In one of our previous articles where we have discussed some tips on how to show your skills and attract attention, the time has come for you to understand three good reasons to learn more about PR – employer’s edition.
It’s no wonder that we have seen a lot of surprising business on the media. Creativity nowadays is exploding and ignoring barriers, leading us to new ways to be introduced to a product, service, or even a concept all the time. Do you need a better picture here? Okay, I will prove my point.
And the best part is: I will also prove to you how you do not need a huge amount of money for that, just your pretty brains (and some help from your beloved team).
Storytime – an inspirational moment
Everybody loves a story of a business person that had a major loss, got devastated, and had to figure out how to overcome this situation. Everybody but me. I am not a fan at all of the whole “I’ve worked so hard in my entire life since I was so young” kind of story. I find it tiresome. Life comes in cycles, it’s not and it will never be easy. But here’s how creativity can get you back on track.
In Brazil, the agro-business is major. The lands are fertile and there are good perspectives on making money in this industry. After a period of sorrow after losing over a million Brazilian reais, an entrepreneur found himself the best way to make some profit by stating his market and coming up with a creative fertilizer business.
Leonardo de Matos, our hero for the day, came up with one of the most creative ways to stand out in the market I have ever seen. After losing a huge amount of money, he saw himself obligated to be back on the sales market. However, he was so good on the sales game that his clients would joke around, saying he could sell pretty much anything. And the opportunity was shown to him, right there.
Now, I’m not sure you are familiar with the Brazilian joking moods (wink wink), but we tend to be a little… literal. One of our popular joking ways to say something is via exaggeration – and why is that important? Because Mr. Matos created a company to sell fertilizer for domestic use. Yeah, so what? The name of the company is Shit in a Can (Bosta em Lata, in the good old Portuguese). That’s right, he created a fertilizer company called Shit in a Can. Outrageous.
The name of the company itself was enough for him to own some publicity as he did in this Portuguese article published by NIT. Is this PR? Definitely no, but this story holds something very useful for your PR: show us something different.
1 – Stand out from the crowd
What does your company have to offer that your competitors can’t? As a PR professional, I cannot give you this answer right away, but I can help you find it.
See, the one who knows the most about your business is nobody but you. If you don’t dominate all the information regarding your company, you definitely should start right there before anything else.
Let’s pretend you own a couch factory. You got them in many models and colors. You got the fluffy ones, the simple ones, the luxury ones, the cheaper ones… Go crazy. If I asked you where does the foam you use inside the pillows come from, would you know it? What is it made of? The wood you use on the structure of the furniture is ecological? How does your dying process for the fabrics works? Can you tell me more about your employees? And how do you know which couch to recommend to each client with a different profile?
Knowing your business is a requirement for you to know how to stand out. If you are not sure how to do it on your own, a good PR can help you out – but in order for him to do that, you oughta share all the information he needs for it. No worries here, you can always sign an NDA – non-disclosure agreement (this former lawyer knows what she is saying).
I will keep using the couch factory to illustrate my point here, so I will pick the ecological wood as a different element, and imagine that this is something my fellow competitors do not own on their production to compete against me.
2 – Information can(‘t) be useless
Okay, so what do you do with the information? You spread it around, right? Wrong.
I remember I have told you already that PR is all about being strategic. You have absolutely no use for any information, regardless of how it makes you stand out on the market if you have no goal for it. The information you are going to use to gain some publicity for your business must increase your brand awareness, of course, but also your sales and profits.
So your couch factory uses ecologic wood on its structure. It’s good for the environment. Great call, buddy, but where does it lead you? This information, by itself, as amazing and unique as it is, needs to be sent to the right people, I mean, the right media in the right way.
Here is something some colleagues of mine might get a little mad about because I’m telling you you can skip their services here, but I cannot lie to you. You don’t need a PR agency or a professional if you know your business enough to come up with a creative idea that makes your business different from your competition if you can create a clear marketing goal for it and implement this plan effectively. This does not mean, on the other hand, that this is an easy task.
Of course, you don’t have to do it all by yourself. You should rely on your internal teams to set up a good plan. I am pretty sure your sales and marketing team has a lot to offer in terms of guidance here. Besides, they would feel much appreciated and this will win you confidence team players on your side – remember that Inbound Marketing we have already spoken about? Bingo!
Either way, if you are feeling insecure about taking this road without an expert to guide your company, you might consider talking to a professional publicist. Think about the major scenario on both alternatives and make a wise decision.
3 – It will grow your Business
I have to say I feel you already got the idea here, but when you succeed on your plan to make your company well known out there, and if you did a good job on it, it will grow your business.
Back to our fictional illustration here, promoting that couch factory will get you more attention. If the way you work your plan here is newsworthy, people will learn more about your business and they will look up to you for their next cozy little spot to Netflix and chill (see what I did there? Netflix PR. They should definitely hire me!).
Hypothetically speaking, you and your marketing team have studied the furniture market and came up to the conclusion that ecological materials are a trend for the next years, once your stakeholders (aka, your target clients) seem to be more interested in an environmental recovery lately. You got to know your target more deeply (check out that Marketing and PR article to refresh your memory here) and meet up their expectations on environmental protection. This will likely increase your sales, and therefore your business, through a powerful tool in corporate communications: Corporate Social Responsibility.
You can also reach out for some publicity on the media with a well-succeeded plan. For that, you would have to pitch to journalists or influencers that could be interested in your niche. Getting your idea published demands powerful and new information that might cause a big impact on the market. That’s why your information should be planned in accordance with a marketing plan. Notice that I am not talking about paid publicity here because this would be advertising. I am talking about earning free media because our idea is original enough to get media coverage.
The steps I’m providing you here are not disconnected from each other – on the contrary, they will only work if you acknowledge them all together. Just remember: you can do it without an expert on PR, but it’s not an easy task.
You don’t need a million-dollar budget to reach out to good PR. You can gather your superstars coworkers and come up with a well-structured plan to make it happen. It will all depend on your major goal for this action plan.
On the other hand, if you have a more ambitious vision, you can also find many Public Relations professionals to help you out through this process if you realize that an expert is a better fit for your company’s situation. The price range is flexible, as much as the type of services that would be provided.
One final tip for you here is to measure up if the investment you are willing to make will fit the outcome you are seeking. Only you have the answer to that question.
Now, if you will excuse me, I’ll lay on my ecological wood couch because as much as I love talking about how PR is amazing, I also like to enjoy my relaxing moments!