For many people, sending out a press release and seeing the article in print, or hearing your company mentioned on the radio, is the end in itself – but in my opinion, that’s just the start.
A timely story about your company can gain good coverage in trade, local and even national media if everything goes according to plan.
Failing that, regular coverage in local and trade publications is certainly achievable – if you keep finding stories that are relevant and of interest. For most people, that’s where it all ends – and that could be why so many people say that PR doesn’t ‘work’ for them.
You may have spent quite a bit of time preparing an article for a local paper and were delighted when it appeared. But aside from your staff, a few friends and your parents, who actually read it?
It may be that thousands of people glanced at it, but perhaps only a few hundred actually read it. And out of those few hundred, how many were actually potential customers?
In reality, unless you are placed in a highly targeted magazine or radio station, fewer people will notice your company than you would like. Out of the few who do notice you, only a small proportion will make any effort to contact you.
Now I am not saying that PR is not a worthwhile means of raising awareness of what you do; no doubt it will conjure up some fresh leads and enquiries.
It may well open a few doors. PR can lead to interest from potential business partners or even end with your company becoming national news. You may even end up being mentioned in the House of Commons.
However, in my opinion this is not the only way that PR can work for your company. I believe it can work just as well at the latter stages in the sales cycle.
Creating favourable coverage for your company or creating stories about new product launches creates credibility. Most of your competitors, unless they are very large, will not bother with PR. They will probably not have the resources to create PR in house and they are unlikely to hire their own PR firm.
As a result, they will not be generating regular stories in the media. So if you are, you will instantly have a real advantage over them. How? By collecting and presenting the stories about your company when you are in front of prospects. Here are 6 opportunities that you may have to impress clients at crucial moments in the buying cycle.