The centre of all business is the push to grow. And, in order to grow your business, it’s important that your business universe gets to know you – who you are, what you do and what you sell. The route to take is – public relations strategies to promote your business. And then, there is the channel of communication – media. If you can catch their attention and spark their imagination, they will carry stories about your clients. And, PR professionals know very well that the editorial teams are always on the lookout for ‘newsy’ stories.
News is free (here I do not refer to ‘paid media’) and free publicity is a good route to increase the profile of your business. But, today, in a world of ‘viral marketing’ and social media, how does this work? Whatever it is, media coverage does boost the business perception and volumes too.
Here are some ways to generate publicity for your company through the media.
Focus on your target audience – the ‘publics’
It is important to identify your prime audience so that the messages can be effectively tailored to target the right media. You could consider who the most influential publics to receive your messages are. Your publics can be customers, employees (existing, past and potential), suppliers, distributors, the financial community, opinion leaders, the government, society at large and so on.
Plus, you must evaluate the media in the same way as audiences, so that your news coverage can be effective. This helps to identify which media is most accessed by the audiences, which is most credible, and which is most supportive.
Share your news via well planned Press Releases
Keep the news peg in mind, and create and send powerful press releases, so that journalists and even editors are interested. A Press Release should be written in a reverse pyramid style, with the most important information up front; the first paragraph should essentially contain the 5Ws and 1H – “who, what, when, where, why and how” to be followed by descriptions, quotes and lesser important information. Some background information can be at the bottom along with your contact information. Of course, behind properly designed press releases can be – strategic thinking, which can set the pattern for your communication plan.
Have a concise, clear message
When designing your PR, it is imperative to remember that press releases will be reaching as many people as you can with your message. To do that, you need to have a clearly defined message. For instance, the government’s ‘Make in India’ or Swachh Bharat campaigns – are great examples of messages that project the current government’s game plan. Kitkat’s “Take a break” or Apple’s “Think different” are examples of brand messages, which define the brand’s lifestyle and also enable customers to interact with the brand.
Determine what kind of lifestyle your corporate brand or products have and you have to find a message that brings your brand’s lifestyle to your target audience. Develop a strong message that will impact your publics. By working out clear messages, you can go a long way to create strong, compelling content. And, creating strong content is key to establishing your brand as a leader in your niche market. Plus, this can alert journalists too. Whether it’s blogging, video publishing or tweeting, you need to create consistent content regularly. Update your social media platforms with compelling content that offer accurate information to your followers, fans and well-wishers. It will only add to the goodwill that your brand will enjoy!
Use social media
As an extension of the above point, you can use social media innovatively – you can set up a Facebook page or a Twitter account. Social media is very good way to build relationships with your customers and build word-of-mouth publicity. Today, it’s a matter of great concern to spark a huge interest on Twitter and get over 1,000 followers in a matter of days. Everyday, you can track the trending topics that follow this pattern and learn from them.
You can create awareness and buzz, increase sales and boost conversion rates. With viral marketing, your YouTube video can get thousands of views, or a photo can get tweeted and retweeted, thus leading to your promotional material going ‘viral’. This can give your public profile a huge boost. There is no magic formula to viral marketing — it’s all about trying to capture people’s imaginations.
Project a socially responsible angle
You could get involved with a local charity, to increase your standing in the community. See what ‘Being Human’ has achieved for Salman Khan. Or you could get the CEO or MD to speak at industry events or to write a column for a trade magazine or a business portal.
Don’t lose track of the right perspective
At the end, remember publicity is a great way not only to increase footfalls but, also to give a boost to your bottomline. And, if you feel that your PR efforts are not being impactful, just analyse the situation. You may then follow a planned activity, with the right perspective, to hit the success button!
If you feel you have to correct your use of the media and the coverage you have been getting, make it a point to do so. This is definitely an easy, planned way to garner publicity.