A company’s chance for success hinges on its ability to form and sustain relationships with buyers. Improving your approach to public relations (PR) can result in many rewards for your business including credibility, visibility, brand awareness and better client relations leading to more sales and increased revenue. Here’s a list of five focus areas for your firm’s PR strategy that will make you notable amongst the competition.
1. Implement Sustainable Practices
Consumers today are becoming increasingly interested in ethical and ecological commerce, and they want to support businesses that share the same values. Shoppers are willing to pay more for brands that practice what they preach when it comes to eco-friendly standards. From implementing recycling policies to installing solar panels on your commercial premises, adopting sustainable processes that minimize environmental impact as part of your business philosophy only endears you to your ideal customer.
2. Prioritize Employee Training
There’s no substitute for knowledge and expertise when it comes to selling something. Consumers can tell the difference between an employee who has a passion for the business and one who is apathetic and unaware. A greater focus on training and certifications can improve public relations by equipping team members with the necessary skills for engaging in a transactional environment. In addition to making sure your staff has an in-depth understanding of your merchandise, update their training to include courses such as complaint handling in the digital space, creative problem solving and effective interpersonal communication. If you employ technicians with industry-specific qualifications, inform potential clients by disclosing certification levels on your website.
3. Emphasize Customer Service
Your business relies on its clientele, so it only makes sense that you would put significant resources into customer service. One person’s negative experience shared on the internet is all it takes to severely damage your company’s image in the eyes of the masses. If left unaddressed, this will ultimately impact your revenue. Conversely, companies that value excellent service and put their friendliest, most accommodating talent in customer-facing roles are far less likely to face detrimental viral scrutiny. Having a qualified, easily-accessible and dedicated support team in place to handle issues and complaints is the most effective way to demonstrate your commitment to providing gold-standard service to the community.
4. Offer Promotions
How many times in your life have you made a purchase because you were offered a free sample and liked it? Shoppers enjoy getting good deals on their favorite items, and you can cement your products on the shopping list of your target consumer using your marketing tools. Sales promotions aren’t just for getting shoppers to try your product or service for the first time. Loyalty programs, discounts, and contests are also great ways to reward your existing customers and make them feel valued. Use new customer discounts and referrals for brand exposure, but don’t disregard your current loyal customers. Test a range of promotional tactics to decide what works best for your business.
5. Utilize Social Media
In this day and age, social media is the most effective PR tool at your fingertips. Companies used to plan and hold press releases to inform the public on new merchandise and information, but now updates are only a Tweet away. Additionally, social networks allow you to instantly engage with your followers and effectively answer pertinent questions about your business, product or service. You can’t relate more publicly than that! You can also analyze the data you collect online, from product reviews to post engagement which allows you to identify what works and doesn’t work for your marketing and PR campaigns.
Actively pursuing positive public relations is essential for gaining new clients, promoting what you have to offer, and upping your sales, but one erroneous step can damage your business’s rapport with your target market beyond repair. A strong PR strategy can improve your company’s image and help you build lasting relationships with your customers that will strengthen your bottom line and promote organic long-term growth.
Guest Article by Kevin Gardner
Kevin Gardner graduated with a BS in Computer Science and an MBA from UCLA. He works as a business consultant for InnovateBTS where he helps companies integrate technology to improve performance. He shares his knowledge and expertise not only with his clients but with his fellow bloggers and readers.
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