Complimenting Your Marketing Budget-Using Other Avenues of Public Relations To Promote Your Company

Many companies face the same questions regarding how to positively market their business within a reasonable budget. Costs of marketing continue to increase and, as they do decisions are being made on what are the most effective methods of advertising and where you will get the best “bang for your buck.” One tool that many companies miss is the use of public relations avenues that cost little to nothing to promote their businesses and services. Most of these programs take mostly time and very few dollars. One of the most valuable advantages of positive PR is that often it is a third party promoting the company. When a third party promotes the company and it’s services the impact is more effective to the public. Another advantage is that an article written about a company can be 5 to 10 times more effective than an advertisement.One of the easiest ways to reach the public is the use of press releases. Press releases can inform the public on a wide variety of topics. These can include company promotions, appointments to positions, company involvement in charitable contributions and sponsorships, and other notable accomplishments or benchmarks. You can find out how to create press releases via the internet and by comparing press releases used by other companies and media outlets. Make sure that all your company information is included to insure optimal exposure. Once the press release is completed you should e-mail or fax to media outlets. This information can be found on websites of television stations, newspapers, magazines, and other publications. Often these releases will be picked up by multiple outlets that reach potential customers. When positive PR reaches the public about your company the exposure you receive is hard to measure. One company in Southern New Jersey participated in a Clean Across America Campaign for the Power Washers of North America (PWNA) that cleaned the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. Prior to the event media outlets were contacted and television stations showed up to cover the task. That was not the end of it, the newspaper reporters showed up for interviews of the participating companies. The local newspaper carried a feature story of the company in their own backyard. The calls and response this company received would have cost thousands and thousands of dollars for the paid advertisements in the same outlets. The fact that in each case it was a third party reporting the event is more effective than paid advertisements because of the appearance of being less self serving and more like an endorsement. The next item that can happen from this exposure is instant credibility for your company. You now are viewed as a leader or even an expert in your area. Again, it is hard to measure this type of positive PRDonating services for certain causes and efforts can not only be beneficial to your marketing campaign but be personally rewarding. A common way many companies perform these services is through churches and local community groups. These groups take on any projects that rely on volunteer efforts. These efforts cost only time and the result is a long lasting impact in community PR and support. These projects can range from a community clean up day to contractor services donated to needy families in a community. The perception is that your company shows integrity and cares about the local community. These activities set your company apart from others as leaders in your particular industry. There are also opportunities to take some pictures to use in your company portfolio. This participation can also be promoted when you go to bid a job. When a potential customer is viewing your photo album or website and sees these examples it will again give you a leg up on the competition in perceived perception.Another way is to be creative like one restaurant company did. They had a country western theme with a famous singer attached to the concept so they cooked up some meals and delivered them to the local country western radio station. Now the company and their products were broadcast to the masses for nothing more than time and effort. For anyone who has bought airtime on the radio realizes the cost of this form of advertisement. Many companies donate efforts during the holidays through donated meals, gift and food collections, and many other low cost creative efforts that get media attention. It is not uncommon to hear stories where a company promoted itself by thinking out of the box and being creative. When these efforts reach the media it will make your phones ring.Many of us have an expertise or an idea that would be of interest to others. Put these ideas in writing and create articles for stories to be submitted to newspapers, magazines, or internet sources. These will help to further establish you has a leader and expert in your field. One printed story in a newspaper is worth many times more than a paid advertisement in the same newspaper. A copy of this article should be saved and incorporated in your company portfolio and promotions.These efforts are mostly time consuming and cost little in actual dollars. We do not want to forget that time is money but, when there is opportunity explore some of these options. Do not be discouraged if your first press release is not picked up. Continue these efforts as they usually score eventual results that impact you and your company in a more rewarding fashion than actual spent dollars on other marketing campaigns.

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