As we head excitedly into the New Year, business is looking for new ways to improve and grow in 2015. PR is not just about the generation of content and media coverage, but the utilisation of the media to make a real difference to a business – be that through content creation and placement in online or print titles, social engagement, media relations, research or events. Below are our top 15 ways you can use PR to improve your business in 2015:
1. Enhance the sales process
Think PR can’t influence sales? Well think again. PR can be used to enhance your sales through a number of commercially creative techniques that are centred on your business objectives.
These techniques that we regularly deploy for our clients, generate targeted recognition for your business in the places your prospects are looking. They put the spotlight firmly on the sales pipeline and generate new business leads, and maintaining the momentum and temperature of your existing pipeline.
2. Build business credibility
The public credibility of a business has never been under more scrutiny. It is no longer good enough to just be known as a leading light in your industry or sector.
Clients awarding companies major contracts want to be confident that they are a financially secure and robust businesses, able to honour their obligations. By generating exposure around your business, and its leadership story throughout the business and management press, prospects will be confident in your business and its credibility.
3. Become a thought leader
In a noisy world, a multichannel thought leadership programme will enable you to be a genuine thought leader – not one of the thousands of thought followers. Whatever they are procuring, businesses buy leadership and expertise, and you need to ensure you demonstrating these qualities.
Becoming a thought leader is great for businesses that already have a strong media relations programme in place but want to really stand out from the crowd, gaining exposure above and beyond their established trade press.
4. Standout from the crowd
Consider how your competitors are positioning their businesses and then think differently about how you can take your messaging and proposition to market. By being commercially creative, you can ensure your business stands out for the right reasons.
5. Control your business reputation
Your businesses reputation is what will ultimately ensure success or failure in 2015. If you want clients, prospects and employees to trust your business and build a relationship with you, your reputation must be stellar. The above points will ensure your PR and communications strategy is serving this core purpose.
6. Maximise capital value
Are you looking to secure investment or sell your business this year? If so, building your businesses credibility is crucial. Getting your company news into the broadsheets, business and industry titles will prove to potential investors that the business is a credible, sound investment. Share acquisition stories, financial results updates and client wins to showcase the value of the company.
7. Showcase your expertise
PR doesn’t have to just be about filling slots in trade magazines. If you’re a brilliant public speaker, why not run a webinar or do a presentation at a business event? Maybe you have video capabilities and can produce content showcasing your messaging and expertise. Think outside the box and create your collateral in a different way to gain recognition.
8. Break into new areas
If you’re looking to target a new industry in 2015, PR can be the best way to introduce your business to that sector, and generate targeted recognition. Take time to list priority prospects that you want your business to work with, and get your name into publications they read, ensure all your social media activity is of interest to them and write blogs aimed at their business. A commercially creative campaign is also a great way to get recognition, and something we’ve done successfully for many of our clients looking to break into new areas.
9. Improve staff morale
If you’re proud of your business, ensure your staff are too. People like to be recognised for the work they do. Seeing the company they work for as a thought and industry leader in the media, will help employees feel more connected to the company. A team that feels part of the success of a business will only want to build on it, increasing efficiency, retention and staff morale.
10. Improve recruitment
If you want to attract the top talent, you need to have your name out there. If your business is recognised as being successful and a leader in your industry or sector, it’ll be the natural choice for the best people.
11. Gain independent endorsement
Build great relationships with the media that is relevant to your business to secure regular blogging spots or speaking slots. Being recognised by prestigious titles adds that critical third party endorsement everyone desires.
12. Win awards
Prove that you’re the best in the industry, and stand out from your competitors by entering awards. The ceremonies themselves also provide a great opportunity for you to network with other industry leaders and prospects, as well as gaining recognition in sectors you want to target.
13. Create your own IP
Create something that highlights your business expertise and can be used in a variety of ways. It could be a Whitepaper that is used by your sales team for prospect meetings, or a piece of research that is utilised across press, social media and sales meetings. The piece of IP will set you apart from your competitors and ensure you are seen as an expert in your field.
14. Crack content marketing
While great content can improve your SEO, it must still tell your businesses story otherwise your credibility can be seriously affected. PR is used to crafting stories for businesses, as well as high quality content to tell those stories.
Search engines want good content, and rewards it with great search rankings, but be sure to strike a balance between SEO and content marketing. Content needs to be created with a purpose, and with real insight into the subject matter.
15. Improve Google rankings
Repurpose your businesses content for use across a number of online channels to improve your SEO and ensure you’re sharing every piece across all your social media channels.
Having a good search ranking on Google, as well as other top search engines, such as Yahoo and Bing, is crucial to raising awareness of your company. This includes when people search for the industry you operate within, your target sectors and the key services and products that you provide.