All PR professionals would agree that all businesses want Public Relations (PR). For growing businesses and business owners seeking to raise their profile, PR is a great lower budget alternative when compared with traditional paid advertising.
It’s vital that business owners toss their hat into the PR ring with their eyes wide open
PR cannot save a business experiencing problems with their day-to-day bread and butter. In reality, generating media attention will only highlight your business’ flaws so before we look at devising a PR Strategy that contributes to your business’ long-term goals, we need to take a good, honest look at the current state of your business. This helps us to avoid some of the more common mistakes business PR newbies are guilty of making.
Work your way through this checklist:
- When you land on your website and social media channels, do you feel that the copy and visuals personify your brand? Is it easy for people who have had no exposure to your brand before to work out what you do and what problems you can solve for them?
- Speaking honestly, would you say your website is equipped to handle the majority of Australia potentially logging onto it if you succeed in achieving the national coverage you might be hoping for? Are you sure your user experience is where it needs to be to leverage media coverage?
- Do you have a designated company Spokesperson who is media trained and comfortable speaking with journalists? Keep in mind that different mediums have different requirements from talent.
If you answered no to any of these questions, you’re far better off focusing on getting these various elements up to scratch before even considering PR. Any ethical PR professional should highlight these things to you if you approach them for their services.
Now, if you answered yes to all of the above questions, there’s still one big knockout question to consider…
How much do you really understand regarding what PR is and how it will benefit your business?
Your answer to this question is highly important. Here are some important PR truths to clear up common misconceptions:
- PR is not a sales tool. A journalist is not going to publish a story about your latest sale. PR is about storytelling.
- It’s not about hounding the media until they give you the answer you’re after (which is not a practice that will work anyway).
- It’s not your get out of jail free card. PR cannot save a business that isn’t delivering on its promises to customers.
PR is all about relationship building and connecting with the people that matter in your space
When you work with a PR professional who understands your goals, they’ll help your company to develop a quality reputation with the journalists and media who cover your industry. This doesn’t happen overnight – you wouldn’t call someone your best friend after having a decent chat at a party. It’s exactly the same with the media. This relationship works on a foundation of respect and by working together with these professionals to provide them with the information that’s relevant to them, in a way that helps them to do their job.
A quality PR professional will also help you to hone in on your story, develop your messaging and weed out what is newsworthy about your business. They’ll ask you the questions that matter and questions that are almost impossible to ask yourself when you’re living and breathing your business day-in-day out. They will ask you about your audience and focus the strategy on gaining quality coverage, not the quick wins that show you they’re doing ‘something’ but don’t really contribute to maximising your business’ bottom line.
When you’ve found the right PR professional for your business, they’re part of your team.
They celebrate the wins with you and they’re just as disappointed when things don’t go to plan. They’ve earned your trust, you consider them part of your inner circle and it’s a true partnership – they’re an invaluable asset to your team.
PR is not an overnight game. Like anything worth doing, it takes time and commitment to get your PR mojo right and build the relationships that will raise your business’ profile among the right audience.
If you’re committed to developing your business’ reputation, reach out and let’s discuss how together, we can devise a PR Strategy that contributes to maximising your profits.