Business owners take an effort to create the right website, a logo and tag line when they are developing a brand. They put those on business cards and on social media pages. Then, they blog about their products or services to continue establishing their brand. Often, they don't consider how public relations can help build a brand. Without PR, business owners are missing a key ingredient toward successful branding.
by Louise Harris
What Is Your Brand?
Your brand is your business name, your logo, your tag line, and your personality. If a potential client doesn't like you, he or she will not buy from you. Entrepreneurs who are starting a new company have to sell themselves before they sell the actual service. If you think about large corporations, how many times do you equate the corporation to the person who founded it? But, when you see a logo, you immediately know what company is represented. The golden arches are a symbol of McDonalds. The four colors on a window is Microsoft, but Bill Gates is as well-known as the logo in connection to Microsoft. A gecko is equated with GEICO, which is given a human personality. You can't rely on just your logo to sell your product or service. You have to do more to build your brand and name recognition.
How to Publicize Your Brand?
The more often you promote your brand, the more likely people will begin to recognize it. You have many options to promote your brand. You should use as many options as possible, including public relations. In fact, for a small budget, public relations can help publicize your brand more effectively than other methods.
Let's say you want to launch a new product or service. This is how PR can help you build your brand. Send a press release to newspapers, trade journals, radio, television and online publications. You want to include your logo on the release, your website, your contact information, pictures of the product. If it is a service online, take a screenshot. If it is a different kind of service, use a picture that would link you to that service. In the press release, talk about the new product and why it is different. Later, in this book, you will be shown how to create an effective release. After you send the press release, wait about a week, then follow up with the journalists.
Besides the press release, call a radio station or podcaster who needs people to be guests on the show. Ask to be on the show. When you appear on the radio show or podcast, talk about the new product or service. Many podcasters also use video and stream online. Therefore, people can watch as well as listen. Have your logo and pictures available to flash on the screen along with your website.
Create a YouTube channel. Do a short video (about 1 minute) that talks about your brand. Provide your website address, your logo and the name of your business and product or service. Share this video on Google and other places. While you are working on your YouTube channel, create a business page on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google My Business. Promote your brand on there as well. If you don't have time to do all this, hire a PR representative who can do these for you.
Finally, at meetings, pass out business cards and postcards that have your brand on it. Discuss how your product or service is different from everyone else's.
All of these steps will not cost much money and are considered public relations. They will publicize your brand. If you do these steps regularly, your brand is promoted faster.
How Does PR Help?
PR allows you to target a specific aspect of your company if you wish, or the company as a whole. It gives you the ability to become an expert in your field. PR spreads your brand in many different media and gets you recognized faster than if you chose to ignore newspapers or radio. Many business owners focus solely on digital marketing without adding the PR component. This is ineffective to generate name recognition nationally or locally. It works to generate your name on the computer, which will help when people are searching.
Most people buy from companies they know, like and trust. They will not know you, like you or trust you unless they see you somewhere besides the computer. A story about you in the newspaper or in an online publication will go a long way to giving your company credibility. It will help build trust between your potential clients and your brand. Therefore, you need PR to help you build that trust and get stories about you published.