You may have heard people say that “the devil is in the details.” There’s a more relevant version of that old saying when it comes to effective public relations: “The difference between first rate and mediocre is the details.” A lot has been written about major aspects of public relations. This article focuses on the small details that make a big difference.
If your firm bears your name, don’t market in terms of yourself. Your press releases shouldn’t say, “I can provide you with the best insurance coverage at the lowest rates.” You should use an acronym for your firm. If your business name is Pat Smith and Associates, you should write: “PSA can provide you with the best insurance coverage at the lowest rates.” This avoids the possibility that prospects will think you are patting yourself on the back too much.
In real estate sales, the magic words are “location, location, location.” In public relations for small firms, the magic words are “network, network, network.”
Join local business organizations that hold monthly business lunches or dinners at which the speakers are members who tell about their businesses. Volunteer to speak. If these organizations provide a table at meetings where members may display their brochures and cards, so much the better.
Talk to as many people as you can at business gatherings, and try to find something you have in common with each one –- people you both know or a shared interest –- to make yourself more memorable. We store memories in part through a system of emotion and association.
Tell people you do business with that you are interested in expanding your client or customer base. Refer business to them, too. A landscape architect, for instance, may benefit from mutual referrals in association with residential architects and contractors.
Include your photo on your business card. Potential customers or clients who meet lots of new people are apt to remember meeting someone whose business card has a photo. On the back of your business card, use a bullet list to summarize your most appealing products or services, so people to whom you give your card can refer to it later.
Print your business cards, brochures, and press releases on your office computers, unless you need large quantities. Attractive blank forms are available at office supply stores. Print a small amount each time, and experiment with designs to see which get the best responses. This is a relatively inexpensive form of market testing.
Provide attractive T-shirts with the company name and logo for employees to wear when they’re not working but are in public. Other giveaways with your logo may pay off, too, from shopping bags to cap -– as long as they are used away from the office where potential customers will see them.
Put a Yellow Pages ad in more than one category. Case in point: a company that rents under-the-counter reverse osmosis water systems might advertise in the same section as firms delivering bottled water to residences. Potential customers who thought they wanted to arrange for regular delivery of bottled water may then realize an under-the-counter system is more convenient.
Articles and Letters
Encourage employees who write well to write for print and web publications that are relevant to your business. Be sure the writer’s business (yours) will be mentioned even if the publication doesn’t pay anything. This is one way to get your name out there at no cost to your public relations budget beyond the employee-writer’s time.
Attention to the little things in your public relations strategy can add up to higher visibility and increased business.
This article, written by Hawley Roddick, originally appeared in PR Fuel (http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel), a free weekly newsletter from eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit: http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/subscribe/.