You’ve hung up your shingle and customers aren’t exactly beating a path to your door. What can you do? Well you might think standing out on the street with a megaphone would do the trick. And it may be one way to gain attention for your business, however an overall public relations plan incorporating a number of profile building ideas could be just what your business needs.
Public relations is communicating who you are, what you do and how you make a difference. It's about having successful “relationships” with your “public”. They could be friends, clients, potential customers, competitors or the media, who can all help spread the word about your business.
One way of communicating your message is through media relations or publicity.
PUBLICITY is one tactic of public relations. It is designed to generate media coverage. Publicity is seeing that media release or suggestion you made to a journalist about a company, person or product, end up as a story in a newspaper, magazine or perhaps on radio or television.
Publicity is a very important aspect of an overall PR campaign as that media coverage on your product, service, company or cause can help you or your business or organisation to meet your objectives.
Publicity is just one tool and although these following strategies are not new, they are worth revisiting as further tactics you might like to incorporate to help you gain recognition and potentially profit for your product or service.
Ideas to Help you Stand Out and Shine
A SPECIAL EVENT can draw attention to you, your organisation or bring people to your place of business. An event could be an open day, a fundraising event, dinner, trade show or award night. Entering business awards can also be fantastic public relations for your business. Staging a creative media stunt can also work if it’s well thought out.
PRODUCT LAUNCHES could be incorporated into an event or you could give away product samples to the media. If you want your book to be reviewed, your beauty cream featured or your hotel profiled you will need to offer samples.
NEWSLETTERS that are electronically delivered or perhaps as a printed quarterly magazine are direct communication with your public, clients and customers. Newsletters may contain articles, stories, advice and information that will appeal to your target audience and help to inform everyone about your business and what you’re up to.
DIRECT MAIL, fact sheets, media kits or postcards – written information about your product or service that you can include with any mail outs or have in your reception area.
Your WEBSITE is not only necessary but can be a cost effective public relations tool for your business. It is your online PR brochure where you can broadcast the services and products you offer, background information on you and your company, free articles, videos and more but to attract visitors you need to include interesting information of value to them.
PUBLIC SPEAKING Free speeches to Rotary clubs, community groups or other organisations is a good way of letting people know about your business and area of expertise. Even though public speaking can be frightening to many people it is great public relations for your business.
NETWORKING There’s a host of networking events in every region that you can attend to meet and talk to people, let them know what you do, exchange business cards, build relationships, follow up when you meet people – it’s all fabulous PR.
SPONSORSHIPS If you don’t want to organise an event for yourself, sponsor one that somebody else is doing. Perhaps sponsor a sports team or community theatre group. Just make sure your sponsorship is acknowledged – your name and logo is included on any advertising or promotional materials such as T-shirts and posters.
You are in business to make a profit as I pointed out in my blog Points to Progress Your Personal Brand. Profit also includes giving back and one way to do that is through supporting a charity.
CHARITY EVENT Many well-known organisations support charities and some even have their own foundation. You don’t need to go that far but donating a percentage of profits whether done publicly or privately is worthwhile.
Way back when I launched my first book, written with a couple of other co-authors, we held a launch event where all proceeds from the sale of books on the night were donated to Look Good Feel Better, plus an ongoing percentage was donated. We had great support that night with suppliers also donating their products and services.
In all the launch was a combination of PR activity; special event, book publishing, product launch, networking and yes, we did get great publicity and supported a charity to boot.
From the list above choose two or three activities that you might be able to include in your overall PR and marketing plan for next year. Digital and social media is a given, but what else could you incorporate?
Learn more about personal branding with my free video series, NOOK, LOOK, HOOK, 3 Steps to Build a Stand Out Personal Brand.
Sue Currie is a speaker and the author of IMPRESSario, Present and Promote the Star Within You. She is recognised as a leading authority on personal branding to boost image, profile, brand and business. Through her image management and profile building programs, workshops, consulting and keynote presentations, Sue helps businesses and entrepreneurs position and present an influential professional brand.