Public relations (PR), or corporate communications, is a description given to the broad range of efforts that organizations undertake to work with the news media and to influence news coverage. It goes beyond getting a positive review or similar publicity. It is really about creating a dialogue between the news media and the organization for the long term.
Many successful business people understand the value of generating positive news coverage in addition to their advertising and other marketing efforts.
A news report is perceived by the public to have additional substance and credibility, reflecting the reputation of the publication or electronic outlet as a source of information. You can see a simple example of this when you pass by a local restaurant. Restaurants want nothing more than a good review. They know it drives traffic and creates more buzz. Owners often post the restaurant’s latest advertisement or a copy of a recent positive review in the local paper up in their window or inside the foyer. That positive review of the restaurant is framed and given a place of honour.
It’s important to share your successes and community involvement with your clients. If you don’t engage them in the process, then they won’t know how involved you are. Be sure to invite your clients to all of your community events whether you are hosting a fundraising event, charity BBQ, or sponsoring a local sports team.
Be sure to display articles when you are featured in the local paper in your business and post photos of your community involvement on your Facebook and Twitter pages. It’s a great conversation starter with your clients and reminds them how involved and committed you are to the community.
Get involved today and work towards increasing your PR efforts with the media and your clients alike.
Huw Williams is President of Impact Public Affairs, an Ottawa-based public relations and government relations firm specializing in finding innovative strategic communications and advocacy solutions for large industry associations. Over the years, Impact has been recognized nationally and internationally for the effective and creative public affairs campaigns that it has created for its client.