How Public Relations Can Boost Your Visibility, Reputation, and Sales

Building the reputation of your company should be one of your top priorities, even if your business is already successful. In an ever-changing economy, it is vital to keep in touch with your customer base so that they are always satisfied and always giving you their business rather than going to your competitors. To maintain this edge over the competition, a solid public relations firm can help.

A common misconception is that marketing and public relations are the same, and while they do very much go hand in hand, this is not true. PR focuses more on building relationships and upholding the company’s image, whereas marketing is in place to focus on the bottom line by studying what consumers want. There are three very specific audiences to whom you will want to gain visibility, and for each one, there are different methods for doing so.

Businesses
Going to trade shows, expos, and seminars on your company’s behalf can give your business visibility by allowing you to meet and network with other big names; at the same time, it’s an opportunity to do some market research on your competition. For example, an Atlanta based start-up business that is selling baby clothes can close a deal with major retailers like Babies R Us, which will allow their consumer base to extend to wherever Babies R Us stores are located. At the end of these conventions, it is important to follow up with people you met by sending out newsletters and making phone calls. Your small business marketing can benefit from the networking with people at trade shows.

Consumers
The Internet allows even the smallest companies to gain worldwide visibility through social networking and media relations. Social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook allow companies to be in direct touch with their consumers. This allows your company to respond to consumers on a personal level rather than with a generic form letter, and it can also help you to deal with negative publicity. For instance, if a product your Atlanta based business sells is deemed to be unsafe, you can address the problem directly and let your consumers know the steps you took to remedy the problem. This proactive behavior goes a long way in reversing negative publicity; in fact, most businesses have had to deal with it at one point or another in their media relations.

Your Worldwide Audience
While a successful business has a target audience, they should also be mindful of how they are perceived by the rest of the world so as not to alienate any potential consumers. Most businesses do this by giving back to their communities or engaging in programs that help the future. This can include scholarship programs, green initiatives, or volunteering for a good cause.

Good public relations should be in place for several reasons. First, it sends the sign to consumers and to the businesses you work with that they matter. Second, it helps to remove bad publicity when it arises. Unfortunately, bad publicity spreads much more quickly and can do much more damage overnight. Building a good reputation, of course, rarely happens overnight. Establishing a solid reputation for a worldwide audience is key in getting noticed and gaining success, and when you have a dependable advertising agency, it can help whenever the inevitable PR crisis comes along.