News + Resources

Am I Newsworthy? 4 Steps to Building a Solid Public Relations Strategy

Brittany Coleman - Wednesday, May 07, 2014

 

The media often portrays public relations as high profile industry, reserved for politicians, athletes, and large corporations to manage and shape their public images and smooth over highly publicized crises. This often leaves start-ups and small business owners to wonder if Public Relations is a necessary communications strategy, along with their marketing and advertising initiatives. When scaled down to match your organization’s needs, a public relations plan is essential to start-up success.

Here are 4 steps that will help you build a positive public image for your brand:

1. Pitch Yourself as an Industry Expert- Whether you’re starting a salon, restaurant, or writing a book, chances are you’ve done extensive research, gained respected education in your field, and you have valuable knowledge to share with your public audience. Research conferences and events in your industry and submit proposals to become a speaker or panelist. Make yourself available as an expert source for reporters and editors that write on topics in your industry. You can build a creditable and trusted brand with the public by sharing your knowledge and expertise. Make sure you always have an update to date bio and professional headshot so that you are ready when these opportunities arise!

2. Define Your Key Messages –. How the public views your organization has a direct link to the messaging you are putting out to them. To define your key messages, have a strategy session with individuals that know your organization the best to determine: What makes your business unique? Why is your story compelling? Who is your target audiences? What’s the most important thing your target audiences should know about you? Once you decided what messages you want communicate to your target audience, incorporate this messaging into all your communication vehicles including your website, press releases, and marketing collateral.

3. Build a Relationship with Your Local Media- The local media in your city or community is just as valuable as national media. Developing a great relationship with your local media can attract new customers and clients. Editor endorsed articles establish a credibility that traditional advertising cannot always reach. Research publications, editors, producers, and bloggers in your local area that cover topics in your industry. Connect with them on Twitter, Linkedin, or send them an email introducing yourself and information about any new product launches and unique things about your businesses. Don’t forget to incorporate your key messaging!

4. Become Social Media Savvy – Make some buzz in your city’s online community by developing a strong online image. Whether it’s starting a blog, offering expertise on Facebook pages/community groups or on the local newspaper’s website, get involved in the conversation. In all of your online conversations incorporate your key messaging and communicate your expertise and uniqueness. When your services are needed, your stellar public image will be attached to your brand and you’ll be first on their minds.

Seize every opportunity you’re given to promote your public image and don’t pass up a chance to get the word out about your services and who you are as a company, brand and industry expert.

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