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 public relations 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 public relations should tell a compelling story about your company.
- A great reputation can be your most important asset.
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