Public relations is just that – managing the way the public views your business.
The best way to do this is through the media – print, TV and radio – because it reaches many people and is not viewed as advertising. But to get the media interested you must have a hook – or a story. This could be something as simple as a new product launch or new employee or something much bigger like a new business or branding.
Here is a bit more detail about how public relations (PR) can help your business:
- PR introduces your business to a wider audience which can then lead to new customers, staff or clients,
- It doesn’t cost as much as advertising, but can reap far more benefits,• Regular PR over time will help build brand recognition,
- It also helps build your business credibility and status as an expert in your industry.
There are downsides to PR as well:
- Unlike advertising, you are never guaranteed coverage and cannot control what is printed or broadcast,
- The wrong media coverage can be disastrous for your business so be careful about your message,
- Media always likes to cover both sides of a story so you might share space with competitors.
There are two ways to do PR for your business – hire a PR consultant or do it yourself. There are pros and cons to both methods and you need to consider how much money you can devote to PR from your marketing budget, how much time you would have to do the PR yourself, how you will contact the media and what you want to say.
Tips for in-house PR:
- Start with a great story,
- Research the type and sector of media you are interested in, ie parenting magazines or local newspapers,
- Have an interesting pitch for the phone and email,
- Include a high resolution photo, at least 200dpi,
- Include all your contact details so the journalist can get hold of you whenever they need to,
- Be willing to follow up by phone or email to find out if the journalist is interested.