One of the most basic goals for any business is attracting new customers and converting them into loyal ambassadors for your brand. This is an incredibly complicated process and approximately 400,000 new businesses are born in the U.S. each year – so competition is fierce. While not everyone has the ability to woo an audience like Leonardo DiCaprio, there are ways to leverage simple public relations strategies and tactics to grow your business. Here are a few PR strategies and tactics that will help put your business in position to win new customers.
What is public relations?
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) defines public relations as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” A major part of public relations is third-party validation. This means earning the trust of the media and customers so they willingly and freely promote your company as well as its products and/or services to new potential customers.
PR professionals generally execute this undertaking by reaching out to reporters with story ideas about a company and its products and services. This will hopefully result in a written article or a video that is positive in sentiment, this content is consumed by prospective customers who then evolve into return customers.
Strategy: Make your audience your best friend.
How do I get started? Know your audience backwards and forwards. Paint a picture of your perfect customer and then do research to figure out how your company, its products or services can solve their pain points. What can you do to make their lives easier?
In general, you should understand their likes, dislikes, if they are fans of your competitors, what brands influence them, where they get their news and what news sources they trust. For the purposes of PR, the most important part of the previous sentence is “where they get their news and what news sources they trust” because this will help you eventually earn third-party validation.
Strategy: Refine your messaging
What do I say to my target audiences? Nail down your key messaging and selling points. Your messaging should describe how your business, its products and/or services provide value to your target audiences. Put on your “customer hat” and think about what is in it for them. Are they saving time? Does your business save them money?
Be smart and calculating about the messages you want to communicate and avoid misleading information. When brainstorming and researching be sure to look for opportunities to utilize numbers or percentages and try to incorporate this into the messaging. Numbers are easy to digest and tend to be “sticky”. Just take a peek at what De Beers accomplished with their strategic messaging on the cost of engagement rings.
Tactic: Third-party validation via the media
You’ve determined how your audiences get their news and who they trust so now is the perfect time to capitalize on this information. The most common tactic for PR is working with the media to tell a story about your company and its products/services. This is executed by matching your messaging and target demographic with the appropriate media outlet and reporter. Learning about a new product from Matt Lauer during a segment on NBC’s “Today Show” is more compelling than seeing it in a commercial on TV. Media outreach is challenging so check out our blog on media relations tips to increase brand awareness.
Tactic: Promote your wins creatively
Staying top of mind is important. Once you earn that amazing article touting your business’ value proposition, the next step is to keep reminding your audience. You can accomplish this by promoting your media coverage on the company website, via its social media accounts, through a newsletter and through inbound marketing techniques.
Do you think your business needs help developing appropriate public relations strategies and tactics? Download our “Working with Us” guide to determine if we can help!