Most business owners and entrepreneurs understand that marketing involves generating prospective sales leads.
Then with any luck, those leads will become closed sales. However, with the term public relations, many business owners have a problem understanding what it means exactly. Public relations informs prospective customers about your products; introduces your company to certain markets; differentiates your business from competition while reinforcing your existing customers that you are still there for them. Let me provide a few recent examples.
Did you see the press conference Tiger Woods had a couple months ago after his numerous transgressions? Ever read an article that features a certain product or that quotes an expert? Most of the space filled in newspapers, magazines, and websites with editorial content has come from either a publicist or small business owner that pitched a journalist, reporter, or editor their product or service.
To start playing hardball with the big guys, smaller guys have to learn and become proficient with Internet based PR. Smaller businesses have to learn the right tools and tactics to stay ahead of the curve. Smaller businesses need PR toolboxes. PR Toolboxes contain five essential elements.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is optimizing keywords and phrases in web content, press releases, articles, interviews, and other editorial write up. SEO is the key to positioning your business as one of the top search rankings on www.Google.com, www.Yahoo.com, and www.MSN.com. Optimizing your news stories, press releases, graphics, and videos with keyword dense phrases will cause a surge in search engine rankings. If editors and journalists see your company and brand and the story is compelling, they will possibly contact to you to write editorial features or conduct interviews.
2. Social Media is vital to a successful PR strategy. Even though updating www.twitter.com and www.facebook.com can be time consuming, it is worth its weight in gold. You have the ability to connect with potential clients, inform potential clients of product line expansions, and any new contests or giveaways you may hold.
3. Digital platforms are necessary to generate better search engine optimization. Videos, audios, podcasts, and images should be optimized with relevant keywords and submitted to video and photo sharing websites such as www.vimeo.com www.Youtube.com and www.Flickr.com.
4. Blogs are used to publish content and images, almost like a website, but serves as an open forum for business owners and consumers to interact. Well optimized blogs generate a ton of free traffic.
5. Electronic press releases are vital to increasing brand awareness and credibility. Check out www.prweb.com and www.pr.com or more information. Each company offers a variety of plans to fit the needs your needs and budget. I use www.pr.com and have had fantastic results. In fact, a couple of the press releases distributed through www.pr.com were featured on www.AOL.com's front and have had headlines featured in www.wsj.com, Wall Street Journal.