Does the new year mean consolidation and evaluation to you? Is it a period when cost cutting exercises are a priority in your search for a leaner, meaner and profitable business?
Wouldn’t you prefer to enter the new year on a positive high? What if I told you the creation of more profit doesn’t come out of negative exercises? What if embracing new technology, ideas and thoughts produced the same result – PROFIT?
I do realise we’re in the worse economic slump ever seen, but the reality is business is still there for the taking.
So you’re thinking about your strategy for growth in 2013; whatever you do don’t cut back on your PR or worse ditch it altogether. Why? Because your customers and advocates have short memories and as soon as you stop communicating with them, you’ll be forgotten and your competition will be waiting in the wings to pick up the pieces.
Here’s why PR should be an integral part of your business strategy for 2013:
[checklist]1. PR binds your relationship with those that matter. Customers are sophisticated, stakeholders are smart and your employees are savvy. They all know what they want, how and when; this comes from information, education, choice and options. There is always an alternative option and the key is to make sure the people that matter to you don’t consider them. Be in favour of strengthening relationships rather than blinkered sales marketing and belligerent internal communications. Use PR to develop and maintain trust and transparency in everything you do. Anything less than consistent and truthful activity will come back to bite you – people always find out if you’re faking it.
2. PR is your voice so use it. You have existing customers; you are recommended through referrals and have spotted a whole new customer base. How do you maintain the status quo whilst developing your business? One classic mistake is ignoring one in favour of the other, this can be fatal.
PR can manage this dilemma and maintain your communication to your already informed and loyal audience. Remember, without consistency of communication, your loyal and established following will drop you like a hot potato in favour of someone that wants to communicate to them. Think of it like this – what would your friends think if you suddenly stopped calling, sending texts or emails? – they’d probably think you’d fallen out with them.
3. PR provides a focus. With the age of communication comes a bombardment of messages. The internet and smart devices have revolutionised how we chose to communicate, so with all these options where do you start? One week you might remember to update your Facebook page, the other an occasional Tweet and eventually you either forget altogether or you swamp the medium with irrelevant content. Look at the bigger picture, take a step back and ask yourself what do I want to achieve, what are my objectives? Once that is clear, the PR can focus on a consistency of message to the people that matter to you.[/checklist]
Don’t forget PR agencies and consultants are there to help you. Don’t view them as a cost to your business, instead they should be seen as an investment. Don’t tell them it hasn’t worked for you after three months into a brand positioning campaign. PR is in the business of relationships. It takes time to develop the right relationship but when that relationship is right it can last a lifetime. How much would that be worth to you?
What are you waiting for? Wouldn’t you rather be positive about the year ahead? With the right approach and mindset anything is possible. Why don’t you take this advice and execute your first PR exercise now. Start by simply saying thank you to all of your customers this month. What have you got to lose? You could get an order from it!
Top image: Cali2Okie (April)
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