Blogs, social media, and websites that look for contributors are platforms to let a company of any size and budget develop a public relations strategy.
The corporate story and the knowledge of its leaders and workers are assets that can be leveraged to create a closer relationship with the target audience.
Caroline Callaway, founder and president of Bolt PR in Irvine, California, told me in the comments to follow that there are three truths companies should understand.
Every Company has News
I find so many companies discount their opportunity for publicity and saying things like, ‘I can’t see anyone caring about what we do.’
If you make the most simple widget and it did something positive that’s a story worth sharing. Every company has a story and it takes a little mining to come up with the right way to share it. Every company has news, dig deep and find it.
Hire a Partner
A true partner is an agency that when you call, you’ll get a cell number and someone who answers 90 percent of the time.
Someone brings ideas to you. This partner is really driving the messaging, marketing publicity, and is someone who shoots straight with you. This person says, ‘let’s think about this’ and is there to give you perspective.
Companies need someone who can make recommendations. I would advise outsourcing [public relations] to someone who’s going to be a partner and create dialogue. They won’t just be a ‘yes’ man.
PR is One Part of an Overall Plan
That goes back to the partnership aspect.
When you hire PR or bring it on, it has to drive business but you can’t expect to have it grow on its on.
It takes a lot of people doing their job great to grow a business and to think of the opportunities and ask, ‘What’s next, what else can we be doing?’
According to the Public Relations Society of America, annual U.S. spending on combined public relations and word of mouth marketing services will grow at a rate of 14 percent between 2010 and 2015, to $10.96 billion. Spending was $5.7 billion in 2010.