PR entails more than just writing press releases. It’s also about looking for opportunities to gain free public attention—which isn’t as easy as it sounds, given the oversaturation and fragmentation of modern life. Here at BBR, we have several strategies that we often recommend to our clients, some of which you may find useful. Call it DIY PR.
Use What You’ve Got
Usually the CEO or President of a company has years of experience gained over the course of his or her career. Leverage this knowledge by looking for opportunities to position the company’s leadership as experts in various fields. Some potential opportunities include speaking at conferences (both local business conferences and industry conferences), penning a column for the local newspaper or weekly, visiting relevant college classes to speak about your business and the industry for recent graduates, or offering to provide expert perspective on topical issues for the local news media. This is about what tips or advice your CEO can offer to various groups that will provide value to those receiving it while also positioning the company or spokesperson as the “expert” in a positive way. Industry professional associations can also provide resources such as networking, accreditation and continuing education courses. Example: Chipotle CEO Steve Ellis
Go for the Gold
Don’t be too proud to apply for any award you might qualify for (both for the business and individuals within the company). Winning an award is good for a business but it can also be a PR bonanza. It gives your company a reason to promote itself, and you benefit from any publicity provided by the awarding group. Some areas to look at are any industry/trade groups/associations, key trade publications, and professional organizations. Depending on your size, local (city/chamber), state, regional and national level awards may all be worth investigating. If you do win an award, make sure to maximize the full PR value from it; issue a press release (with photos) and submit it to all local media, trade publications, funders/investors/community stakeholders, and local business resources/chambers. You can also use your website and social media accounts to further disseminate the good news. Example: Awards: a chance to tell your story