By Niki Tudge
One of the many courses we offer through DogNostics is our BusinesSMARTS™ program. BusinesSMARTS™ is intended to help small business owners coordinate important business principles into their work efforts so they see a growth in business and can reach more clients.
It takes hard work to accomplish anything in life and the same can be said for becoming competent at managing a business. You cannot learn to drive a car, dance or earn a professional certification without dedication and lots of work. DogNostics doesn’t guarantee results from this program but we do guarantee great content, individual direction and proven strategies that can move a business forward if they are implemented correctly. The implementation is why we cannot guarantee results, that is entirely dependent on the business owner and how committed they are to hard work and follow-through. Each of the activities we teach, and coach are supported through our accountability coaching calls at important milestones.
The BusinesSMARTS™ program is divided into 6 components. Each as important as the other. Yet part six for me, Public Relations, is the one that I enjoy teaching most. I think it’s because it is the most under-used and understated tool we have access to in our marketing mix. Too many small business owners avoid the public relations function and the use of tools like advertorials and news releases. They are more often than not viewed as only appropriate or pertinent to large companies and organizations. Nothing could be further from the truth!
There are lots of definitions of public relations. In 2012, the Public Relations Society of America, after much research, settled on their definition. It is my favorite as it is very simple. “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
The Six Components of BusinsSMARTS™
One of the areas of discussion we cover in the last module, The Power of Public Relations, is the difference between and the individual value of News Releases, Editorials and Advertorials. In the module we discuss how small business owners can use these tools to help them with their communication strategy and to support their other marketing activities.
So, let’s have a look at some of these tools and how you can use them in your business!
Publicity, or "free" marketing, is the most economical, and often the most effective way to promote your business. Consequently, it should be used whenever possible. News Releases are news stories that are written by the business and distributed to communicate their news to their market place. For example, when businesses launch new products, announce company mergers or the appointment of key personnel they will distribute a News Release. News Releases are very objective, they are factual and to the point. They should cover the What, Who, When, Where and Why of the news being released.
Opportunities you have to use this tool are:
Yes, News Releases are a promotional tool, but they still need to be a credible news piece.
When an audience reads a News Release they believe it is news and do not consider it a promotion or a self-serving document for the company publishing it. There is never a guarantee that a News Release will be picked up for publication but if they are well written, newsworthy and are submitted correctly to your local media there is a good chance they will be picked up and published by a news outlet.
Editorials are articles written by editors of publications. They are not written by the business, or a third-party agency of freelance writer. An Editorial will express the opinions of the editor or the publishing platform, so they represent the views of the publication itself and not any other party. Because Editorials are considered opinion pieces they are not always objective and can use language that is emotive
If the Editorial is written by an outsider, it will carry a disclaimer, so the audience knows that the piece does not reflects the publisher's official views. Be very careful if you are approached by a publication who wants to do an Editorial, you will probably not have any control over the finished product and you can easily be taken out of context or be misquoted.
Advertorials are advertisements that are paid for. They are made to look like editorials or feature articles when in fact they are adverts in disguise as editorial content. Like editorials, advertorials express opinions, but they are written by the businesses or an agent of the business such as an advertising company or freelance copywriters. Businesses use advertorials to promote new products and services.
Because audiences tend to skim over, or disregard traditional advertisements advertorials can be very effective in helping you make sales. The advertorial piece can very subtly influence the audience and communicate the benefits to purchasing your product or service. By transforming the promotional advertisement into a story you can be more persuasive and reap a much higher return on your investment for placing an advertorial over a traditional advertisement.
So, as you can see there is a great value to using some the tools that fall under the role of Public Relations. I highly recommend that at a minimum you learn how to professionally construct a New Release and/or an Advertorial. These skills will be of great value to you as a key part of your marketing activities. Checkout our BusinesSMARTS Program here
The Public Relations Society of America. The Definition of Public Relations. Sourced July 23, 2018 https://www.prsa.org/all-about-pr/
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