39. Try a Press Release Service
Press release services provide the opportunity to reach out to a broader media for your company. They come for free or are priced depending on the services you might want to get from them. Make sure you have a solid vision of your PR so you can match it with the services they offer.
40. Reach out to your customers
The key to PR is all about maintaining regular communications. Generate a contact list of your customers and reach out to them on announcements, special events or simply to send them holiday greetings. Be sure to get their permission before you include them on the list. If possible, use what you know about your publics to ensure they only get messages they need. Don’t over use your privilege by crowding up their inboxes otherwise they might unsubscribe.
41. Create ‘How to’ tips
Let’s face it everyone loves life hacks and expert advice. So, start sharing your knowledge to attract attention to yourself and demonstrate you know what you are doing, and can be trusted. Write tips people can easily understand and are useful to the average Joe. Make yourself available for interviews for the newspapers or even TV and radio shows.
42. Get yourself on Wikipedia
More and more people these days go online to do research. One very widely used site is Wikipedia. People who know something about something can write an article for Wikipedia. As such why not have your own Wikipedia entry. Remember to be truthful about yourself and link it to your website.
43. Join LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a social networking site for businesses. This allows you to network with businesses as well as raise your business profile. You will, however, need to invest time contributing to the site. In particular, be prepared to help people who contact you through the site—this is about building your reputation, not about selling your products.
44. Leverage Testimonials
The best type of PR is the one that comes from others. What your staff, customers and suppliers say about you is very credible. Always ask people if it’s OK to publish a testimonial on their behalf. It’s powerful when you allow happy customers to voice their excitement about your brand. If possible, seek video testimonials. Feature full-length customer case studies. Use testimonials to enhance your standing as a successful business.
45. Get your website
Websites are becoming the cornerstone of a company’s outreach. If you don’t have a website yet, get one now. Websites will allow your clients and prospects to get one-stop information about your business on their PC or at the palm of their hands. You can also include videos and your social media handles to increase your reach.
46. Offer Exclusives
Rather than blasting your press releases to all the media outlets, offer your exclusive story to one targeted outlet at a time. This will help increase ties with the media and offer them an opportunity they can’t refuse. You will need to research journalists in your industry and pitch them on why you selected them for each unique and exclusive story.
47. Don’t forget social and corporate responsibility
Include the work you do to impact your community. This will help you use the opportunity to directly impact public perception of your company and brand. So, start showcasing your environmental work, ethical business practices or philanthropy.
48. Be part of business events
Host, sponsor or attend business functions to showcase and increase your brand exposure. Such events will help you reach potential suppliers, collaborators and even customers.
49. Get on YouTube
YouTube is among the most popular mediums on our planet. It allows people to post pretty much anything they want to on video provided the community guidelines are followed. Try to avoid outright commercial plugs by keeping it personal, and don’t forget to tell a story.
50. Start or endorse a campaign
By starting or promoting a campaign you give people a cause to rally behind. You not only help a worthy cause but also create a sense of community around a particular cause. Make sure you also include an element of fun and creativity – think Ice bucket challenge.
51. Get influencers
An influencer is someone responsible for engaging with and promoting your brand. This might entail payment where the influencer gets something in exchange for their media contributions. The influencers might agree to post three Instagram image and write a blog review of your company. With influencers, you can dictate the direction you would like them to focus on, provide branded hashtags and other plugs.
52. Make your Events Fun
For your events to be successful, make them fun and memorable. The key is not to spend huge amounts of cash but to be creative and original. Hire clowns, comedians and entertainers to make your events fun and easygoing.
53. Perfect before you pitch
Staking your name and reputation before your product or service is ready could bring negative reviews. First focus on bringing the best out of your product or service before going public with it. A good product is more likely to get better press upon review.
54. Always personalize your pitch
Don’t get lazy and send out a bulk press release. Identify the media outlet and if possible, the journalist that will most likely take your pitch. A customized pitch shows you are organized and know what you are talking about. Always address your email to the particular reporter/editor concerned.
55. Create an Annual PR Calendar
Always plan your PR efforts ahead. Most media produce either daily, weekly or monthly so think of them in advance to ensure coverage. Create a PR plan with press announcements that are well-timed before each season, holiday, business calendar announcement and other events.
56. Include a media or press page on your website
Having a well-organized media or press page on your website will project an image of being organized. In addition, provide a where to go in the site for press queries, press releases, bios, company facts and history, and archival material – resources that media would like to use.
57. Be a guest speaker on podcasts
Small business owners are the heart of American ingenuity. Leverage your position to provide insights in regards to your industry, on running a business, current affairs and others. Podcasts are widely popular and have millions of listeners. You can use them to amplify your presence.
58. Be prepared for rejection
Just because you put a lot of effort into your PR work doesn’t mean the press will pick up your story automatically. When trying to capture the attention of the media it’s easy to think you know better than they do. You might be so invested in your product or service and so convinced of its importance to the market it can seem inevitable people will want to write about it.
It is always okay to miss targets in your first try. What is important is to learn from your mistakes and work towards achieving your goals. Work towards improving your appeal and pitch. It might take a lot of telephone ping pong, emails and mixers to get the media on board. Always keep on trying.
59. Always Build up your profile
Your goal is to connect with as many people as possible. You should not connect with everybody but with people who look after the section of the very publications you want to get into. Aim to become a good contact person who has knowledge about your industry and community.
60. Remember speed and relevance is everything
In this ever-connected world, news travels fast; if you blink you might have missed it. In public relations, speed is not just about getting news out the door. What it actually is reflected in the way a company disseminates relevant and timely information to its customers and business partners.
61. Include Monitoring in Your PR
You can’t effectively respond to a bad situation if you don’t know what’s happening and who’s talking about it. Always make sure you monitor all reports, comments about your business to see how you fare with the general public. Make sure you have the capability to analyze the impact of coverage or comments so that you can respond with the appropriate degree be it positive or otherwise.
62. Understand the Problem Before Acting
There can be tremendous pressure to respond immediately, it is never a good idea to make a statement before you understand all of the facts. Consult with involved employees or other stakeholders so that you are clear about exactly what happened and what information has been published.
63. Focus on What Really Matters
You might be tempted to respond to a crisis by sharing every detail, but keep in mind reputation management is about sharing what the public needs to know, not what you want to say. Be content with providing just enough information so they understand your response. Focus on giving a good level of detail to those who are actually impacted by the problem.
64. Focus on the long term, not the short term
Businesses are ever more conscious of the values of lifetime customers and customer relationship management. The key here is to recognize keeping your customers satisfied for the long term is more important than the immediate sale or the profits from it.
Likewise, treat the press as you would a customer. Don’t place today’s story above the long-term relationship. If the media say no and you’ve tried to convince them otherwise, letting go is advised. Preserve the relationship so that the media concerned will continue to be friendly and receptive when you call with your next pitch.
65. Act ethically
Never violate your code of ethics for PR or any other business pursuit. The media, in particular, are better able than other people to spot unethical behavior. If you try to pull a fast one on the media such as offering a bribe, chances are they will spot it and it will backfire terribly. Good business ethics maintain your reputation and enhance your assets. People who trust you are more likely to do business with you.
66. Plan, Plan, and Plan
For every outreach make sure you have a plan. The plan is just the start but will help you get through the intricacies required for your success. Make sure your plan defines explicitly what the key deliverables are and how they measure success.
67. Always Preserve your Integrity
Integrity is the cement that must be in place to assure your promotion. Integrity means not compromising yourself and taking the high road whenever you can. Don’t let rivalries with your competition distract you from taking the high road. Stick with the right decision even when you know it may not be the most popular decision.
68. Create your own press kit
Whether it is a press conference, an interview or an event always have a press kit on hand. Your press kit should include your company’s background, brand story, factsheet, bios, high-resolution images and media contact details. This will show you have thought things through and are prepared for any eventuality. Your press kit should be impactful enough for the media to be intrigued and understand your company better.
69. It’s about relationships
Your PR efforts should focus on people who are already influencing your target customer. Look for people who have a lot of clout and build that relationship. Help them understand your message and how their followers can relate to you.
A successful relationship will help build trust between your company and its customers. Building positive relationships with the right media outlets is essential to developing trust. If the relationship isn’t already there, you won’t reach the right audience, no matter how many places feature you.
70. Don’t Discount Press releases
Press releases are an easy way to get credibility and publicity. Submit your press releases to media outlets to help you garner exposure in business journals, newspapers, radio shows and television morning shows.
71. Budget Accordingly
PR resources can be expensive sometimes. Regardless of what your budget is, make sure your budget covers all your priorities. If you have extra left in the budget, that’s ok too. You never know when you might need to use it to promote last-minute releases and ads.
72. Share your coverage
Getting good media coverage is good. Make sure your clients and prospects know about the coverage as well. By sharing your media coverage, you are making it known your business is in the spotlight and is credible.
73. Don’t Fib
Don’t lie to clients, journalists or bloggers. Lying about your company is the surest and fastest way of destroying your business and reputation. Your PR efforts must uphold the principles of truth and accountability, which are vital to building trust and credibility with all stakeholders.
You should work with the assumption the truth will come to light, regardless of what you say. So, don’t gamble and destroy your reputation with dishonesty.
74. Plan a Crisis Response
Makes sure you have a crisis communications team in the event a crisis occurs. Your crisis team will be tasked for planning a crisis response and ensuring its execution. They can also develop strategies to address the situation, identify responses, and monitor the media.
75. Remembering the Rules in a Crisis
Follow these simple rules. Always tell the truth; be prepared; show you care; make fast decisions; and make swift adjustments. And never ever, ever say, ‘No comment’. In a crisis always demonstrate care and compassion.
Successful Public Relations Examples
76. Opt to Use a PR Firm
If you are not sure you cannot handle your PR outreach in-house, always have the option of hiring a PR firm. A PR firm can help you set up your PR efforts, provide you with analytics in terms of reach and use their connections to leverage you some media exposure.
77. Look for some great templates for your PR work
The task, planning and executing PR efforts can be overwhelming. If you have access to the internet you can tap into a treasure trove of templates and planners that are freely available to download.
78. Create your own blog
A blog can be a great way to tell your story with relative ease. Another reason to have a blog of your own is it will make it easier for bloggers to include you in their blogs. It will allow them to see what you’ve done, what you’ve said, and what others are saying about you.
79. Integrate Your PR with your other communications tools
Don’t fall into the pitfall of fragmenting your PR and communications efforts. If you are looking for an effective outreach bring consistency in messaging and a unity of purpose to your outreach. media clippings about your business should be posted to your social platforms, your newsletter and other media you use. It will also help significantly if you have a dedicated individual who handles all your communications.
80. Snag your celebrity early on
A celebrity endorsement has some great returns. Be a talent spotter, look towards the long term when you pick your celebrity and make sure you have a bulletproof contract. Your celebrity might not hang around if he or she will get other tempting offers. In order to capitalize on your celebrity, design a wide-ranging program of events for your celebrity to be involved in. Above all keep the rights to all the photos and endorsements.
81. Offer Free Stuff
Make sure you have free t-shirts, caps, flash drives or even a gift basket in your events. Thank your most loyal customers by giving them something nice, reward staff with freebies, or hand out company calendars. These will help build your brand and increase your visibility in your community. A branded apron for the summer or a cool T-shirt can take you a long way.
82. Invite the Media to write a ‘day in the life’ piece
Human interest stories sell, especially in regards to small communities. Whatever your business does the media will be keen to see ‘behind the curtain’. A ‘day in the life’ feature is a great way to build trust and demonstrate transparency.
83. Send samples to the press
If you have a product you want to launch think of the types of reporter who will be interested in it. Send out an advance sample to the media to get good reviews on it and create a need among your customers. A good product review will always beat an ad drive.
84. Break a record or reach a stunning milestone
Choose a record that is relevant to your business and then try to break it. It could be by sponsoring the largest pizza in the state or the highest number of turnouts to your events. Invite the media as well as personalities within your community to become part of the fanfare as well.
85. Embrace a mascot
In a customer-oriented world where a positive happy public face can bring customers to your door creating a mascot is both simple and fun. Having a friendly face is often the best way to spark people’s interests. Sports teams, McDonald’s, Dairy queen all use mascots to personify their business through a recognizable character. While choosing your mascot make sure it symbolizes the spirit of your company, develops positive impact and is engaging.
86. Keep up with the Game
Read, research and stay informed with everything in your industry. To better position yourself as a resource person for media looking to garner insights from you. If you are knowledgeable in your industry you will be highly sought after to comment on developing stories.
87. Assign a spokesperson
Though PR work is a team effort you need one person to respond to all queries related to your business. Make sure there is one person who is assigned the job of speaking to the press and they are fully on-message should a writer call up. It is important the person is clearly stated as the go-to person for all media related releases. Don’t forget to include his/her contact details in all releases.
88. Try Show and tell
Invite potential clients to visit where you can showcase your business. Why not offer media and the general public the opportunity to see product demonstration and also create some buzz as well.
89. Help a Reporter Out
Reactive pitching is a good way to get in front of a journalist that works in or around your industry. These can be a terrific way to fit your business into a current story. All you need do is to respond to the query with a pitch on why you would be most qualified to address the topic.
90. Your Customers are also Brand Ambassadors
You can use your customers as brand ambassadors. The mere fact they are using your products and services makes them ideal for endorsements. They can engage with prospects by helping them go through the unique attributes for your product or service from a customer’s perspective. Use those happy customers as your spokespeople.
91. Remember SMART
Use SMART acronym when measuring your PR goals before rolling them out.
- Specific- Specify your goals and be able to communicate them to others.
- Measurable- Use analytics or other programs to see your progress toward the goal.
- Actionable- Break down your goal into smaller objectives, with realistic timelines.
- Realistic- Establish what you and your team can reasonably do in a set amount of time.
- Time-Based- Set a final date for your overall goal and shorter deadlines for the different stages of your goal.
92. Show your support by sponsoring events
Sponsoring a major event such as a charity, the town fair or sporting events carries a great deal of publicity value. Find an event that links to your product in a fairly direct way and support it. Sponsorship has always been a popular tool of PR as it generates word of mouth and creates a good impression of the company.
93. Create a publicity Stunt
All PR savvy companies have pulled a publicity stunt of some nature. The aim of a stunt is to generate word of mouth to keep people talking about you for days. The best stunts are ones that relate to the product and are eye-catching and creative.
Publicity stunts might be tricky. Make sure your stunt is legal, it fits in with the images of the people involved, and be wary of upsetting the public.
94. Make it Personal
Apply a personal touch to whoever you deal with. Provide a free caricature picture of your customers, give them gifts with their names printed on them. Nothing sells more than personal service and attentiveness.
95. Be a Patron of the arts
Support your local band or artists in your community. Support them by allowing them to showcase their works in your place of business. It not only increases the aesthetics of your business but also shows community spirit.
96. Use existing ideas
Sometimes you don’t need to create anything new in terms of your content. Draw a parallel between something you’re already doing and something familiar or trendy which you can piggyback of. Organize competitions such as lip-syncing, beauty pageants or cookouts to draw in the crowds.
97. Take risks not chances
Entrepreneurship is all about taking risks. Risks are important if you want to get promoted. Nobody in their right mind is promoting non-risk takers. Just to survive, much less succeed, you must learn how to get out in front of the tide and make risky decisions. If you wait too long, someone else will do it for you. Your biggest risk is not to take risks.
98. Make Great First Impressions
You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. You make first impressions every day and you succeed or fail by the impressions you create in briefings, interviews, phone calls, meetings, and a myriad of other daily encounters.
99. Know How to Sell Your Ideas
The powerful art of persuading others your ideas are great and should, therefore, be implemented is critical to the promotional process. The more ideas you sell, the more people will think of you as a contributor to the organization. Always stress the benefits, try to see from the perspective of naysayers and justify your positions.
100. Keep Your Arrogance to Yourself
From the moment you start talking to anybody on the telephone or face-to-face, it’s important you project confidence without sounding arrogant. Arrogance turns people off. Don’t let your ego get to you and cripple your chances of getting promoted.
101. Always be Positive
Avoid making your messaging from being all about doom and gloom. Your messaging should inspire action not cringe. Work towards messaging that includes a call to actions, stress attributes and your unique differentiation.
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