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How To Use Public Relations As A Powerful Marketing Tool

Lagos Business School Graduates

According to a popular site on entrepreneurship and marketing, ''Publicity is more effective than advertising, for several reasons. First, publicity is far more cost-effective than advertising. Even if it is not free, your only expenses are generally phone calls and mailings to the media. Second, publicity has greater longevity than advertising. An article about your business will be remembered far longer than an advert''.

In this changing marketing world, where advertisements have become a big way of promoting a brand, its product and services, still hold the ground as the most important marketing tool. Its myriad uses like reaching to your target audiences, establishing you as an expert in your field, and branding your company effectively above all your competitors makes it the best tool available for marketing. Do you want your business to grow faster? Are you looking for marketing tactics or strategies to increase your sales? Then, you must think of Public Relations as your marketing tool.

Follow these steps to get your company noticed by all.

 Write Your Positioning Statement

These are the essential ingredients in you that makes you stand out from your competitors. Brand Positioning Statements provide the most useful function of talking everything you know about your brand, everything that could be said about the consumer, and making choices to pick one target that you'll serve and one brand promise you will stand behind.

By doing this, you are attempting to create a distinct impression in the customer's mind. Identifying and attempting to occupy a market niche for a brand, product or service utilizing traditional marketing placement strategies (i.e. price, promotion, distribution, packaging, and competition).

What Makes A Good Positioning Statement?

1. It is simple, memorable, and tailored to the target market.

2. It provides an unmistakable and easily understood picture of your brand that differentiates it from your competitors.

3. It is credible, and your brand can deliver on its promise.

4. Your brand can be the sole occupier of this particular position in the market. You can "own" it.

5. It helps you evaluate whether or not marketing decisions are consistent with and supportive of your brand.

6. It leaves room for growth.

Determine And List Your Objectives

What do you want to attain for your organization through the attention plan you put vigorously? Rundown your objectives in order of priority. Be particular, and constantly set due dates. Using a fast food as case study, a few objectives may be to expand your fast food activity, which will decipher into expanded deals, and make a prominent store among the group.

This is a part of a company's marketing plan, in which common goals are identified by the marketing team, including profit margins, revenue targets, advertising, distribution partners and targeted demographics. These plans are outlined and discussed in sales meetings with PR personnel to insure a shared understanding between members of the marketing and sales teams.

Identify Your Target Customers/Market

Targeting a specific market does not mean that you have to exclude people who do not fit your criteria from buying from you. Rather, target marketing allows you to focus your marketing fund and brand message on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you more than other markets. This is much more affordable, efficient, and effective way to reach potential clients and generate business.

There are areas to look critically when targeting your market, these are:

1. Look at Your Current Customer Base

Who are your current customers? And why should they buy from you? These are the questions you must ask yourself. The unique selling point of that your product, etc.

2. Check Out Your Competition

Who are your competitors targeting? Who are their current customers? Don't go after the same market. You may find a niche market that they are overlooking. If you want to penetrate into the same market, do it in a unique way, and as creative as you can in order to be distinct.

3. Analyze Your Product/Service

Write out a list of each feature of your product or service. And, list the benefits they provide (and the benefits of abiding by those benefits). For example, our company at Bizham designer offers high quality design. The resulting benefit is a professional company image in the eyes of the public. A professional image will attract more customers because they see the company as professional and trustworthy. So ultimately, the benefit of high quality design is to gain more customers and make more money.

4. Choose A Specific Demographic Of Your Target Market/Customer

Creatively look out not only who has a need for your product or service, but also who is most likely to buy it. Study your target market in terms of: Age bracket, location, gender, income level, education level, marital or family status, occupation and ethnic background.

5. Consider the Psychographics of Your Target

Psychographics is the study of personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests, Behavior and lifestyles. Determine how your product or service will fit into your target's lifestyle. How and when will they use the product? What features are most appealing to them? What media do they turn to for information? Do they read the newspaper, search online, or need to attend particular events?

6. Evaluate Your Decision

When you've settled on a target market, evaluate yourself in this areas:

Are there enough people that fit my criteria? Will my target really benefit from my product/service? Will they see a need for it? Do I understand what drives my target to make decisions? Can they afford my product/service? Can I reach them with my message? Are they easily accessible? Please be sure you get it right at this stage of evaluation.
Defining your target market is the hard part. Once you know who you are targeting, it is much easier to figure out which media you can use to reach them and what marketing messages will resonate with them.

Know Your Target Media

The first step to getting media coverage for your business is to decide who your target audience is and which media you should use to reach them. These types of media should become your target media organization. Ask yourself who will be interested in your story and which publications or media will reach these people or businesses?

Do a rundown the dailies, TV and radio stations in your target location that would be proper outlets. Make a complete arrangement of the media you need to target, then call them and ask whom you ought to contact in regards to your area of business.

Distinguish the particular journalist who covers your area so you can reach them directly. Your nearby library will have media reference books that schedule contact names and numbers. Make your own particular media index, posting names, addresses, phone and fax numbers. Separate TV, radio and print sources. Know the "beats" secured by diverse news hounds so you could make certain you are pitching your thoughts to the fitting individual.

Five key things you need to do for a good  media choice are:

- Consult your business plan
- Begin researching your media choice
- Develop a customer profile
- Find out where your audience are
- Monitor the media

Having in mind the media you're approaching, make a list of story ideas you can pitch to them. Develop story angles you would want to read about or see on TV.

Develop The Pitch

Put your contemplation on paper, and send them to the news reporter in a "pitch letter." Start with an inquiry or a fascinating reality that relates your business to people. Make your letter no longer than one page; include your telephone number so the reporter can contact you. Be sure to include your positioning statement in any correspondence or press release you send.

Here are essential tips for writing a good pitch

- KISS (Keep it Short and Simple)
- Bullet Points
- Personalize, and Don't be Sloppy About it
- Giveaways, Reviews, and Other Goodies

Do A Proper Follow up

Following up is the way to securing coverage. Hold up four to six days after you've sent the data, then catch up your pitch letter with a phone call. In the event that you leave a message on voice mail and the correspondent does not get back to you, call again until you get him or her on the phone. Don't leave a second message inside five days of the first.In case the news person asks for extra data, send it promptly and catch up to affirm receipt.

I hope this PR strategy will help your market (old or new) grow and make the projected profit for your company. Do a well feasibility study and research, with this, your company will move and soar up like eagle and you will attain the height.

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