What do you want your PR to achieve?

#SillySeasonPR #3

What do you want your PR to achieve?

Have you ever heard people say “We need to do some PR”?

My question is: why?

Everything we do in business costs money; even time has a cost, as we could be spending it on client work, making product or selling. We need a reason for doing anything, not just PR.

When people say they need to do some PR, it usually means sales have dried up and they know they need to something but don’t know what.

What is your objective?

Like anything else in business, PR activity should have an objective. This could be to:

  • raise awareness of your business, products or services
  • educate potential customers about products/services you provide
  • start customers thinking about your products, eg installing new heating in the summer in readiness for winter
  • buy a specific product/service relevant now, eg ice cream during a hot spell
  • promote an event
  • demonstrate your expertise as a leader in your industry
  • publicise your success, eg expansion, new staff, award wins, new premises
  • demonstrate to the community what a good business you are to work for to attract new employees

What do you want your PR to achieve? #SillySeasonPR

#3 #SillySeasonPR actions

Usually, your aim should tie in with your business plan.

PR can support this when you identify what call to action you want readers to take, such as:

  • visit your web site
  • phone or email you
  • visit your premises
  • book a place at an event
  • check to see whether they need to renew/replace a product they have, eg worn car tyres
  • make a purchase

Identify what you want to achieve so you know what action readers need to take to achieve it and what ‘call to action’ you need to include in your press release.

That’s your #SillySeason PR task #3.

Good luck and do ask any questions you have.

Tomorrow: PR planning and improvisation

Use the content and tips in our videos and posts below to boost your business.

Let’s get out of our heads

Lately I seem to have spent too much time in business meetings and on committees, discussing and making plans.

Now planning can be valuable – it helps us identify what we want to and can achieve, recognise our limitations and spot possible risks and how to deal with them – but it can also be a powerful excuse for putting off action:

“We can’t do that until X does this, Y does that and Z has been completed.”

Planning takes place inside our heads, a comfortable environment where we control the results: A leads to B, which leads to our goal of C. Once we take a plan out of our heads and put it into the real world, F, G, H and Q can intervene, some of them completely unexpected.

It’s much safer to run a plan in our heads than risk it all going wrong when put into action, but this means we won’t achieve our objectives.

I’ve never been happy just to sit on committees as I like to see action. So that’s my focus at the moment: getting plans out of my head and into the real world to achieve what I want and maybe encounter adventures along the way.

How about you?

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What can I say about my business?

When everyone else already seems to be saying everything that could possibly be said about business, there are times when the choice of going outside and enjoying the sunshine can appear preferable to thinking about something original to say about your own business.

However, no business survives without customers and most of us have to promote or advertise our products and services to attract those customers.

So what can you say that hasn’t already been said a million times before?

Ideas rarely come out of thin air, so it’s good to start with your business plan and objectives, as all communications should be based on these. If you’ve got a communications plan, this should also give some ideas of what you want to achieve.

Start by listing topics based around products, services, launches, events, achievements, changes or industry developments. If your business is seasonal, do you change your products every quarter? If your business is linked to events triggered within your industry, list key changes about to occur or important dates. If you have product launches or events, list these too.

When you’ve made your list, start to fit these to dates when you need to blog about them, issue a press release, update your web site or produce a new brochure. If you don’t already have a communications plan, this could be the basis of one.

Announcements don’t need to be major, although the appointment of a junior employee is unlikely to hit the broadsheet newspapers and you should have realistic expectations of what each piece of news is capable of achieving. That doesn’t stop you aiming as high as possible, especially when you do have a really good story.

Also, you may have a great story without knowing it. Ask colleagues or contacts what they think about specific issues. If they’re excited about them, will your audience also be interested in them? What appears uninteresting to you could be exciting to your audience.

By creating a store of ideas, which you can add to regularly, you’ll never be short of an interesting topic to write or talk about.

After yesterday’s blog, have you thought about how well you check your written material?

z2zine tomorrow: Think before engaging typing finger!

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