How to use PR to find customers and increase profits

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Whether you are a start-up or an established business you need to know who your customers are and how to get them buy your products or services

Public Relations (PR) is “the practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization (such as a business, government agency, or a nonprofit organization) and the public.” Unlike advertising and other types of marketing, PR activities do not require direct payment. That is, PR is the idea of creating coverage for organisations for free.

The aim of public relations is to inform the public, prospective customers, investors, partners, employees, and other stakeholders and ultimately persuade them to maintain a certain view about the organization, its leadership, products, or political decisions. Larger organisations will tend to employ a specialist PR agency and/or employ have an in-house PR team.

Smaller organisations have high expectations when it comes to marketing investment. They need value for money when spending on any kind of promotional activity. They know that nowadays the web is increasingly becoming a major source of new customers. Most small businesses will not need a full-time PR specialist or a detailed PR strategy. However, there is one PR activity, issuing regular press releases which all businesses should include in their marketing activities.

Press releases are relatively cheap to produce but can bring in huge benefits. Issuing press releases regularly and making sure they are available on line will help drive traffic to your web site. Of course, there is no guarantee that the press will publish your press releases especially if they are not ‘newsy’ and well-constructed.

With the rapid increase in online media there has been a resurgence in demand for press releases. Online distribution has brought down the cost of delivery meaning the simple press release can be a significant way of boosting web site visitors. A well written press release could develop excellent results. Such that smaller organisations can use press releases to develop the kind of publicity costing thousands to achieve with other types of marketing activities.

This is a quick step-by-step guide to creating a good press release:

  • Define your target audience – this is true with all marketing activity. It will help you decide which media outlets to target
  • Find out what could make a good story by talking to colleagues and customers and reading the press. Look for subjects which are surprising and never revealed to the wider public.
  • List the facts about your organization and its goods or services. This is more than USPs and may relate to current events in the media. They need to be newsy facts not just a set of facts already known.
  • Write the article. It should be around 300 to 400 words.
  • Create a headline which contains primary keywords. Make it snappy attracting attention. Put into sentence case i.e. not bold capitals. Some people write the headline first but normally it will be ‘forced out’ by the body copy.
  • Make sure you add your contact details at the end of the piece.
  • Have the text proof-read checking spellings and grammar.
  • Send the press release in the body of an email not as an attachment.
  • If you do not have a press list of your own, use a reputable on-line press release wire service. There will be a charge for this service.
For many organisations where busy managers are looking after the day to day business writing and issuing effective press releases can be difficult. Talk to us about how we can help with your PR activity either as a standalone service or as part of a full marketing service programme.

A PR strategy enables you to consider every aspect of communicating a message in the best possible way. It will also help you to maximise the success of your PR efforts and help to grow your business.

About Deve

The team at Deve supply be-spoke business development services. We combine the disciplines of common sense marketing and management accounting to help our clients increase sales and improve margins. We have succesfully solved problems for multinationals, SMEs and start-ups. We have a background in client side marketing, commercial finance and West End agency practices. We have experience of many B2C and B2B markets. You can take up our full set of services. Or you can access individual skills in business planning, effective marketing, advertising, PR, market research, copywriting, design and print.

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Deve Limited
St Albans