How Are You Seen?

Edmiston Group, Public RelationsWhat are you doing to create awareness of your business? When others tell your story, or relate it to editorial content in a publication, the magic of public relations occurs. Public relations is defined as how others view the image of a company or individual. By setting up Google Alerts on your name and your company’s name, it allows you to monitor what others are saying and managing your online reputation is important.

The difference between advertising and public relations is that you don’t pay for the public relations. There are several ways to tell your story to a reporter. They range from things such as sharing how you are providing education to the community, or are holding a fundraiser for a nonprofit or cause. Announcing awards and other accolades lets the public know of your recent success.

How others perceive you can directly affect how successful you are. The Edmiston Group regularly creates feature articles for a nonprofit membership organization. We highlight a company and quote them in the article while carefully choosing those companies who provide services that fit the feature story profile. This is a great way to talk about some of the services you offer.

Putting your client first as the feature in the article takes the focus off of your business and the article appearing to be a sales push for you. For example…CAVCON completed construction of Susan Brimo Cox Glass Studio at Touchstone Center for Crafts. The article’s main focus was the history of the organization, how the studio was damaged, the role the contractor (CAVCON) played, and the honor given to a late artist. This gives the organization free advertising but also shows off your work and how you helped them.

Another client, Battery Giant of Pittsburgh, recently launched its Annual Student Battery Recycling Challenge. They contacted several schools and run a contest to see who can recycle the most amount of batteries by Earth Day. Partnering businesses provide prize coupons and also advertise to their audiences. Prizes are awarded for the top student recycler and the school bringing in the most batteries. This type of public relations campaign shows the community that you are willing to give back. It also brings students together for one common goal and helps to clean up the environment with the celebration ending on Earth Day.

It is important to understand when you are contacting press, or writers, that you contact the proper person who provides media coverage for the type of area you want to focus. Reaching out to a sports reporter to write a story about your fundraising event will probably yield no results. Do your homework and don’t waste their time. Reporters and writers are on tight deadlines for content and reliable sources. If you should receive a call from a reporter, be prompt in returning their call as they may move on to the next source for a quote in an article that may be due by the end of the day. Remember that public relations is all about projecting a positive image. You want to work to make sure that you are well known and respected in the community – offer a reason for others to tell your story.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.

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