Many business owners fail to see the value of public relations and wonder why they would want to devote a portion of their limited budget to PR efforts when they could apply that money to marketing campaigns instead. But once you begin to understand the return on investment that can result from PR, you might change your tune. While the main goal of any marketing strategy is to promote your products or services in order to garner sales, the rationale behind public relations is to promote your company and create a positive association with your brand. This kind of goodwill could return a massive response that not only leads to sales, but also fierce brand loyalty. And it doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money, either, especially if you take your efforts into the online arena. However, you might not know how to start your foray into online public relations. So here are just a few basics that should put you on the right track.
The main thing you need to know when it comes to managing your public relations in the online arena is that news travels fast. This can work to your advantage when it comes to PR, although it can also work against you. Suppose, for example, that your company is the focus of consumer complaints or employee grievances. If the media latches on to the story, it could spread like wildfire on the internet. But the very instrument of your defamation could become the vehicle of your salvation, thanks to your ability to push your own PR agenda via online and mobile media. With the means to enforce swift and widespread damage control, any PR crisis may be averted in no time at all.
Of course, the hope is that it won’t come to this. When you utilize this worldwide forum correctly you can create a brand image that consumers will flock to. The place to start is with efforts in the real world that cast your company in a good light, such as public outreach, charitable works or contributions, and a strong focus on social and environmental responsibility. But what will gain you attention is your capacity for spreading this information, and online resources can help you here. You can do a lot on your own behalf by posting your accomplishments on your website, blog, or social media profiles, but a better plan of action may be to involve the media in your efforts.
While you shouldn’t hesitate to toot your own horn, you may find that you get a better response if a seemingly unbiased party does the shouting for you. And with the 24/7 news cycle constantly in need of fodder, your feel-good story of charitable works could bring in the positive attention and public response that will help to boost your image and your sales. Of course, it all starts with establishing an online presence through portals like your website, blog, and social media profiles and then utilizing them to reach out to consumers and ensure customer satisfaction. And your PR efforts in the real world will certainly have an impact on your efforts online. You might even host public or media events complete with food, drinks, and music courtesy of SonicBids. So long as you use your online resources to ensure that people know about your PR efforts you can maximize any expenditure and potentially see a return on investment far greater than what marketing efforts might accomplish.