– Debbie Laskey, MBA
There is an often-overlooked aspect of marketing that can be considered a distant relative. Public relations, also referred to as PR, is this sometimes forgotten but very important component of marketing promotions. At its core, PR can be defined as managing a brand’s image and reputation, but it touches all aspects of a business including employees, shareholders, customers, investors, financial markets, politics, media, and business partners.
When executed well, PR can garner free publicity in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and on CNN. When executed poorly or a crisis happens, publicity or saying the wrong thing may cause an employee to be terminated – or even worse, a company can go out of business.
Talented PR professionals develop long-term relationships with reporters, and over time, reporters depend on marketing and PR pros to provide them with the information they need to write their articles.
Here are my Top 10 Branding Tips Using PR:
 Develop a competitive positioning statement and include with all printed collateral and online web pages, for example, fact sheets, brochures, annual reports, etc.
 Write articles about your company and how your product or service has solved problems for your customers – and submit to local, regional, and national publications and websites.
 Videotape experts from your company as they answer questions about your product or service and submit to TV and radio stations.
 Develop traditional press kits and online versions and include fact sheets, press releases, media alerts, printed or PDF versions of media coverage, etc.
 Develop a media list of appropriate reporters who cover your industry and reach out to share updates on a regular basis – don’t forget to update on a regular basis too.
 Create a schedule for regular press releases and distribute to your media list – and post on your online press room.
 Develop testimonials and case studies by interviewing satisfied customers and use these people as brand advocates/ambassadors – include these items in your press kits.
 Showcase your brand at industry trade shows and obtain keynote speaking engagements for your company experts – events are also great places to announce new products or services.
 Blogs have become an easy way for companies to share news and control how the information is presented, therefore, create a blog or several blogs – invite comments and monitor them quickly to further evolve compelling conversations.
 Since social media has changed the landscape for the dissemination of news, develop a social media marketing plan and integrate it with your overall marketing and PR outreach initiatives (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, and Pinterest).
What would you add to this list?