What are some of the first things that come to mind when people say public relations?
“It’s just free advertising.” “They spin the news.” “It’s too expensive for my business.“
To a certain extent, all of these thoughts can be true.
If done correctly, your business can use free social media networks to promote (advertise) it to a larger online audience. And yes, there are public relations practitioners who influence public opinion by manipulating information. Lastly, hiring a professional public firm can be extremely costly, often ranging from $2,000 to $5,000.
So the question remains: How can public relations help the reputation of my business without having to hire a big PR firm?
Here are three simple things you can incorporate into your business without spending one dollar.
*Keep in mind, there needs to be consistency and effort to maximize your results. What I always tell clients is that it’s one thing to have a Facebook page, but it’s another thing to manage, analyze and update it. Not only Facebook, but any PR function. Without effort or consistency, you will never see an increase in reputation or business.
1. Create a news/blog section on your website and spread it through social media networks. Be your own network. With all of the access to news we have now, it is difficult to catch the attention of potential customers through traditional media. By incorporating a consistent news/blog page, your business will be able to inform your customers at any time about any important announcements, key messages or industry updates. In addition, being able to spread news through sites like HubSpot will make it easier to manage and analyze your progress.
2. Sign up for online reviews. It will be important to manage your reputation. Places like Yelp, Trip Advisor and Google reviews are becoming the number one source for customers when they are looking to do business. Be sure you are active on the sites that tailor to your business. More importantly, have somebody monitor and manage every review. See where your business can improve and reach out to those who are not happy with your series when necessary.
3. Ask for customer feedback by creating a survey. It is always important to get direct feedback from your customers. Using sites like SurveyMonkey or our own personal OOZEit survey will give you in depth answers on how your business is preforming. When creating a survey, be sure to make it simple, short and to the point.