PR & Communications
This subject is often mis-understood by small businesses but PR & communications is just as important to them as to big companies or famous people.
How others view you
What the people you interact with think of you is very important, some examples might include:
- What do your existing staff think of your company? Is it a good place to work? How are they treated? Do they feel valued and have a desire to want to contribute to your company’s success? All these things matter a lot if you are going to keep your staff and maintain a good quality of service to your customers;
- How your current staff view you is also reflected back to other potential new staff, your customers and the community at large;
- What your customers think of you is crucial. There are many different versions of the “3 layer” model of your customers, but the one that simplifies it best is:
- top level – these customers love what you do and will actively promote you whenever they get the opportunity;
- middle level – these customers think you are OK, just another one of their suppliers. If someone else comes up with a better offer, they will consider moving although there is nothing really wrong with what you do;
- bottom level – these customers do not rate you at all. They will tell anyone who they speak to how poor you are. If you haven’t already lost them then you will do soon. Worse, they are destructive and will undermine you to others.
- There is work that needs doing with your three levels of customers – ALL of them;
- Your suppliers are also important – don’t forget they will supply to other similar organisations and talk about you;
- The community at large matters as well. This applies not just to nationwide organisations but also locally. People talk and if you have a good name locally then you can expect to thrive as a business.
What is good PR?
Good PR is important for every business. It can pay you to use a professional to help. Don’t feel you need to spend a fortune on branding and image, but you do need to do a few simple things to improve.
You need to consider many different activities but the first thing you should look at is your objectives.
- Increase awareness of you and what you do. This might involve advertising but is more likely to mean better networking, improved information about your company, perhaps on social media, on your web-site or through exhibitions;
- Improve your reputation. This may be to customers or to your local community. It might be with new staff, or even your existing staff;
- Resolve some of your business’s difficulties. Perhaps you have received some bad press, or poor reviews on-line. More often than not you will feel that these are un-justified. You can resolve this.
- It may be that you want to take your corporate responsibility seriously. Perhaps become greener, show your more caring side, involve yourself with community issues or help out with charities you care about. All of these are PR related activities;
- Your staff may not be feeling good about working for you. This will ultimately mean your business is not doing as well as it could be. Your staff matter, because they are human beings and you have a responsibility of care towards them;
- We all hear, all the time, about social media and how important it is. Well, the first thing to do is work out what you want it to do for you. You simply must get this right before you embark on a programme of digital activity.
Engage a professional PR consultant
So, once you have a clear view of what you want your PR & communications to do for you, the time has come to engage a professional to help you make it happen. I say this because a good PR & Communications professional will be expert in their field and will know what best to do and how best to go about it. Be under no illusion, your team will need to do most of the work, but if you have the right advice then you will be doing the right things rather than taking a scatter-gun approach.
You will have noticed that I have not discussed advertising here. Gone are the days when a half page written advert would deliver lots of sales. There is a place for advertising, but in a much more focused and appropriate manner. This subject is a whole subject on its own and can only really be addressed to your own specific needs. These will depend on your markets, your ideal customers, the products you are trying to sell, geography and many other factors. The solutions will tend to be multiple platforms. These could include things like Google ad-words, pop-ups, PPC as well as traditional advertising. It all depends on your business, and your business is unique.
One of the best professionals I know for small businesses can be found at: https://www.cornelle-comms.co.uk/
We can help you get your PR & Communications right. Give us a call or drop us a short email for a free no obligation chat.