I was just asked this question. Proactive public relations (PR) is a carefully planned, sustained effort to establish your company identity, maintain credibility and promote communications between your company and the public. It means getting the word about your company to the media so that they, in turn, will keep your name and good deeds in front of their audience—your potential customers.
When someone makes a claim, you typically say, “How do you know?” The reply you most commonly hear is “I read it or heard it,” not, “From a commercial.” Using the media to deliver a message is a type of endorsement that is impossible to achieve through any type of advertisement. With its message of integrity, quality and extraordinary service, it has the power to persuade.
There are several advantages of having a well-developed PR campaign. For starters, when stories are done on your industry, the media will have a spokesperson within your company to contact. This way, your company, and often its executives, will be mentioned prominently in such articles, positioning them as leaders in the field. Most importantly, though, it will convey information to the most important audience of all: your potential customers.
So, what is news? Information that is of potential interest to the people in your community, industry, business or marketplace. People make news. Employee promotions and awards make news. Events make news – business openings, special promotions, anniversary celebrations, participation in or sponsorship of a community event. Innovations are news – a new product or service.
The more customers read, see or hear about your company’s accomplishments, the more they know about you, and the more they want to know about you.
Awareness and a good image are what can set your company apart from your competitors. Your commitment to a sound PR program makes a difference.