Sign & Digital Graphics

December '14

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Maximize Your Public Relations Use Press Releases to Build Brand Awareness B y V i n c e D i c e c c o Make it Your Business ity. Not every company can boast of such admirable accomplishments. But, other than the obvious satis- faction of doing things that are intrinsically good, are you getting all the promotional mileage you should out of such activities? How can you get people to know about you with- out busting your marketing budget? Other than tradi- tional forms of advertising, one solution is to develop an effective public-relations ( PR) campaign with press releases to give your business the positive exposure that leads to increased sales and profits. PR vs. Advertising Both are effective means of increasing sales and profits, but both are unique and different from each other. The goal of a PR campaign is simply to develop rapport and goodwill within the community—the most important parts of which, from a business stand- point, are your clients—through, primarily, the news media. Conversely, advertising and marketing plans are designed to deliver a purposeful message directly to your customer base through such promotional channels as print ads, direct mail, social media and podcasts/webinars. Public relations is exposure that a company must earn—rather than simply pay for. In fact, the cost of providing the media with photo opportunities or valuable industry information may be minimal. The downside is that there are no guarantees that your business will receive adequate PR exposure to make a difference in your sales revenues. Advertising, on the other hand, is paid-for exposure with a guaranteed—or at least anticipated—return on investment. Effective advertising usually consists of five key components: • A clear, telegraphic headline; • Description of a good value; • A logical reason for the offer; • Understandable directions for the consumer to follow; and • A sense of urgency to act soon. Oh, and by the way, these five components are also found in the well-written, effective press release— a catchy headline followed by valuable information written clearly and concisely in a logical format and Y ou know your company markets and produces the best signs and digital graphics around, right? But is it also one of the best-kept secrets in your local business community? Hmmm, let's see. Each year, you host an open house to show appreciation to your loyal customers and to meet new prospects. And, of course, there's the annual Holiday of Lights extravaganza that raises some seri- ous money to benefit your favorite hometown char- Vince DiCecco is a business training and development consultant and owner of the Acworth, Ga.-based business, Your Personal Business Trainer, Inc. He has been sculpting his sales, marketing and training techniques since 1979, and he has shared innovative and practical ideas on business management excellence for two Fortune 200 companies, the US Coast Guard, and in seminars at past NBM Shows. He is available to small- to mid-sized compa- nies striving for sustained growth and market dominance. Contact him via email at vince@ypbt.com or visit his com- pany website, www.ypbt.com. RUNNING THE BUSINESS 62 • December 2014 • S i G n & D i G i T A L G R A P H i c S

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