Public Relations 101: Supplementing Your Marketing Plan
When you think of marketing, you tend to think of traditional and non-traditional advertising. That is, after all, the best way to get out your message. Whether it is traditional ads in print, broadcast, billboards, digital or direct mail, you are getting in front of your potential customer.
However, you need to consider another route. That is public relations. There are two types of public relations to consider. The first is developing a news release and sending it directly to media outlets in your community. The second is community engagement where you align your business with an event or group in your community.
Let’s begin with the news release route. I like this because if the media is interested and tells your story, then you end up with free publicity. It’s important to be strategic about your message and media. First, your message has to be easy to understand. If reporters don’t understand your news release, neither will their readers, viewers or listeners. The easier it is to understand, the more likely they will use it. Next, consider your message. For instance, your factory makes widgets, and you just bought a machine that speeds up the process. This story probably has little interest beyond your factory. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t send out a news release. Every industry has trade magazines. Perhaps, this new piece of equipment is state-of-the-art. All of sudden, you have the attention of other widget makers. What about local exposure? Think of an angle that would interest the media. Did you expand the size of your factory or hire additional workers? Now, you have a story of local interest.
Building a relationship with your local media is important. Media often look for people to interview. If you’re accessible, reporters tend to contact you first. Relationships are also important, especially if something bad happens. Crisis communications is an important part of public relations. For instance, someone is seriously injured in your factory. Your relationship with the local media could help prevent rumors from spreading. A written statement from your company can also be an important tool for containing the situation.
The other type of public relations is community engagement. Community engagement has many subcategories, but the bottom line is that you do something to help your community. Most cities and towns have some type of festival, and they are always looking for sponsors. Sponsoring an event is an easy way to get your company’s name publicized before, during and after the event. Another idea is to develop your own community-engagement event. For example, your employees spend a Saturday restoring a local park. This has potential media interest.
I often warn my clients that not everything deserves a news release. You need to be strategic. If you send a press release every time your front door opens, something of extreme significance might get overlooked. Also, the media is not going to cover every news release or community event that you sponsor. There are circumstances where other news will take precedence over your news release or event. Remember that if you send a news release, then you have to be willing to talk about it. Reporters will have questions, and they may need to interview someone. If you don’t want to talk publicly about it, don’t send a news release.
This can be overwhelming at times. That’s where a full-service marketing agency can help. Your job is to run a company, and you don’t have time to think of innovative ways to get the media’s attention. Our team of experts at Romph Pou Agency can work with you to craft the right message and get it into the hands of reporters. We can also help determine what type of community event best aligns with your business.
Contact us today if you’re ready to take your business to the next level.