Public Relations: From Found to Known
“If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.” – Bill Gates
Uncle Bill is wise. Public relations is a powerful tool for any business and is often more cost effective, and powerful, than advertising.
So how do you get public relations?
The answer to that question depends on you, your business, and what you are willing to do in order to make an impression. There are many strategies for garnering “free” press and generating stronger public awareness and this can be done no matter how small, or new, your business is. But you need PR pros to do it right.
At UplinkSpyder, we’ll work with you and your budget and make the biggest “bang” possible with your public relations outreach.
Here are a few of the more common ways we help you go from “found” to “known”:
- Press Releases (and follow up) are the most well-known resource in the PR toolbox. They are still used today to “tell a story” to various media outlets, but PR has changed with the advent of social media. It is important to understand how to use social media to complement a release. In fact, managing press releases is a form of content marketing today. One thing is still the same, however. You still need to have something news worthy to “sell” and it may often take time and care to get it right. Timing is everything.
- Publicity Stunts can be an interesting and gutsy way to garner more publicity faster. What are you are willing to do to get noticed? One of our clients, Mascots for a Cure, worked to break a Guinness World Record for the most mascots at an event. That’s a lot of larger than life fuzzy critters in one place at one time. Who’s not going to cover that?
- Referral Programs are technically public relations as you are paying people to talk about you. Retail and service businesses alike can benefit from well thought out and advertised referral programs.
- Review Management is very important in today’s world! Working on bolstering positive reviews through online directories and on social media should be part of every organizations’ PR strategy.
- Our favorite form of public relations is cause-based – working in the community or holding your own event to benefit a charity. This can include sponsorship of community or industry events or volunteering. It’s much easier to gain media attention when you are doing something for others, than when you are focused solely on yourself…unless you do something wrong, of course.
- Networking and educational seminars (in person or online) are a great way to expose your expertise and organization to potential customers and build a solid reputation.
- Writing and publishing articles or applying for and winning awards in your community or industry is a wonderful way to gain credibility and long lasting exposure you will be hard pressed to find elsewhere.
What about negative PR
Sometimes an organization will find itself publicly dealing with a crisis or problem that provides an opportunity to create a positive outcome. Very few negative situations cannot be overcome with a positive spin. When these things happen, you will need an expert on your side to lead you through it.
Tell your story
It doesn’t matter if you are new, or have been around for 50 years, you have a story to tell and public relations is the vehicle through which to tell your story. It’s as simple and complicated as that. It begins with knowing your story, telling it to us, and allowing us to help you communicate that to the right people.