Good public relations skills can be the make or break factor in your business’ success. If there’s one thing you should invest time and resources into, it’s PR. You can set aside thousands of pounds for paid promotions, but nothing compares to the effect that positive word of mouth and press coverage can have on your business.
The vast majority of PR is free. The only thing it will cost you is effort and time. We know that in the world of business, time is money, but you can lose a large amount of potential revenue by assuming that social media activity is all the PR you need.
Knowledge is power. A company that does not put staff training and product awareness at the forefront of its agenda is less likely to succeed. Clients want to speak to someone who knows exactly what they are talking about, has a wealth of information about the current industry and who knows their strengths when coming up against competitors.
Regular training that is detailed and consistent is the most effective way to give your staff the knowledge they need to close deals and start making your company a profit. Investing in your staff is key in getting other people to invest in you.
Clients will know instantly if your business is unorganised. Ensure that you invest in a navigable and easy-to-use system that everyone is fully trained on. Keep filing tidy, clean up your computer network and stick to a rigid schedule. Clients want information there and then, they don’t want to have to wait for you to rifle through endless folders and bits of paperwork. Uniformity will contribute massively to the smooth running of a business and good customer service, resulting in good word of mouth.
Knowing your local area and demonstrating that you’re not just there to make money, but that you also want to give something back to the community plays a vital part in PR. A good starting point is to partner up with a local charity and host fundraisers. Not only will fundraising events act as good team building activities, they will give your company a chance to enhance brand awareness whilst helping out with a worthwhile cause.
Showing people that you understand the industry you are in is vital. A large bulk of website traffic comes from blog articles, so investing in a weekly blog is well worth the time. Find relevant topics to talk about and share the articles on social media to boost engagement. Business isn’t just about broadcasting knowledge, it’s about starting a conversation.
Blogging will also help you stick to the 80/20 rule of 80% conversation and 20% promotion. No one wants to be bombarded with products all the time, so it is important to make sure that you have enough content for 80% of your shared content.
Communication is the most basic of PR skills, but it is one that can be tricky to execute to a high standard. Polite yet concise is the tone you should be trying to convey, as well as a genuine enthusiasm and passion. It is blaringly obvious to clients when the person they are talking to doesn’t care about the service they are selling. In addition, miscommunication can be disastrous for a business’ reputation, so good communication is paramount when it comes to sales.
We keep mentioning word of mouth because it is so vital to good PR. Word of mouth doesn’t just apply in person though. Customer reviews are a good way of spreading the word about how good people have found your service to be, and sometimes reviews can be the deciding factor on whether a person buys your product or not. Encourage customers to write a short review for you and ensure reviews are easily seen on your website and social accounts.
No one likes large companies that appear faceless. By adding photos of staff or doing short profiles on each employee, you are showing potential clients that you are not just a corporate machine, but that there are real people behind your brand. People buy people, and it’s easier to build relationships when it’s clear who you are talking to.
When giving your staff product training, ensure that you are also giving them customer service training. Things do not always go to plan in the world of business and difficult clients are inevitable. It’s how you deal with such clients that matters. Training staff to be calm, professional and respectful whatever the situation is only ever a good thing.
There are so many other elements that go into maximising your company’s PR, such as knowing what is newsworthy and writing press releases, exhibiting and networking, being active on social media, and understanding that you don’t know everything, but still making the effort to learn new things.
Being good at PR isn’t something that just comes overnight and there isn’t a strict recipe for it. It’s a combination of lots of little things, but by making sure that your company is taking steps to achieve the core elements listed in this article, you will stand in good stead for enhancing your PR abilities and increasing revenue as a direct result.
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