Public Relations (PR) is a method of connecting with influencers, industry gurus, customers/clients and publications in order to disseminate information about a business, organization or particular message.

The challenge?

In most cases, you have very minimal control over the output of these efforts.

PR efforts result in what we call editorial content – editorial content is content that is not advertising-based, which also means that you do not have the ability to control exactly how that content is shared. That is where the Public Relations professionals come in, we use strategies to work with reporters, influencers, bloggers and so on in order to ensure that the right message is delivered to the right audiences – and at the right time.

For example:

You have just opened a new boutique selling children’s clothing and you want to make sure that parents know you exist. You can take out a full-page advertisement in the local paper and run targeted Instagram ads – OR you can craft a press release with a catchy headline, put together a media kit with product that will impress your audience and reach out to mom bloggers, the local paper and publications that are geared toward parents. Perhaps one of those mom bloggers absolutely LOVES what you are doing and she decides to write a blog post about your new boutique, sharing it on Facebook and Instagram, garnering visits and helping you build brand equity. While you can’t control exactly what that mom says about your boutique, you are receiving authentic, (somewhat) free coverage by a reliable source. Even better? Combined both paid advertising and PR efforts for a better marketing mix!

Here are 4 reasons you may want to consider hiring a Public Relations Specialist (or team of specialists) to help share your company’s message with the world:

  • Clarifying Brand  

When starting a PR campaign, an experienced specialist will work with you in order to identify your company’s core values, goals, mission and vision as well as messaging pillars and guidelines. By creating cohesive brand messaging, your target audience will have a clear understanding of the products and services provided by your company, minimizing noise and avoiding confusion. If the media is confused about what you’re doing, they probably aren’t going to go out of their way to share about it with the world.

Ask OTM about our Brand Bible – a deliverable that provides brand clarity and consistency to you and your team.

  • Boosting Credibility

Credibility is not built overnight. With the right public relations tools and techniques, your company will lay the foundation of trust and start developing a sustainable, positive reputation.

Some of those techniques include:

  • Working with Reliable Sources – If a trusted source speaks highly on behalf of your company, your business gains credibility due to the source’s credibility.
  • Consistent and Clear Communication – Be honest and transparent with your audience. Make your customers feel safe and ensure they made the right decision by working with your company.
  • Positive Promotion – Every award, victory or accomplishment from your company needs to make it to the eyes of reporters and media in your area.

The public wants a trusted expert in your industry, with a little help from public relations, your expertise credibility will increase over time.  

  • Controlling Conversations

While Google and Yelp’s reviews can be extremely beneficial to a company’s reputation, if they’re not monitored and controlled, they can actually be quite detrimental. Review platforms are designed to share reviews – positive or negative – and unfortunately, people are much more likely to complain when they’re upset than praise when they’re pleased. In fact, review sites can quickly turn into the public’s virtual punching bag. People say what they want, whenever they want regardless if it’s true or false.

Through programs like Podium and Brand24, PR specialists are able to monitor and respond to reviews while flagging recurring issues to improve the business itself.

  • Staying Significant

A PR campaign is not something that is over in six to eight months, once you quit talking about your business, so will the press. A good strategy includes constantly putting out newsworthy press releases and stories to keep your business relevant. Don’t be scared of the media; instead, use it as another way of communication between you and your target audience.

Unsure how to get started? Reach out today to chat with OTM’s Public Relations Specialists and get your business in front of the right people in 2019.

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