Public relations, or PR as it is more commonly known, is the act of getting your business out there and known without direct payment for this service, such as is the case with marketing and advertising.
Unfortunately most companies, especially startups, don’t benefit from the use of public relations nearly as much as they could do because they simply don’t know how, or when, to implement it. It’s easy to get started with advertising and marketing, but PR requires a totally different set of skills, and contacts, which may be hard to come by when you’re just starting up.
Businesses are always trying to save time and money in their company by smoothing out the creases with regard to the way they run things. This is all very well, but it’s fair to note that no business is ever going to ‘save’ their way to massive growth. Once you get to a certain point in your business there will be no more savings to make, but on the contrary, when you implement successful PR campaigns you will quickly find that there are much, much greater revenue and profits to collect.
There are a number of ways to utilize public relations to benefit your business, three of which have been outlined below:
1) In the Form of a Press Release
Press releases have been used within business since the birth of the free press, as they allow reporters and senior editors at a newspaper or magazine to quickly decide whether or not to write a story about whatever it is your press release contains, without having to first get in touch with you personally to see if anything is new.
When you release a press release, you do so to tell both the press and members of the public about a certain change in your business. It could be a structural change, such as a merger, or the birth of a new product line, or even the death of a senior partner.
Though the Internet has made it easier for companies to contact their customers directly, a press release is still of huge benefit to your business, as when they’re picked up and turned into stories by small, local newspapers in the area you serve, you can reach people with your news that otherwise would have no other way of hearing about your changes.
2) By Taking a Course
The best thing about taking a course in public relations, whether you’re a director, manager, or lower level employee, is it will provide you with a PR mindset. A public relations course will help you to recognise opportunities as they come about, rather than letting them pass your company by. In the past you may have said no to numerous requests that came your way because you were short on time and didn’t understand the benefit of each. Now you’ll be able to evaluate every request, and opportunity, that comes your way.
Unlike specific sectors of your company, such as human relations, finance, editorial, and so forth, public relations is a sector that can be dealt with by your entire staff; after all you all read newspapers, magazines, and watch television. Educating your entire team in PR practices is an excellent way of ensuring they’ll always be on the lookout for potential opportunities.
3) By Building Connections at Newspapers and Magazines
Every great business owner or director is known for his or her connections. And this is as true with regards to connections in the media than it is anywhere else.
In recent years, with the arrival of twenty-four hour rolling news and media websites on the lookout for fresh content, people working in the media have needed the help of business owners more than ever before in order to fill these content voids. Websites such as HARO (Help a Reporter Out) can effortlessly put industry experts in contact with reporters in those fields in order to create a mutually beneficial relationship on both sides.
In conclusion, there are a number of ways to utilise public relations to benefit your business, including writing a press release, attending a course, and building connections and relationships with those working in the media.
Sep 25, 2013 1
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