Do you want to find a new way to reach out to your customers? Are you sitting on fantastic news about your company that you can’t wait to share? Have you been thinking about ways to take your marketing and advertising efforts to the next level?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, you need to consider running a public relations campaign for your business.
Public relations (also known as PR) is an effective way for businesses to keep the public informed about who they are and what they’re doing. Every successful company you can think of has a robust PR department and runs several campaigns, and you can use the power of a PR campaign to help your business, too.
Are you new to the world of PR, and don’t know if you can benefit from it — or even how to start your own campaign?
Don’t worry, we’re here to help you. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of PR campaigns and how your business can plan a successful campaign of their own.
Reasons to Use PR Campaigns
When most people think about public relations, they mistakenly believe that companies only use PR specialists when something goes wrong. Some companies do need public relations help after a scandal or problem, but most of the PR campaigns you see have nothing to do with combating negative press.
PR is all about getting the word about your business out to people. The truth is that a well thought out PR campaign can have a lot of benefits for businesses.
Are you not convinced that a public relations campaign can help your business? Read these reasons why some companies run campaigns, then you can see if you think a PR campaign can help your business.
Put a New Spin on Advertising and Marketing
If you want to run an effective marketing or advertising campaign, PR should be a part of it.
It’s true that even the best public relationships campaign can’t compare to a fully thought out marketing campaign, but it can help complement your efforts. It can help spread the word about your business or services in a new way.
Running a public relations campaign can also be a great way to save money on paid advertising. Instead of running a long and costly ad campaign, you can switch to PR and see what results you can get from there.
Stay on People’s Minds
You are far from the only business that’s trying to get the attention of potential customers. Businesses in all niches are trying to reach your ideal customer, and if you don’t do what you can to stay on people’s minds you’ll easily be forgotten.
Running a public relations campaign that can highlight recent company news can help public awareness. This can be especially helpful for retailers.
When you run a retail business it can be difficult for people to remember you unless you’re not running a big sale or promotion. A public relations campaign can help remind people of all of the good you do on a daily basis.
Showcase Your Expertise
When you’re selling a product or service, you’re actually selling your expertise. People use your business because of your quality and knowledge, and a public relations campaign is the perfect opportunity to show the value you bring to others.
Show off your knowledge on a topic in a well-placed piece of sponsored content on your company blog. Design a campaign around a hot topic in your industry and release content that shows your expertise on the topic.
Start Building Credibility
If you’re a new business owner it can be difficult to find your foothold in your local marketplace. One of the best ways for you to showcase your expertise and position yourself as a credible source in your industry is to run a fantastic public relations campaign.
Exposure to the public is important when you’re trying to build credibility, and PR is the best way to do it.
People don’t like feeling like they’re being marketed to. Running an ad campaign may not resonate as much with people as you’d hope. A well thought out PR campaign can give people the message you want to send about your business without seeming disingenuous.
Remember, whether you’re posting something on Facebook or appearing on a podcast you’re doing a lot to build your brand and show yourself as an expert.
How to Run a Successful Public Relations Campaign
Public Relations can do a lot to help your business, but you’ll only be able to see its benefits if you handle your campaign the right way.
It’s surprisingly easy to bungle a PR campaign. Sometimes a positive attempt to showcase your services, comment on a current issue, or promote a cause can end badly.
We’re here to teach you what you need to do to run a truly successful campaign.
Go Beyond Press Releases
The press release will always have an important role in your publication relations plans. Press releases can let reporters know about newsworthy events, and if they’re published online, they can even help your business with SEO.
Your public relations campaign will most likely always have a press release attached, but you shouldn’t make that the main focus on your PR campaign.
There are so many different things you can use to create a comprehensive public relations campaign. If you only focus on the press release, you’ll be missing out on interesting ways to reach out to and connect with your audience.
Think about blog content you can write and release over time to help your PR campaign. Take time to plan how you’re going to promote your PR efforts over social media and pay close attention to different types of content you can use across different platforms.
Events and talks can be a part of your PR campaign, so can video content and appearing on podcasts. When you open yourself up to different kinds of content you can use, you can start to create a campaign that can truly resonate with your clients.
Think About Your Main Goal
Don’t make the mistake of running a PR campaign just for the sake of having one.
If you’re running a public relations campaign, you should be doing it because you have something to say to the public. Company news like conferences, talks, and new employees are always good reasons to put out content. Sales, deals, and new products are also great reasons to talk to the public.
Public relations content that isn’t centered around a core goal will never perform as well as you’d like it to. Whatever you produce can come across as inauthentic, and you could actually harm your brand.
If you want to run a public relations campaign that’s successful, don’t forget about the ultimate outcome you want to achieve from your work.
Do you want to tell your customers about the new c-level employee you hired that has exciting ideas about how to grow the company? Is there a new product or service that people should be excited about? Did you just speak at a fantastic conference and want people to watch your recorded talk?
Regardless of what you want your campaign to do, make sure to keep it top of mind when you’re planning your content.
Intimately Know Your Audience
Understanding your customers isn’t just important for PR, it’s crucial for the overall success of your business.
If you don’t understand your audience you’re not going to be able to effectively market to them. This is why it’s important for you to go into your campaign with a solid understanding of who your audience is and what motivates them.
Businesses that cater to families may want to emphasize that they’re a family-owned company, or that they understand the needs and struggles of working parents. A company that wants to appeal more to tech-savvy buyers may want to highlight how they accept alternative payment methods like Venmo and Bitcoin.
Are you feeling like you could use more data on your target customer base? It’s easier than ever for business owners to learn about who they should be targeting, and there are some simple things you can do now that can help you learn about your audience.
If you have Google Analytics on your website, take some time to explore the audience tabs in your analytics dashboard. Many social platforms also automatically collect data on users, so be sure to check out their backends to see what you can learn.
Companies that want to gather more data over time may want to consider sending out a customer survey. Ask customers some basic questions about age, location, and interests. Feel free to compel people to answer with exclusive deals and coupons they’ll receive for participating.
Now that you have some information on your audience and what motivates them, you can spend some time thinking about different platforms you want to use in your overall PR campaign.
There’s nothing wrong with taking an all-encompassing approach to your campaign and wanting to hit every platform possible. However, you should keep in mind that certain kinds of content will perform better depending on the platform they’re featured on.
The thought leadership content your write may not do well on Twitter, but it could be a hit on LinkedIn. It’s also possible the video content you produce would do fantastic on Twitter but barely get any views on LinkedIn.
This is why it’s important to do whatever you can to learn about your audience and the platforms they’re on. Once you have that knowledge you can plan the content you want to use and consider the best ways to utilize what you have.
Tap Your Local Network
The relationships you form with journalists can make or break your PR efforts. If you don’t know anybody in your local media scene you may not be able to get the coverage you want.
Local news always likes to feature stories on local business initiatives. Forming a relationship with a local columnist or TV anchor can help your PR efforts go even farther.
Connect with local media personalities on social media by following their profiles and commenting on their posts. Introduce yourself and always be on the lookout for news that you could comment on.
If you want to take things a step further, consider signing up for a service like HARO that will give you alerts when journalists are looking for experts to speak with.
Spread Your Links
When you run a PR campaign you want to maximize all of the positive results as much as possible. If you want to truly benefit from a modern PR campaign, make sure that you spend time resharing links that you get from your public relations efforts.
Did a manager have a quote featured in an article published in a popular industry publication? Was one of your coupons or deals featured in a blog post? Did you notice than an influencer shared one of your posts on social media?
If you’re mentioned in any kind of media, make sure to share it and comment on it when you can. The more active you can be in spreading that message, the better your PR campaigns will be.
Business Strategy and More
The right public relations campaign can do a lot for your business. Whether you want to spread the word about your business or promote a new product or service PR can help.
A PR campaign is only one thing that can help properly promote your business. There’s a lot you can do that can help your business grow at all stages.
We have a lot of helpful content for entrepreneurs on our website. Be sure to browse all of our business content to find things that matter to your the most.