Whether your business is brand new or already established, it is important to keep shouting about what your business is doing to help retain existing customers and bring in new ones to add to the community. Social media is commonly used for this, but there are other avenues to explore when looking to raise the profile of your business and reach wider audiences. Public Relations, commonly known as PR, is ideal for improving the public awareness of your brand as PR professionals have the know-how to get your name in relevant media publications.
What is Public Relations?
Public Relations is the management of a brand or person’s reputation in the media, ensuring that the reputation remains positive whilst responding accordingly to any negative media. PR professionals do this in a number of ways including but not limited to PR stunts, press releases, interviews and collaborations with other brands.
How Can Public Relations Raise Brand Awareness?
Raising your authority
By looking at competitor backlinks i.e websites which link to a competitors website, PR professionals can see which publications are linking to competitors and which topics your competitors are leveraging to secure coverage within the media landscape. Utilising this information, your PR team can work towards the goal of securing backlinks to your website in these same publications as your competitors, using these topics to raise your authority. By closing the gap between you and your competitors, your PR team will, in turn, improve your position in the search results.
The definition of authority is “the power to influence others, especially because of one’s commanding manner or one’s recognised knowledge about something” which is something your PR team aims to nurture. If Google Search trends are showing increasing search volume of questions relating to your business, your PR team can jump on this quickly with a ‘5 Ways to…’ or “Here’s What You Need to Know About…” release directly relating to the search query with your name providing a quote and a link to your business which helps direct traffic, thus boosting your authority.
Much like a surfer waits for the perfect wave, your PR team can react quickly to opportunities like this, known as reactive PR, to earn a quick win for your business’ public profile and join the conversation relating to your business before the search volume ebbs away. Timing is something PR professionals strongly consider to make a press release more topical and newsworthy.
Reaching your target audience
Beyond the backlinks, those same mentions are also going to give you the chance to get in front of new readers that likely aren’t part of your existing audience. Here’s where you can be hyper-focused and reach out to the publications and online communities that are most relevant to your business—increasing the likelihood that any traffic back to your website is going to be more relevant to your brand.
PR professionals use several software tools such as Roxhill and Buzzstream to hunt out publications which are the best fit for your brand. Multiple angles for a press release can be written, particularly if your PR team has conducted a survey, meaning a wider scope for additional audiences to be reached.
Validation for new businesses
If your business is about to launch and you’re looking to get the word out there, a healthy injection of PR from the beginning could be worthwhile. If your business gets featured in Forbes, Vogue, the Wall Street Journal or any other big-hitters, this could be the ticket to turning heads and bringing traffic to your business before it properly finds its feet. This way, there is already an audience waiting to use your product or service to add hype to your launch.
Make an impression locally
Whilst gaining coverage in local publications may not seem as ‘glamorous’ as national publications featuring your business, it can certainly pack a punch and is the bread and butter of PR for many professionals. If your business is small and has the target audience of the local PR, then it makes total sense for your PR team to target local publications first then moving on to include some bigger titles within the media landscape. Readers of local papers want to read about local news, stories and events so if your PR team can help a journalist deliver this, then you are well on the way to getting valuable press coverage for your business.
If your business is new and thriving, local press will likely be interested in a positive news story relating to your brand i.e raising money for charity or selling your 1,000th product. Local news publications are responsible for promoting the positive things happening in the area, whereas there is sometimes a risk with national media that they are looking for a sensationalised, or sometimes negative, news angle.
If you’re interested in seeing what our PR team at Digital Ethos can do for your business, Let’s start the conversation!