One of the more difficult aspects of marketing for companies is public relations, usually because it’s the most unfamiliar territory.
While often overlooked, public relations is integral to the growth and image of a company. You need to tell the public what you do, what products or services you offer, new happenings and so forth. Public relations is also relationship building and strategic communication with key influencers.
The difference between public relations and advertising is paid versus earned media. While you may pay for a public relations coordinator of manager, you do not pay for the placement of any media. All media is earned through the hard efforts, relationships and content produced by the public relations position or company.
A few public relations tactics include:
- Press releases. These are simple, but often forgotten. A simple press release announcing your company’s anniversary, a new product, a new location or a new building can get some new attention to your company. Not every press release will get picked up, but select items that would be relevant and submit on at least a quarterly basis or as special announcements come up.
- Pitching stories. Shorter than a press release, submitting a story idea is a good way to connect with local media outlets and give them information that may be interesting to their audience. It may be a story about how your company gives back to the community each year or a product or service that has bettered your employees, other companies or the community.
- Special promotions. Specific promotions can be created to help boost company awareness in the media world. We recently helped a client promote a special company anniversary by providing a PR campaign to boost awareness across their markets. There was not any advertising dollars spent, but tools for the company to use. The promotion was giving away a $5,000 donation to a local charity that the public could vote on and it went viral producing over $170,000 in earned media from online news, TV news and radio.
When putting together your annual marketing plans, make sure you include Public Relations. Whether it be press releases, community events and outreach, association integration or something else, don’t overlook this important aspect of marketing and growing your business. To learn more about the importance of public relations or marketing in general, contact us today at 515-868-0240.