4 Tips for Strategic Public Relations
PR professionals today need to approach public relations differently. The old rules still apply. Customers are still more likely to purchase a product after they have seen it advertised three or more times. It is still price, customer service and convenience that result in a sale. The change is occurring because people are no longer passively watching TV, reading magazines and watching billboards during their commute. They research information to find the best product and a better deal. They read online reviews on sites like Yelp, Facebook and Google+.
So, how does this relate to public relations?
Companies need to make an emotional connection to those making a buying decision and the marketplace is much more fragmented than it has ever been before. Public relations can still influence buying decisions, but the key is finding how to reach your specific niche of potential buyers. These days, where column inches and on-air minutes appear is as important as how many you get. If it isn’t published where all your potential customers will see it, you might as well not do it! Copyright laws require getting permission to post articles, videos, links and information from media sources, and yes, it is worth paying for!
Four Tips for Strategic Public Relations:
1. Create an engaging Web site that connects to potential customers. Explain how a product or service solves problems, include positive reviews and recommendations, and prove your commitment to customer service. Don’t forget to engage. A site must have a way to capture customer data. Include a inquiry form instead of a simple link to an e-mail address so information is stored in a database for the future. Include social media links and a sign up form to stay connected via e-mail. Make it easy for your customer to stay connected, and most importantly, make it easy for you to find them again.
2. Pitch a story to a reporter. The news media is always looking for a good story. Tie your message to a current national issue or create a healthy debate—controversy always gets news. Especially today, when every company is submitting news, a good reporter appreciates someone with a legitimate news story that is relevant to a national or local issue.
3. Submit your news to news media web sites. TV stations, radio stations, and newspaper are all competing for content. Most are willing to post local business news because it will increase the traffic on their own web site. Find reasons to create press releases for your business or organization and send them regularly.
4. Once your company is featured in a published work, you now have the credibility of a third party endorsement. Once it is printed or posted online, link to it! This is the all-important link building that has a strong influence on search engine results.
In today’s environment, businesses need to take advantage of every public relations opportunity. The key to maximizing the value of each campaign lies in harnessing the power of our changing media landscape. For those that want to get started today, do your homework on your own website, find a news story and then submit it.
Click here for links and guidance on how to submit news to the media in the Mobile, Alabama metropolitan area.