Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Using Marketing PR to Promote Your Business

Author: Michelle Payne-Gale

Public Relations is an important marketing tool, and should be considered carefully. It is a way of connecting with your customers, suppliers and distributors. The objectives of Marketing PR are to build awareness, raise your profile and build credibility, and encourage your staff. Here are five Marketing PR methods that you can use to promote your company.

News

It will be your responsibility to develop a concept for a story about your business, to research it fully and to write a press release (if you are not confident in your writing ability, consider passing this task to a copywriter). There needs to be a good relationship between your company, and the editors of your chosen publications. Unless you are trained in Public Relations, it may be wise to seek the services of a PR professional at this point. PR professionals are in the best position for encouraging the media to attend your press conferences and accept your editorials. They understand the needs of editors and reporters, and as a result will be able to sell you appropriately to them.

Publications

There are a number of different types of publication that fall under the umbrella of PR, and can be used separately or in conjunction with each other. Brochures advise customers about the product, its uses, how it works, its benefits, and any extra features. Newsletters and magazines help the build up the company's image, convey news and special offers, as well as marketing the company in a variety of ways. Articles in local newspapers help to advertise and draw attention to the company and its products. Multimedia methods are the most expensive of the publications, but have the greatest impact. Many companies choose to create videos about themselves and their products, and use them for presentation purposes. Blogs and the Internet are the cheapest of the publications, and have the greatest coverage, without needing a large budget.

Events

These include seminars, conferences, exhibitions and sponsored events, such as sports or charity. They give an opportunity to advertise your expertise in your field and display all that your company has to offer. Sponsoring events puts you in front of potential clients and can help you to get contacts via networking.

Public Speaking

Give speeches at trade association meetings and clubs. Consider speaking at or hosting a networking event for business professionals or customers. If your company is larger in scale, consider holding speaking events with media professionals. If public speaking is not your thing, consider using the services of a public speaking coach or speechwriter to help build your confidence.

Community Activities

Much the same as sponsoring events, consider contributing money and time to good causes. Remember that it is better to give than to receive, and it will be a great way of marketing yourself at the same time.

When you consider using Marketing PR, ensure that you are clear on your marketing objectives, your messages, your audience, your PR methods, and take care to implement them appropriately. Keep track of your results, to ensure continued success in the future.

About the author: Michelle Payne-Gale is the owner of Essence (Business & Admin Support Services), specialising in virtual administration, marketing, web design, research & creative support for start-ups and small businesses. Additional articles are available at: http//www.essence-services.co.uk.

She is also involved in the development of http//www.stay-in-antigua.com, a tourism information website for the Caribbean island of Antigua.

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