11 July 2016
One of the phrases I find myself using when talking about public relations is: ‘Well, if you don’t tell anyone about it, no-one is going to know’. Of course, there are other ways of telling people – email marketing, social media, events, telesales or even going out and selling on the road (but that’s a bit of an arcane idea now isn’t is?). But there is an immediate resistance to most of those methods, much of the time. People know you are selling at them – and these days they don’t need to fact-find by collecting mailers and attending shows, they can use the web.
The good thing about media is that – most of the time – it is seen as being largely independent and unbiased, so as a form of comparative research and opinion, it plays a useful role. Getting into the media on a regular basis won’t do any harm. If you are trying to raise your profile and recruit partners, or for that matter, keep your profile high, it is quite useful as well.
That said, it is not a magic bullet. It will help but it won’t send your sales leads into orbit. You have to have good products and services and a good programme in place. You have to be ready to do business.
And, in the social media era, where it is possible to build a reputation online through virtual connections (but this takes time as well and is just as fragile and arguably even more prone to sudden shattering than it was pre social-media ) do you need to do PR at all?
The answer in my view is a resounding yes.
If you don’t, you simply won’t reach all the people you want to, need to or should reach. Not every website or publication will pick up every story, but most will pick up on some of your stories from time to time. Creating the stories will be a useful exercise in itself and once you’ve sent them to the media, you can convert them into blogs, post them on LinkedIn, Tweet them and use them in all kinds of ways.
Even just thinking about what you can say that will interest and engage potential customers is a useful thing to do on a regular basis. Once you get going, it is not that hard and it need not be expensive or complicated either. You just need to set aside some time every month or so to get things moving – and have some way of creating, distributing and making use of the content.