Public Relations Tips

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PR Can't Be Marked Off Your To-Do List

How much PR is enough? What a question! That's like asking when it's okay to stop being concerned about whether or not your business is perceived favorably. PR isn't something you can ever stop doing -- not if you want your business to grow or even sustain itself. Public relations is an ongoing process. It's certainly not something you can mark off your to-do list. While you may accomplish specific tasks that are part of your PR plan, those tasks aren't a means to an end. Effective PR is all about continually looking for opportunities to positively impact public opinion about your organization


Appoint a Single Point of Contact for Media Inquiries

If the phone rings at your company and there's a reporter looking for a statement, does the person who answers the line know what to do with the call? In many companies, these calls set off either panic or excitement, and whoever can get to the telephone first ends up speaking out on behalf of the organization. If that's what happens at your organization, it's only a matter of time before misinformation about your organization gets out through the press, attributed back to your company.

That's a recipe for disastrous media relations, and it's why every company should have a designated point of contact for media inquiries. It's essential for organizations of all sizes to have a single spokesperson to handle media relations. The right person in any given company may be the owner, the PR director, the operations manager, or someone who holds a different position. What matters is that all messages transmitted from your organization to the media are accurate and consistent. The only way to accomplish this important goal is to have a designated media contact, and to make sure that everyone in the organization knows to refer all press inquires to that individual.


Local Trade Shows Offer PR Benefits

One of the best ways to publicize your business to the local community is to participate in relevant trade show events. In many cities, there is an annual business expo trade show that is designed to allow local companies to highlight their products and services to the local business community. This is a great way to get your name out to prospective customers as well as to meet other professionals who have the potential to refer business to you. Participation in such events is a great way to raise your company's profile and establish your organization as an active member of the local business community.


Raise Your Profile with Local Events

Being an active and visible part of the local business community can have significant public relations benefits. If you want your company to be seen as a good corporate citizen within the local community, you need to demonstrate a commitment to supporting local business and professional organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau, as well as charitable organizations.

Make a point of participating in about upcoming events, such as trade shows, conferences, walk-a-thons, networking meetings, and more. Check the event calendars published by your city, the area Convention and Visitors' bureau, and the Chamber of Commerce. Identify events that look like they'll be beneficial and mark your calendar to attend. Whether you attend yourself, or you send an employee to represent your company, your organization's presence will go a long way toward establishing a positive image for your organization.


Submit Employee Promotion Press Releases

Want to generate publicity for your business while at the same time boosing employee morale? Make it a standard practice to write press releases announcing internal promotions and submit them to your local newspaper, Chamber of Commerce newsletter, and industry websites and magazines. This helps you get your name in front of the public and potential customers in a postive way, while also providing recognition for your top employees.


PR with Promotional Items

Promotional items can be an important part of your organization's public relations strategy. It's a good idea to budget for a few different types of promotional giveaways that can be shared with customers, prospects, and other business contacts. You don't have to spend a fortune on promotional items to enjoy benefits from distributing items with your company name, web address, and phone number on them. Pens are very affordable, as are sticky note pads. These inexpensive items can serve as constant reminders of your company to people who receive the as gifts or who pick them up at a trade show exhibit. What a great way to earn top of mind awareness with customers and prospects!

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Mary White
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