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7 strategies to get the most out of your public relations efforts

Good for you! You have decided to roll up your sleeves and take a stab at public relations for increased sales and greater visibility, and you cannot wait to get started. Hold on! Before you start calling top PR professionals in your area, take some time to review the following tips.

They will help you get the most out your public relations experience, consequently making your program more effective and giving you the opportunity to grow your business.

1. Know what you want to accomplish from your PR campaign. Do your homework! Know what your customers are looking for and what makes your company unique. How well do you meet your customers’ needs? Market research or a company audit can help put you on the road to a successful campaign.

2. Define your audience through a thoughtful and strategic planning process. A planning process will help you define your target audience and help to discern the messages you wish to relay to the public. A PR plan will help communicate your message in support of your company’s marketing and sales objectives.

3. Be hands-on in getting publicity. If you have an opportunity to shine a light on your business or services, don’t hold back! As a business owner, the most important PR action is getting publicity – gaining visibility and strategically placing information about your products and services in the media.

4. Utilizing the right technology tools can open many doors. Today, launching a winning PR campaign has never been easier. With online resources such as the new social media platforms (facebook, LinkedIn, twitter, etc.), you can start immediately to prefect your campaign—getting the word out to hundreds, if not thousands of prospective customers.

5. Develop successful PR ideas with these three key components. We all know that not much happens in PR without three major components: formulating newsworthy stories; a targeted effort to get your message to a particular audience or customer base and a calculated effort to target media. Important goals of your promotions are to ensure these components are always part of every PR campaign.

6. Get the help you need. Sure, all of this talk about public relations sounds pretty exciting, but most business professionals aren’t PR experts. Therefore it is recommended you hire a PR agency or, if funds are tight, enlist the services of a PR advisor. This will help to introduce innovative thinking, give you an objective point of view and give a new inventive approach to your PR campaigns. How do you determine if your company needs PR help? One critical factor: If PR is vital to your business success (and you feel you can afford the rates), expert guidance may be a great advantage.

7. Everyone in your company should promote! Whether you hire PR experts or not, everyone in the company should be aware of the importance of how PR drives sales. Encourage your staff to team up and think more innovatively about promoting your message via pitching news stories, publishing a company newsletter, conducting surveys, and offering company-sponsored events.

Yes, PR is fun and promoting can be a flashy proposition, but at its core, a good public relations program can help you connect with your audience, build lasting relationships and ultimately enhance your company’s image and drive profits.

Do you have other successful PR strategies that you would like to share? Tell us about your ideas below.

For example, you can use these tools to draw more traffic to your website, which will result in increased business. You can also use the latest technology for promoting your company’s milestones: highlighting important business announcements, publicizing special events, and showcasing new products and services.

Also, be sure that your sales team is using technology to find new customers, as well as building lasting relationships by staying in touch with current customers. These seven strategies will help you in your efforts in building a successful public relations program.