How much is the traditional view of British reticence true when it comes to businesses and entrepreneurs?
For SMEs, PR can be an essential tool in how they market themselves, but not everyone is comfortable with the idea of singing their own praises.
Also, this can have its pitfalls, if a business chooses the wrong channels for the tone of voice its PR is adopting.
For example, the business-is-personal aspects of LinkedIn can make it a minefield for companies seeking to spread the news about their achievements.
What, then, are the best ways for businesses to send out positive PR messages about themselves and what they have accomplished?
Where is the Value?
What will make someone want to publish your story, or a journalist to use your PR as the basis for a piece about you?
“As with other aspects of marketing, the content needs to work for its intended audience.”
“Also, what is the value of your PR to the publication, website, channel, or to the individual journalist?”
“They are looking for strong content to attract their audience, just as you are looking for ways to promote your brand.”
Build Your Credibility
Credibility attracts and sells. Media coverage is a means of promoting yourself as an expert and your brand as the answer to people’s needs.
“Sharing your expertise boosts your profile but, more importantly, appeals to your audience”
David Lomas, M3 Media Publishing
However, credibility is not easy to establish, especially through digital channels.
“Nowadays, everyone appears to be an expert, from the lone blogger upwards,” David continues.
“You may feel you have bragging rights due to your achievements but this comes back to having something of substance to say: you must demonstrate your value.”
Case studies can fulfil this need. Presented in the right way and they can combine documentary evidence with potent storytelling. Be sure to include figures to back up the facts.
“Written testimonials make a powerful case for credibility, and video testimonials even more so. You can leverage these further by writing the testimonial for your clients, and asking them to take ownership of it on your behalf.”
The Third Party Endorsement
If you are clever and strategic about your PR, you can have others talk about you, rather than doing the talking yourself.
Someone commenting about your brand, or highlighting your views through a credible, recognised third party channel, can add to your authority significantly.
“Smart PR is not about you doing the shouting, but someone else doing it on your behalf,” concludes David. “You still retain your bragging rights, but you are exercising them in a strategic way to help market your brand.”