PR teams are popular in times of crisis and when there’s cause for celebration. Big oil spill? Celebrities using your product? Hackers got your client’s data? Signed that million-dollar deal? Call someone from public relations to either kill the story or spread the word! But what happens in the time in-between – when you’re just quietly getting on with the business of everyday business? That’s actually when your PR team needs to be working harder than ever – because when it comes to public relations, no news is not good news.
Just like a good marriage, in public relations you need to keep the channels of communication open at all times – there’s just a lot more people you need to communicate with! It’s up to the PR team to keep your brand top of mind amongst all stakeholders at all times. That means making sure that you’re a part of the conversation, and if there isn’t a relevant conversation taking place, then it’s up to PR to start one.
So who are these “current and future stakeholders” and, beyond sharing the big news, what should you be doing to keep your brand top of mind? Here’s a (far from exhaustive) list to get you started.
PR and securing new business
Regardless of where they are in the buying cycle, potential clients need to be made aware of your brand and the benefits of choosing you rather than your competitors. The key is to work consistently to ensure that you maintain your presence.
- Write regular blogs with strong SEO to make sure that you rank well for important key-words. You’ll be surprised how many business deals start with a Google search.
- Join and contribute to industry forums and discussions on platforms like LinkedIn. By providing useful information and advice you build trust and establish your reputation as a leader in the industry.
- Submit your product for impartial testing and review by bloggers, journalists and industry experts to increase your chances of being included in valuable “top ten” posts.
- Regularly interact with journalists and influencers in your market to increases the chances of your product being featured in their next piece. Read and comment on their stories, send them relevant news about your products and ideas for articles and respond quickly to any questions.
- Be social - this means not only broadcasting news and content on your social pages, but also getting involved with your clients and partners and showing support for what they’re doing. Like their posts, mention them in yours and share their content - and then ask them to do the same for you. You’ll all benefit from leveraging each other’s networks.
PR and client retention
It’s easier to keep a client than to get new business. Your PR activity can convince clients that they’ve made the right decision in choosing your brand and encourage loyalty. In turn, happy clients can become part of your PR network, starting positive conversations about your company and products. The good news is that it’s really easy to communicate with this group because you know exactly who they are and how to reach them.
- Create case studies and client testimonials and share these through the press, social media and on your website and blog. Seeing how other successful companies are using your product validates your clients’ buying decision and opens their eyes to different ways that the product could be used within their organisation.
- Provide support content like how-to’s and FAQ’s to make it easy for new clients to learn the ropes and existing clients to get the most out of your product.
- Make them feel special by offering special deals, hosting client events and sharing news with existing clients before it’s publicly released.
PR and investor relations
While investor relations are often revenue focussed and therefore managed by the financial department, PR has an important role in keeping investors happy by providing context and creating a positive perception of the company. Investing your money is the ultimate demonstration of faith in an organisation and PR can help convince backers that their investment is sound. The suggested activities described under “PR and securing news business” and “PR and client retention” are also valuable investor relations exercises.
- Create an investor newsletter that celebrates recent successes and tells investors about upcoming plans.
- Invite investors to company events where they will be able to see their investment at work and act as brand advocates.
PR and internal communication
Staff have an enormous capacity to influence the perception of your brand, product or company. While some organisations have separate internal communications departments, others rely on HR or departmental managers to ensure that their teams are kept happy and informed. The PR team can support these activities and leverage staff networks to reach a wider audience.
- Keep staff informed by including them in news distribution, distributing a staff newsletter or creating a social group where staff can share news.
- Share stories about your staff. Clients, investors and prospective clients like to know that they’re dealing with real people rather than faceless organisations. Feature your staff in blogs, social posts and newsletters to boost staff morale and create a sense of community.
Don’t be a good-time-buddy or the person who only gets in touch in times of need – the key is to consistently communicate and build your brand reputation to maintain a strong market presence that can weather the storms and capitalise on the good news.
Get in touch with Little Cricket PR to find out how we can help you keep your brand top of mind.