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How PR can help your business

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By Zoe Palmer

I recently met up with some other working mums at a Networking Mummies meeting to share some insight into how PR can help raise awareness and most importantly, how it can help drive sales.  I thought it might be helpful to summarise some of the points I made, so here goes....

What is PR and why should I use it?  PR is all about reputation.  What you do, say and what others are saying about you. It can help you raise your profile, gain an advantage over your competitors and influence your audiences to behave in a certain way towards you, including helping them to decide whether to buy your product or service.

Sounds good, where do I start?  There are many different ways PR can work for you.  But to make sure you get the desired result from your activity, it’s important to create a strategy that’s right for your business.  That means revisiting your business objectives and asking and answering yourself lots of questions.  For example, what’s your short, medium and long term goal?  What do you want to communicate to help you achieve them and to who?  What will success look like and how can you best achieve it?

Be clear and consistent. It’s important that you communicate to your target audience using clear and simple messages.  You need to ensure you’re consistent so take a look at your website, company literature and how you interact with your customers – are you always behaving and communicating in a consistent way or are do you use lots of messages?  Is it easy to identify what makes your business different from other similar businesses?

Give your business an honest appraisal.  You are too close to your business to be able to view it objectively.  Hard as it might be to swallow, asking a trusted friend to review all aspects of how you market yourself can be a valuable exercise.  Remember not to take any feedback personally.  This is business.

Know your audience and develop a two-way relationship.  Be clear as to who your audiences are and communicate appropriately.  A monologue will never allow you to tap into the power of feedback so encourage your customers to talk to you.  And if they have valid opinions then make sure you act upon them.  Get them talking and keep the conversation going – create a community and don’t be scared to interact.

Finally, the ultimate goal for any business is to turn its customers into advocates.  That relies on always exceeding expectations.  Easy to say, much harder to achieve.  But if you can get it right then you’ve struck gold!

I hope that’s helpful.  If you’d like to know more about how I can help you use PR to grow your business then drop me a line [email protected]

Zoe

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