Public Relations is an often over-looked tactic for many small businesses. Most business owners think it’s a technique that’s out of reach for their particular business, however, there are 3 critical reasons it needs to be part of your marketing calendar or routine and you need to make room for it.
The deepest form of public relations entails developing relationships with media contacts, but it also means developing and writing press releases to heighten the level of credibility behind your brand. Press releases have the capability to deliver a level of exposure and awareness to the media as well as building some incredibly powerful online links for your business.
As you know, Google evaluates SEO credibility based on the number of links of coming back to your site and press releases are a valuable means of enhancing this kind of online credibility. The free services can be somewhat helpful, however, I’m specifically referring to the more credible press release distribution systems for generating higher quality SEO or search value.
Reactive Public Relations
This has also become known as reputation management. In order to manage your reputation, you’ve got to be on the look-out and listening for anything than can affect what people think of your brand or its products and services. Managing reputation involves actively monitoring online reviews and every communication about your business. If someone posts an unfavorable review, your job is to manage the path to fixing whatever went wrong in that situation and actively working to change that view. This should be part of every company’s marketing plan.
This category of public relations is about developing real relationships with people of influence across a number of media outlets. This includes the blogosphere, print media including magazine and newspaper journalists, writers for industry trade magazine, and television and radio media. This category is also the most challenging piece of public relations to develop as you have to get these folks to know, like, and trust you before they’ll credit you as being a thought-leader in your industry.
In order to build these kinds of relationships, you need to invest considerable time in understanding who you need to get to know them and how to get to know them. You have to have events or situations to engage them with and this is no easy task. This is not something you can execute quickly and is much more successful when you engage a public relations professional.
As you can see, all three types of public relations play an important part in the marketing action plan for a small business and all are critical to long-term success. Public relations should be part of your marketing routine and that also means actively strategizing your public relations plan to ensure it’s helping you deliver against your business objectives.