The Truth About PR and How It Can Help Your Business
In this week’s episode of the Sailing to Success Podcast Show, Lyndsay Phillips interviews Heather Ripley. Heather is the CEO and Founder of Ripley PR, a global public relations agency specializing in franchise, construction, manufacturing, and other B2B industries.
MAIN QUESTIONS ASKED:
- What is PR and what does it mean?
- What level of PR can you do on your own and what requires a dedicated PR firm?
- How do you help clients prepare for trade shows?
- What should be people look for in a PR firm?
- What are small tips you can give to someone just starting out?
KEY LESSONS LEARNED:
- Public relations is about communicating your company’s culture within your business and to the media.
- PR should be a part of your overall marketing strategy.
- For smaller tasks, you can do PR for your company yourself. Your Chamber of Commerce has resources for entrepreneurs that you can access.
- PR should be a consideration from your first day of business.
- A PR company helps you shape your company’s story.
- PR companies can help you prevent a crisis by shaping a favourable story for your company.
- Journalists goal is to sell papers, a PR firm’s goal is to sell their clients. Often they need to find a workable middle ground.
- Your PR efforts should match your capacity to serve your customers. Your efforts can backfire if you can’t handle the increase in orders or traffic.
- There are no guarantees when it comes to PR, be wary of companies that promise certain results.
- When hiring a company, ask for experience in your industry, references from past clients, and case studies if they have them.
- A good reputation takes a long time to build up.
- The better the reputation, the quicker the recovery from a crisis.
- You can’t prepare for every crisis but you can have a plan for how to deal with something before it happens.
- Having a prepared statement can help you respond faster and recover quicker.
- A positive reputation can insulate your company from a crisis.
- Media is generally interested in growth stories, if your company is growing reach out to your local media and take advantage of that.
- Trade shows are an opportunity to present yourself as an expert through becoming a speaker.
- Trade shows will often pay you to speak at a seminar.
- Trade magazines are a good source of information on what a seminar could be about.
Tips for Small Business Owners
- Contact the editorial section of your local newspaper and offer yourself as an expert.
- Work with your Chamber of Commerce on getting your company in front of the media.
- Evaluate your website and social media messaging, is it consistent? Is it telling the story you want it to? Are you core values expressed?
- Start with your local media and newspaper, become a member of your Chamber of Commerce.
- Your marketing and PR should tell a compelling story about your company.
- A great reputation can be your most important asset.
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