This article first appeared as Anthony Bullick’s column in the Daily Post business section on 21 February 2018.
If increasing sales is a key business goal for you, injecting PR into your strategy will help you hit targets quicker.
Before I begin, I’m not going to mention writing press releases – the tactic most associated with PR. PR is much more than media relations. I’m going to discuss how PR, as a management discipline, can support you achieving your organisational objectives.
Potential customers invariably use a search engine and type in your brand name to find your website.
What information does Google share about you? A disgruntled customer leaving a negative review online can be seen before clicking the link to your site. Carry out online reputation management to protect your brand.
The search engine results will also likely display your social media accounts. In addition to posting strong, engaging content, update your cover photos, profile pictures, biographies, and about us section to communicate recent successes and establish your credentials.
Your LinkedIn profile may also be searched for separately. Take advantage of the social media platform’s flexibility in updating your profile page. For example, include case studies, testimonials, and awards.
When people land on your website, build trust and enhance your reputation by positioning prominently projects worked on, feedback from clients, and anything else of interest eg discounts and promotions.
Do customers visit your premises? There are plenty of opportunities to enhance your reputation. For example, frame media coverage such as a food review if you are a restaurant, or place a TV in the reception area that auto plays a presentation showing company successes.
When networking, people form an opinion about you as a person, and therefore the business. Consider how to naturally drop into conversation a positive story. For example, if someone asks how your week has been, expand on the standard ‘it’s been really good this week’ with ‘we have just won a contract to deliver XYZ’.
In new business meetings, build trust between you and the client by sharing positive news where possible including in the presentation, marketing literature, or verbally.
If the meeting progresses to submitting a proposal, include a page of testimonials or a strong case study to reinforce your expertise as the client is reviewing how your services can benefit their business.
Finally, your employees are your biggest brand ambassadors. Review your internal communications to make sure they are engaged, connected, and committed.