Publicity raises awareness of your business, reinforces your reputation and helps your customers make informed choices. So what can you and your PR team do to create material for the press and, increasingly, to populate your own media – such as your website and your newsletters? Here’s a selection of ideas behind 10 top story-triggers.
1 Say something
You are an expert in your field: show it by commenting on trends and issues relevant to your area of interest. Demonstrate your thought leadership.
2 Do something
Reinforce your status by talking about your roles in a trade or professional organisation, civic body, school or college, and the challenges they face.
3 Launch something
Announce a product or service that gives you a real competitive edge, and spell out all the benefits it will give your customers.
4 Buy something
Adding real estate, a new subsidiary or new machinery to your investment portfolio trumpets success. People prefer to deal with successful companies.
5 Open something
A new shop, office or factory is always an opportunity to make a statement about your company and the economy. Don’t be shy!
6 Develop something
You and your boffins have devised a stunning new system or process that could revolutionise your industry: when you are ready, make a big splash.
7 Report something
Research an area of interest in your industry or community: comment extensively on your findings to highlight your subject insight.
8 Sponsor something
Whether it’s a national charity or your local football team, your support for a good cause is news that can put you in a good light. Don’t hide it!
9 Refurbish something
From a fresh coat of paint to a complete store refit, refurbishment is an opportunity to talk up your business – especially if you are open throughout!
10 Change something
You are finally changing a company logo untouched for more than 40 years – explaining the ‘why’ is a great story (so is reassuring loyal customers!).
So how does your business rate in terms of exploiting some of these ideas? If your score is low, perhaps we should talk about solutions to suit your needs – and your budget. Please click here to get in touch.
In a recent Dragons Den episode, Dragon Deborah Meaden said: “If you are not spending at least £3,000 a month on PR, you are wasting your time.”
While that may have been music to some PR people’s ears, it was probably a switch-off for thousands of small business owners with low public relations budgets.
In fairness, the Dragon’s claim is quite correct – for major companies with vast marketing budgets to splash around global, national and larger provincial PR agencies. Big clients have high demands for service and are able to pay for it.
So, what should you spend?
PR does not have to cost the earth. Plenty of small PR agencies can deliver excellent advice, creativity and service appropriate to the needs and budgets of SMEs.
Business theorists may disagree, but in my view there is no golden rule on the percentage of turnover – or any other financial measure – that SMEs should invest in PR.
Decide the maximum you can afford to spend on PR – and then find a consultant who can make your money go as far as possible and still give you top-class service. That’s a challenge some PR professionals thrive on!
But be prepared to commit to an ongoing campaign – six months is good; a year or more is preferable. PR produces its best results over a period of time, during which you are gradually developing more effective engagement with your customers and other stakeholders.
Give us a call – let’s see what we can do for you.
The internet is awash with advice for successful blogging – so why do so many people have such difficulty with this great way of communicating? Here are five possible reasons and some suggestions for overcoming them.
‘I’m too busy’
This is a valid reason – many people are so busy ‘doing’ that they have minimal time for ‘thinking’. Blogs don’t just happen, they require a bit of thought before the writer can start composing, and the writing also takes time. The solution is to brief a trusted writer.
‘I can’t write’
This is also a good reason for getting a professional writer to do the job for you. You may be an expert in your field, even a brilliant speaker – but if you cannot communicate your ideas in writing, your blog will never achieve its purpose – and you could risk damaging your corporate and personal reputation.
Don’t recognise opportunities
Blog posts don’t have to long, turgid and philosophical: if they are, people won’t read them. Keep an eye open for a chance to comment quickly and briefly on current issues that affect you and your customers. Use your posts to tell the story of how you are maintaining your delivery schedules, despite bad weather. Use them to demonstrate the knowledge and understanding that lies behind the products or services you supply.
‘I don’t see the reason’
If you have a blog page on your website simply because the web designer told you to, then you are wasting your time. Your blog should be part of a co-ordinated and sustained communication programme, designed to establish you and your organisation as leaders in the field. The blog is also a neat way to get fresh copy on to your website – making it more interesting to the search engines.
Failure to plan
You might be a great writer, with the inspiration and time to channel some of your energy into a blog – but unless you can commit to producing the necessary flow of material, results of the blog could fall well below expectations. Plan your content, plan your time and stick to your plan!
David Goddin was born in the UK and educated in South Africa. He began his career on daily newspapers and trade journals, before moving into public relations consulting. He produced award-winning writing and became an Accredited PR Practitioner, the highest qualification of the Public Relations Institute of South Africa. Since his return to the UK 16 years ago he has also contributed to a number of highly successful PR and marketing communications campaigns for major national and multinational clients. He is currently also President of the Haslemere & District Chamber of Trade & Commerce.