What can PR do for us?

We are often asked: “What should I be looking to achieve with my PR and communications?” Whilst the following isn’t exhaustive it should be of interest to smaller businesses:

Deciding what you want your communications campaign to achieve will be one of the key elements to its success and for most small businesses this will ultimately focus on sales and new business. Don’t be afraid of setting your goals high but always bear in mind the time you will be able to invest to achieve those heights. There will of course be a few “soft and fluffy” goals that you may wish to achieve along the way but it is hard, measurable facts that should ultimately determine the success of your campaign.

To achieve this you must understand your target market. Who is it that buys your services and makes the decision to work with you? Reaching them with your message, knowledge and information is vital to the success of a PR and communications campaign. Before you start setting goals it is imperative that you leave your ego at home and step back from the business. Ask yourself the following:

• Is it me or my services that need the coverage? • Does our business really need national or international coverage?

Firstly, if you let your ego become involved and constantly push yourself rather than the company, neither the press nor the readers will be interested. It is your services, experience and abilities that count ¬ not your social calendar.

Secondly, too many people think that only national press coverage is worthwhile. Ask yourself whether it is worth wasting the time striving for two lines in the Financial Times or Wall Street Journal, compared to a full page in a well read local newspaper or industry publication – that actually focuses on your target market. And be realistic – do you have a good enough story, are the national press likely to write about you and your business?

The following are some PR goals you might want to consider:

Our PR Campaign will. .. • … drive up the sales of our services and products • … raise our profile with potential and current clients (don’t forget – it is easier to keep a client than find a new one) • … build up our database of targets • … allow us to shout about the uniqueness of our products and services • … promote our business as an industry and community leader • … ensure our reputation continues to grow • … promote our senior staff as industry experts • … ensure we are aware of and react to appropriate industry issues • … help our business attract and keep top quality staff

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