12 REASONS TO USE PUBLIC RELATIONS
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
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.
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
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
When it appears that media advertising is required, the public
relations professional can create and organize all areas of an advertising
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
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
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.
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
D. Special Materials: audio-visuals presentations, display, equipment,
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.