Let’s start with some tough love. Please stop thinking PR is the icing on top for your biz!
It’s SO much more than that. It’s the key to building the business of your dreams.
PR is the most important tool for a business when it comes to getting your brand seen and known; building and protecting your reputation, boosting your brand awareness and establishing your credibility.
It is about sharing information with your different audiences to build up a positive profile, and to increase the know, like and trust factors, which are vital in converting cold leads to raving fans!
So what are the benefits of doing PR? Let’s take a look...
Increases your brand awareness
Great PR will always boost your brand awareness. And in order to get to the great part, you need to show up and be visible. That is the key.
PR is the route to having people talking about your brand in an authentic, positive way. This is achievable through media relations; securing coverage in key publications that reach your target customers.
PR coverage is so much better for brand awareness than advertising because it’s impartial. A journalist has deemed your story or content relevant and interesting for their audience. Therefore boosting your brand awareness in a truly authentic way.
As well as media relations you can boost your brand awareness by maximising your other channels. Social media, blogs, enews/ business magazines or internal communications are all PR tools.
It’s vital to take advantage of these, to attract and cultivate your audiences in multiple places, to nurture them and keep them well informed, making them feel valued and engaged.
When done right, PR increases your profile and drives fantastic brand awareness among your target audiences. My top tip; remember, it’s never about you, it’s always about your audience. Think about what they want to read, not what you want to say.
Creates and establishes credibility in your industry
Showing everyone that you are an expert in your field and finding ways for your company to stand out as an industry expert is a surefire way to create and establish your credibility. And when it comes to this, PR is your best friend.
You can use various channels to do this; professional blogs, white papers, a strong social media presence, published articles, press releases or speaking at events. Anywhere you can show up and show off your expertise will add another layer of credibility - just don’t forget to share these and tell people about them!
A PR team can schedule you to guest speak at trade show events and write all of your media pieces. The more your voice is heard in your industry, the more others will listen and take action. This is another huge part of building that know, like and trust.
Knowing your niche is vital when it comes to establishing your credibility. You need to know it inside out and be sharing expertise and insight (and of course products and services!) which are relevant.
Researching where your industry’s leaders are being published and showing up is a really helpful exercise. you can seek out similar opportunities, which will help you reach your target audience.
If this feels like a minefield, a PR expert will be able to do this for you. Seeking out and securing these perfect placements is effectively the heartbeat of all good PR!
Connects you with your dream customers
In order to do this, you must identify your dream publications and get clear on where you need to be to reach your customers.
This is, quite simply, a case of researching. For publications, ask your former and existing customers what they read, use polls on your social media, create a customer avatar - all of this will help you discover where you need to be appearing.
And don’t forget about social media itself; what platforms are your ideal customers using, are there any hashtags relevant to your niche? what you’re doing here is market research. This may seem time-consuming but it’s so worth it in the long-term, remember, PR is a marathon, not a sprint, and once you have a clear vision on where you need to show up it will make delivering your PR plans successfully so much easier!
So how do you then build the connections? You build up the know, like and trust with your audience by consistently appearing in places they are consuming information e.g. in hashtag searches, in their favourite magazines or newspapers, in Facebook groups they interact in. And when you’re showing up you share relevant, interesting information that they will find useful.
There are three main kinds of information people love to consume; informational, educational and inspirational. So make sure all your PR content ticks at least one of these boxes and you’ll find those connections naturally come. And from there, if you nurture your connections well, the hot leads will come running to you.
Brings hot leads flocking to your door
This happens as a result of building your brand awareness, increasing your credibility, and creating those connections. You see how one thing leads to another, and it’s that layering effect we want to achieve, moving people along the nurture sequence from cold to hot.
While PR can help with this whole journey, it is then up to you to convert these customers by giving them products and services that they want, fantastic customer experience and continuing to make them feel valued.
Imagine everyone has a post-it on their forehead saying ‘make me feel special’, if you keep this concept front and centre of everything you do, you’ll be converting those PR driven leads in no time!
PR enables you to build long term relationships by creating that conversation and rapport with your ideal customers.
Leads to further media opportunities
With PR, you are not just creating that connection with your customers. Through your media relations, you are creating meaningful and valuable connections with journalists, showing that you are a reliable, credible source of information that their audience is interested in.
Journalists want to feature people who are relevant to their audience, as this keeps people engaged with and purchasing their publications, or coming back to their websites (which in turn drives their advertising revenue due to eyeballs on site - but that’s a whole other subject!).
When you build relationships with journalists, they will remember you for future publications and as your relationship developed they will keep you in mind for future opportunities and could even come to you for insight and information!
Nurture and cultivate these relationships just like you would a customer - journalists are the gatekeeper to many potential fans and clients, you want to make these guys your business besties as they hold the key to the brand awareness and credibility we talked about in points one and two.
To sum it up, PR establishes you as a credible, reliable and trusted brand that gives your target audience exactly what they want. By doing this, you are opening the door to more opportunities for yourself, because one builds on the other. You gain more opportunities and you become more established.
Whether you do it yourself, invest in a PR coach to help you or have it done for you, PR is a must for any business looking to step into its next level of success.
My question for you is, can you afford not to spend some time or money on a tool which is designed by its very nature to boost your biz?
Tell me, what’s stopping you from taking intentional action to make all of this happen?