Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Get the Word Out- Using Public Relations to Promote Your Business

Bill Corbett Jr., President of Corbett Public Relations, Inc. wrote the following article for Kensington Comapny & Affiliates.  We are happy to share the article with you.

Few business owners want their businesses’ to be known as “the best kept secret” in their industry.  If you own a business or manage one the goal is simple, grow and make a profit.  To grow businesses owners need to communicate regularly with their customers, prospects and referral sources who can impact the bottom line. 

Does your company have the best product in your sector?  Does your business offer industry leading services with innovative approaches?  Do clients benefit more when they choose to work with your firm versus engaging your competition?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions or perhaps all of them your marketing program should contain a public relations component.  Marketing a business can be done in many ways, all have their benefits and drawbacks.  E-mail and direct mail campaigns bring customized messages directly to specific individuals.  The problem is that direct mail is expensive and yields low results.  Marketing via e-mail is less costly but must be personalized and reach many prospects to be effective.  While, advertising brings messages to millions, the cost is very high and consumers often mistrust advertising claims.  For professionals, speaking at seminars and networking both offer the chance to communicate directly with prospects.  The drawback is that audiences are often very small.  

This brings us to public relations, the process of working with the media to get your message out to key audiences.  Public relations program objectives are to build name recognition for a company, product or service, educate prospective customers and inform referral sources.  All of these efforts support a company’s overall marketing goal, which is to create more leads, support sales teams and drive sales.

What is public relations?  Public relations is a systematic approach of placing stories about companies, products or individuals in the media.  Examples include a review of a new electronics product in a magazine, an interview with a labor attorney in a newspaper about a sexual harassment case or a live television broadcast at a music festival.  In each case the media is used to attract attention to a specific business. Whether it is selling a product, promoting a service or seeking to bring consumers to an event, each of these vehicles will accomplish the objective.  Although being in the newspaper one time or doing a radio interview is helpful, a public relations program seeks to position a company in a mix of media outlets over time.  Programs will include different messages designed to reach key audiences.  Over time, prospective customers will become more familiar with products and services as well as the company’s name.  When prospects are comfortable with a company or brand name they are more likely to be receptive to choosing the company’s products or services when it comes down to making a decision for a purchase or entering into an agreement.
Media relations programs lead to publicity in newspapers, magazines, on television and on the web.  With the explosion of the internet, opportunities for publicity have become almost limitless.  The internet is where most people start looking for products and services.   Failure to have a web presence beyond your own website in today’s business world is a competitive disadvantage.  Media relations is one of the best and most cost effective ways to get your company name out on the web and spread it around the world.  The more websites, blogs or online communities where articles, interviews and information about your business can be found, the more likely potential customers will be able to find your business.

The value of media coverage should not be overlooked.  Because media coverage comes from independent third parties it is often regarded highly by customers and prospects.  When reporters offer their independent views on products or services, consumers perceive this as a tacit endorsement.  This type of coverage carries a significant value and strengthens corporate credibility.  When competing for a contract or a customer, having a sales package that includes articles that have appeared in the media can be a significant advantage.  

Today media coverage comes in many forms; regardless of the vehicle, having been covered by the media provides the recipient with tremendous value which will positively impact the bottom line. 

This article was provided by Bill Corbett, Jr. President of Corbett Public Relations, Inc., an award winning public relations and marketing firm based in New York.  Mr. Corbett has developed hundreds of publicity campaigns for clients over the past 20 years.  He can be reached at or visit his website

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