Any Pr is good PR…

The saying ‘any PR is good PR’ gets thrown around in the world of business very often but is it the truth or in fact a myth? Many people that don’t work in public relations believe that as long as people are talking about your brand, it doesn’t really matter what they’re saying. Whereas those that work in the industry are likely to tell you that there are two sides to PR – good PR and bad PR, the latter of which you want to minimise with all your power. But who is right?

Well technically both are right. It all depends on the circumstances and the situation your brand is in.

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Is any PR good for your business? Well it all depends on what you’re trying to achieve.

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Getting a new brand noticed

If you are launching a new, unknown brand, you will face significant challenges, as in reality, you are not yet important to the consumer. No one has heard of your brand or has any idea what you are trying to sell to them. What’s more, you have to battle against already established competitors in your market and find a way to differentiate yourself. In this situation, it could be argued that any PR is good PR, as if people share your name; you are getting your brand out there and ultimately gaining attention.

New brands often find that they have to cause a stir or shock audiences in order to make an impact. This often leads them to using guerrilla marketing and questionable PR stunts in order to gain people’s attention. Even if the PR is not necessarily what you’d typically call ‘good PR,’ it’s raising awareness of the brand and getting them coverage.

A great example of this is the Go Compare adverts featuring the character Gio Compario, an operatic tenner. Whilst these adverts often land the number one spot on the world’s most annoying adverts lists and drive people crazy on social media sites like Twitter, they seem to do the job of gaining people’s attention.

Figures have showed that brand awareness is up 450% as a result of the campaign.

When any PR isn’t necessarily good PR…

Whilst any PR is good PR for some brands, if you have an established name that everyone has heard of, you have the challenge of maintaining your reputation. In these cases any PR isn’t necessarily good PR as if it harms your reputation it could be detrimental to future sales and success.

The saying ‘all PR is good PR’ is flawed in the case of well-established brands. Simply getting people to talk about your company has very little value, as your company is already known worldwide. In this case, it matters much more about what they are saying about your brand and whether it is positive. Negativity can quickly spread (especially in the age of social media) making it essential that brands focus on their image, reputation and positive PR.

twitter birds

Any PR will get people talking but it won’t necessarily generate sales or offer a ROI to the brand.

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There’s a difference between increasing brand awareness and boosting sales

Whilst many people will argue that any PR is good PR for increasing brand awareness (which cannot be denied), if people are only saying negative things about a company, then it’s not going to help them boost their sales.

If good PR was not essential to brands, then PR companies would be out of business and true PR strategies would be irrelevant. It would all be about who can pull off the most shocking stunt to garner attention, rather than who can maintain a good reputation that customers believe in.

All PR is not created equal and in most situations, good PR will prove to be the most invaluable tool in communicating with audiences, winning their trust and achieving business success.

 

Image credits: Niuton may and Elijah

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How small businesses can punch above their weight

The Internet has opened up a lot of doors for small businesses but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy to become a success. Small businesses face tough competition from larger online businesses like Amazon but the good news is there are a number of things they can do to punch above their weight.

Knowing what you can’t compete on

Before you think about what you can do to make your small business stand out against larger businesses, you need to establish the things you can’t compete on i.e. authority, price and reach. Huge eCommerce websites have authority and reach without even trying and when it comes to pricing their products, they’re able to make a lot of money with very slim margins – something that’s virtually impossible for small businesses.

So now we’ve established the things you can’t compete on, it’s time to look at the ways you can differentiate your small business and essentially punch above your weight.

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Writing regular blog posts will help you attract an audience, who you can show off your expertise to.

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Blogging

Blogging can benefit small businesses in many different ways. As well as providing a way for them to communicate with customers on a more personal level, it’s also great for generating traffic and improving SEO. Having a blog will add value to your small business. Capitalise on your niche expertise to gain customers’ trust.

Content creation

Another way you can punch above your weight is by focusing on creating high quality content for your customers. As a small business, you should have quite a niche customer base and will therefore be able to use your knowledge of it to create content that will appeal to those who buy your products. Think about the sort of questions customers are likely to have and answer them. Creating visual content for social media, your blog and website can also boost engagement and may even help you to generate sales.

Unique product descriptions

Whilst we’re on the topic of creating content, it’s also worth thinking about your category and product pages. Rather than simply using standard product descriptions obtained from your supplier’s website, think about crafting unique product descriptions that really inform your customers about your products and sell them. Unique product descriptions will also benefit you in terms of SEO as you will avoid plagiarism penalties.

Excellent customer service

Another area you can focus on improving is your customer service. Customers like to be made to feel that they matter and this is something that larger businesses often fail to do.

As a small business, you have the opportunity to really get to know your customers and provide the personalised service they need. Working on your customer service across all platforms including over the phone, on social media and even on your website’s live chat will pay off in the form of improved customer loyalty. The better and more personalised customer service you offer, the greater the chances of customers coming back to shop with you again in the future.

Even if your prices are more expensive than some larger stores, people may be more willing to buy from you if the level of service you provide is much higher.

welovecustomers

Show customers that they matter to your small business.

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Added value

Large eCommerce stores like Amazon don’t really need to offer their customers any incentives to make a purchase. In fact, they don’t really have to do anything at all to get their business – not even market their products! Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for small businesses; however this doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. By offering customers ‘added value’ they can stand out and make a mark on their industry.

Added value comes in many different forms. It could be a free eBook or email course to help customers get the most out of their product or even personalised direct marketing materials that feature recommendations, based on what customers have previously purchased. Basically it’s giving customers something extra to make their shopping experience with your business that little bit more enjoyable.

Conclusion

Whilst small businesses face tough competition from larger companies, this doesn’t mean they can’t punch above their weight. The key is to provide the personalised shopping experience that larger businesses often fail to offer. Make customers feel valuable and they’re guaranteed to give you their business, instead of one of your larger competitors.

 

Image credits: Anonymous Account and zilver pics

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