Reading a blog post from StartUpSmartabout the 10 milestones to hit in your first year in business, it reminded us that businesses often forget to tell people about the milestones in their business, whether it is celebrating a new staff member, an anniversary or new products and services. Milestones identified in your business plan are great opportunities to include in your public relations/communication strategy.
Public relations is all about connecting with your audience, customers, stakeholders, clients and in today’s world of social media, it’s about providing regular and relevant content to your loyal “followers” and “likers”.
Creating a strategy doesn’t have to be very complicated, but it should guide you through a thought process to get the most out of the story and most importantly, identify what’s in it for your followers. It’s easy to forget but your customers, clients and stakeholders will only pay attention if it’s relevant to them. So, take the time to put yourself in their shoes.
Here are Mara’s tips:
- Write down your objective.
What is it that you want to achieve? It could be as simple as increasing visitors to your website by 20 per cent, persuade people to choose your product or service, or to encourage your stakeholders to provide feedback on a project.
(For complex projects such as reducing the risks of objections during the exhibition of a development proposal Mara recommends seeking professional advice and assistance.)
- Develop key messages.
Key messages are just phrases to clearly articulate your story to an audience. Clear - simple - memorable.
- What’s the hook?
The hook is just the thing that will get people interested in what you are saying. Think biggest, best, first, quirky, fear, emotion, hot button issue, exclusives, pictures, human stories, relatable, concise information, humour.
- Identify communication channels.
There are many types of channels that you can use to get your message out. Social media, media releases, letters to the editor, paid advertising, interviews with tv/radio/newspapers, opinion pieces, electronic newsletters, website updates are all options that you could use but not all of them will work effectively for your story. Focusing your attention and resources on where you will get best results is key.
- A picture tells a thousand words.
People relate to images or pictures, particularly in social media posts. Followers are more likely to click on a post if it contains an image, particularly photos that are relevant.
- Write content and customise for each medium.
Each communication channel has a different audience, make sure what you are saying is appropriate for those stakeholders.
So, there you have it, a look at a simple strategy to promote a story. For professional advice or help with an up-coming project contact Mara for a coffee and a chatabout how we can help.