Guest Blog Post from our friend Patti Hazlett:
Promotion is a vital piece of getting new business and sometimes, you just don’t have the time, energy or know-how to do it. Think about it. You are working on building your speaking schedule and you need to confirm dates, times, travel, not to mention write your messages and plan for the events. But, when those are over, what’s next?
Yes, word of mouth can help and oftentimes you get repeat business. But how else can you grow? How can you increase the visibility of the events you have planned? How can you reach new audiences with your message?
The answer is with public relations (PR).
A strategic PR plan can help you gain credibility, increase awareness and enlarge your audience. It can also help you balance and maintain the relationships and perceptions of your current stakeholder base. Everyone you come in contact with is a stakeholder.
The audience at an event, the person who reads your book, the women’s ministry leader who booked you at her retreat, the person who commented on your blog, and the list goes on.
PR is an opportunity for you to have a voice with your key stakeholders. It is a strategic resource to align your goals with measurable outcomes either through transactions, influence, perception or reputation.
A thoughtful and well-executed PR campaign can add value and help achieve goals in many ways. And a good PR firm can help in lots of circumstances.
Here are just a few:
- Offer an external, objective viewpoint or perspective
- Help increase overall visibility
- Provide support for a product or an entire marketing effort
- Provide strategic counsel in a crisis
- Help communicate with employees
- Help strengthen community relations
Press releases are one component of an overall strategy, but let me touch on them because they can bring a lot of value. If you have an event scheduled, if you are releasing a book, if you are a subject-matter expert on a specific topic – a press release can help disseminate that message and gain credible media interest. The difference between a press release and advertising is that you pay for advertising and you control the message. There is a place for that in an overall strategy. However, a press release, if printed/posted or used to spark a larger article or story, can give you added credibility and visibility at no cost. And, this visibility is seen as more valuable than an advertisement because a third party (the reporter/publication) has opted to write/post about it or do a story. Press releases can also help notify stakeholders of upcoming events. Publications’ calendars are always a great place to promote and a release can do just that.
You may look at this post and think “I won’t ever need that.” But the truth is, everyone will need to think in these terms at some point. This is what I do for my clients. I’ll work with you to identify your specific needs, and align resources to help accomplish your goals. It’s about a relationship. Your business is my business and my success depends on yours. I am here to help you succeed.