Public relations tools and activities
By using proven public relations (PR) tools and activities, you can promote positive attitudes and behaviours towards your business that will help convert interested consumers into customers.
PR tools are very cost-effective, and often give you a greater degree of control than more broadly targeted advertising campaigns. Consider using these PR tools to build your business's reputation.
Media strategies focus on circulating messages through media channels to manage how your business is portrayed by the media. Your media tools might include releasing media statements and fact sheets, offering on-site media tours to encourage journalists to report positive messages about your business, and using social media to get the attention of journalists and track journalists who report in your market.
By developing good media contact lists and building relationships with key journalists to pitch media releases and story ideas to, you can use local, regional or state media to:
- promote your business
- manage risks, issues or crises affecting your business.
Advertorials are advertisements in the form of news stories or reviews in newspapers. Advertorials allow you to associate your advertising with the credibility of the newspaper.
Many businesses employ advertising or marketing professionals to help them develop TV advertorials - which are commonly used as a form of advertising and product placement.
Social media lets you bypass the media and go straight to your customers. Using social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter allows you to follow and be followed by journalists, drive web traffic, manage issues by responding quickly to criticisms or negative perceptions, and increase exposure for your business brand.
Learn more about social media and your business.
Print or emailed newsletters are a good way to promote your business, communicate with customers and keep them informed of new products and services.
Regular newsletters can strengthen your personal connections with customers and reflect your business brand and personality. A well written newsletter offers information of value to your customers.
Brochures and catalogues
'Take home' or mail-out brochures or catalogues can help keep your customers thinking about your business and its products and services.
Properly designed brochures and catalogues give customers confidence in you and your brand, and help drive customers to your website or store. Information contained in business brochures and catalogues can be effectively reworked for your website, helping you do business online.
Events are opportunities for business people to gain exposure for their businesses, promote new products or services and make sure accurate information reaches targeted customers.
From a sales point of view, events are a chance to counter customer doubts and build customer confidence. They can also help you research your market and competitors, and build your mailing list. Make sure you go to the event prepared with marketing materials to disseminate and a way to collect information and customer details.
Trade shows are an opportunity for businesses to compete in their industry and share information with people in similar lines of work. Learn more about promoting your business at trade shows and exhibitions.
Speaking at events where customers are likely to attend helps position you as a leader or innovator in your field. As a business owner or leader, building your reputation as an expert also builds the reputation of your business - and draws new customers.
Events are valuable promotional opportunities even if you don't have top billing as a speaker. You will build reputation simply by having your business name or logo on the event listing, or delivering a presentation about a new product or innovation. Additionally, they provide valuable networking opportunities.
Sponsorships or partnerships
Partnerships and sponsorships are good for business. Supporting a not-for-profit cause can help build feelings of goodwill and loyalty towards your business. Community partnerships may involve an exchange of funds or in-kind benefits to grow a local community organisation in return for benefits that promote your business reputation.
Partnerships can help consumers identify your brand with good business practice and good ethics.
Your staff are ambassadors for your business and brand. Many larger businesses conduct employee relations - building their business culture and team relationships by sharing information, promoting involvement and instilling a sense of pride in business achievement. This can improve teamwork, staff retention and productivity, and ensure that staff are representing your business consistently and with the right messages.
Building good relationships with members of the community where you do business helps build customer loyalty. Find out where the customers in your community live by collecting postcodes at point of sale.
Engaging local stakeholders and decision makers helps build your profile and level of influence, helping you to attract more customers through word-of-mouth and ensuring your business interests are factored into community decision making.