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125 Highpower Road
Rochester, NY 14623
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What the public perceives as desirable, fresh, or "cool" becomes the latest trends. Trends are set by what the public wants or doesn't want and can change, sometimes overnight. Take for example the Edsel automobile or certain kinds of music. PR experts tried to ride or take advantage of those trends with a newsworthy article or news release or speech.

Public relations practitioners try to understand and sometimes even predict public opinion. The public relations consultant attempts to determine what the public wants.

The client for whom the public relations consultant works, determines its objectives as a major part of any public relations program.

PR must be able to marry the objectives of the small business client with the prevailing public opinion to maximize the outcome of a well-rounded public relations campaign.

Here are 12 ways you may use public relations to further your small business goals.

1. Consultant Services:

In two situations, consultant services are most often required. First, by the small firms seeking part-time public relations help. And, second by the firm which might have its own marketing department but desires an outside or objective point of view or advice.

Public relations professionals own knowledge of marketing, advertising, and internal business communications. A public relations practitioners can assist a small firm in clarifying its goals and then trying to develop the best approaches for applying those goals.

2. Speeches:

A winning speech gives the correct message to the intended audience. But, it must fit the personality and principles of the small business person who will be giving the speech. The President of the U.S. has a team of speechwriters. The president or owner of a small business can use one also. A public relations person will operate with the one who will be giving the speech to determine the objectives of the speech and the type of audience that will be listening. The speechwriter will do the research, prepare the material, and then write the most effective and appropriate speech and assist the speaker in preparing for the actual presentation.

3. News Releases:

Newsworthy events that come out of a firm look for attention of the desired audience. Accurate, well-written News Releases, with real news value, are generally welcomed by the media.

The professional public relations person has a list of names of the media in the target publications, experience with the inner -workings of the media and, therefore, the ability to get news communicated to the target audience through the media.

4. Brochures, Pamphlets, and Direct Mail Material:

If the cover is interesting, eye-catching, or amusing, chances or the reader will open and continue reading. A public relations consultant can write copy, make the drawings or illustrations, take the photographs, put together mailing lists, and supervise the production and delivery of the final product.

5. House Publications:

A small business e-zine (or in the case of an ambitious company , a newsletter), is one of the most effective methods available for communicating with clients and prospects. But the e-zine or newsletter is not useful unless is being read by those to whom it is directed.

PR can offer advice on how to make sure the e-zine or newsletter is doing its job properly. They can ensure it's lively, readable and informative as well is attractive. The newsletter can display, for the organization, pride in its achievements and foster that pride among those who read it.

6. Media Advertising:

Media advertising can be one of the tools of the public relations practitioner. She will direct a small business communication efforts into areas that will guarantee the most effective use of dollars available.

When it appears that media advertising is required, the public relations professional can create and organize all areas of an advertising campaign.

7. Magazine Articles and Features:

Trade and consumer magazines offer an excellent place to tell a firm's story. These magazines are always interested in new successes in business, ideas and products and services, human interest, and personality stories.

A public relations practitioner understands the needs of the various magazines and recognizes when an organization has made the kind of progress that would make a good story.

8. Annual Reports:

Few methods of communication can tell as much about a small company as its annual report. Most small companies, however , are either too small or too busy to produce an annual report or don't feel the need for one or don't understand the value that one might provide, even if you're not a Fortune 500.

Annual reports can be far better than just a financial summary. They can be very useful to help a small firm review its targets or goals for the year, to determine if it made them, to review their customer satisfaction, to review their client case , whether or not a business is following the guidelines set for itself. Annual reports can be turned to valuable brochures useful to provide an overall view of the small business that would be suitable for distribution to employees, customers, suppliers, bankers, the SBA, consultants, prospects, community leaders, government agencies and any other relevant audiences.

A Public Relations professional will give professional advice about content and design or do the annual report in complete detail.

9. Convention Services:

Conferences, conventions, company meetings need careful planning and a great deal of coordination. Public relations consultants operate "behind the scenes" to make sure an organization's convention or meeting is a smooth running affair. A Public Relations consultant can arrange the entire plan or provide special people to carry out all of some of the following services:

A. budget planning: how much it will cost; finding cost-efficient sources; planning the program of events.

B. hotel arrangements: booking hotel rooms; arranging for meeting rooms and banquet tables; food services.

C. inviting guests: assistance in making guest lists; invitation of VIPs (from government and business circles); making and distributing all invitations; arrangements for welcoming committee; transporting guests to hotel; car rentals, etc.

D. planning events: bringing in entertainment; arranging for tickets to special events; arranging tours for visitors and families of those invited to convention programs.

E. personnel: providing attractive and able people to run registration desks and display booths; providing knowledgeable people to run special equipment, secretaries, security guards, etc.

F. special materials; menus, programs, notebooks, name tags, maps, posters, show cards, welcome kits, flowers, trophies, souvenirs.

G. speeches: assistance in researching and writing speeches; arranging for guest speakers.

H. media arrangements: arranging press accommodations; radio and TV coverage; arranging special interviews; writing and distributing news releases, before, during, and after the event.

I. follow-up: information on final costs and benefits; preparation of a summary with advice for future gatherings.

10. Audio -Visuals:

One of the best ways to reach an audience and leave a lasting impression is with audio-visual communication. Public Relations can develop an imaginative and complete audio-visual presentation that can be used effectively in sales presentations and conventions.

Audio-visuals can be distributed to the media, clubs, schools or other organizations, or in the form of :

A. film clip productions.
B. films for records.
C. documentary films.
D. slide-tape presentations.
E. still photography
F. reference materials.

A Public Relations consultant can research, film, direct, script-write, and produce the material for a small business.

11. Posters:

Posters can be powerful. They should be fascinating, understandable, attractive to the eye, and carry a strong, but simple message.

A public relations consultant, with top artists, can create posters to specifically suit the small business and meet the above specifications.

12. Special Promotions :

Any special event, whether it is an official opening, anniversary, or open house , should have special coverage. A public relations practitioner can provide any of the necessary elements, such as:

A. invitations: designs, production, or distribution.

B. Programs: layout, artwork, production.

C. Bookings: meeting rooms, banquet halls, orchestra, entertainment services.

D. Special Materials: audio-visuals presentations, display, equipment, transparencies, souvenirs.

E. media arrangements: arrangements for media room, radio and TV coverage, appointments for special interviews: a circulation of news releases for distribution before, or during and after the event.

F. special services: promoting the event, photographic coverage for publicity and for records.

A Final Note

Public relations is the art of communication at a highly sophisticated level and is invaluable.

PR relations can make a significant contribution to the increased productivity of your small business.



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