How to Use Public Relations to Market Your Business |

Often times, small businesses fail to see events as a way to promote their company. Coordinating special events is a great way to promote a small business, but what comes as a challenge to most businesses is getting people there. Although most small businesses do not have a public relations department, it is not difficult to generate publicity for an event.There are two ways you should promote your event: traditional media and new/social media.Traditional media is the “old media,” the traditional means of communication that were in existence before the Internet age. Traditional media includes:
TelevisionNew/Social media is interactive digital media that began in the later part of the 20th century. New/Social media includes:
Internet: Social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
YouTubeDefining what type of medium to use is essential when deciding how to promote an event. Using traditional media is the most common but new media has become very popular as well. However; everyone does not use social media. A company would want to find a good way to use conventional media such as newspapers, radio and television, in addition to social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Using Internet outlets for publicity is an important complement to publicity in more traditional media.A few ways to use traditional media as a way to publicize an event include:
Sending out news releases
Writing and sending a media advisory (contains the 5 W’s and H) to newspapers, radio and television stations
Sending the event specifics to be added to the “calendar of events” section in the newspaper
Sending the information about the event to specialized magazinesSome good ways to use the Internet as a way to publicize an event include:
Tweeting about the event in advance
Starting a Facebook or LinkedIn event
Keeping the Web site updated with event happenings (A calendar is good to have on Web sites because the viewer can see about the event months before it happens)
Uploading a video promoting the event onto YouTube
Blog about itSome strong tactics that individuals could do to promote an upcoming event is to attend networking socials and meet up groups regarding the specific event. Having a spokesperson is always good to have. This will give the media a “go-to” person if any questions arise. The spokesperson needs to be extremely articulate and know the ends and outs of the event. Word of mouth is one of the oldest forms of getting information out and is also very strong.Conventional media, new/social media and word of mouth, is how the public finds out about any and every event. Although some forms of medium may cost or may be harder to attain without the proper connections; such as traditional media, new media makes it possible to promote an event without being to costly.Some people ask why even use traditional media if social media is so much cheaper but cutting out traditional media cuts out a whole audience. Some reasons why it is not beneficial to publicize an event by using only social media include:
Not everyone uses the Internet
Not everyone uses social media
Traditional media spreads to the masses faster and broader
It is hard to gain brand recognition on social media networks
Traditional media builds awareness while new/social media builds trustAlways remember that repetition is key. Do not let the public forget about your event by publicizing it so far in advance that people forget about it. Keeping blogs, Web sites and event pages up to date as well as continuously tweeting and talking about it will help to maintain a buzz until the actual event takes place.

Public Relations As Part of a Marketing Function |

The days of public relations playing second fiddle to other marketing disciplines are long gone. PR is increasingly firmly embedded into the best marketing campaigns right from the start – whether it is delivered by an in-house team or a PR agency.At one time it was common, even for major brands, to simply throw the latest advertising campaign at its PR company and say ‘can you draft a press release on that, please’. And while this does still happen, the best campaigns have good PR thinking, news angles, stunts and ongoing media content opportunities built in from the start.’Integrated’ may be an over-used word in the PR and marketing industry but its popularity is justified.As the scope of a marketing campaign becomes more fragmented by the wealth of media options available – direct, print, online, broadcast, social etc – it becomes increasingly important that you deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time.In order to ensure that the public relations activity is not playing catch-up or isn’t slightly off message thanks to timing, it needs to sit within the marketing campaign from the start.This makes it crucial that organisations at least have a PR consultant within their marketing function who can bring a below the line perspective to your plans. As well as delivering a crucial aspect of any campaign, a decent PR person should be able to identify the potential media pitfalls of any strategy.Far too many campaigns have launched in the past and backfired thanks to a lack of decent media relations knowledge – Dixons ‘last place you want to go’ was always a strapline likely to be derided by journalists. Once the criticism begins and the ads get pulled from print slots and online advertising, who is called in to draft statements, handle calls and clean up the mess? The PR department.There shouldn’t be a disconnect – if you still see your marketing team as separate to your PR function then you are missing opportunities and wasting time. The best teams even have a direct line and understanding of the management and HR functions.After all, if you are saying one thing while the business does another then it’s only a matter of time before your marketing team is asking a PR consultant to step in and straighten things out.