Public reaction to seeing or hearing the name of your company is a direct result of your public relations effort. If people know who you are and have had a positive experience with your products or services, they will likely smile and nod in recognition. If they see or hear your name but have no previous impressions or interactions upon which to draw, you might get a shrug or blank stare. And if encountering your name brings an immediate negative reaction, well, we can assume that person’s experience with your product or service was less than stellar!
You may say, “I don’t do any public relations,” but you’re wrong; as soon as you hung up your shingle and made your first sale, you became a public image — and public relations is simply the maintenance of that image. You may not be actively attempting to control that image but, believe it, every time you or your employees interact with the public, an image is being conveyed — for better or worse. And nowadays — for better or worse — that image is subject to exposure 24/7. Social media, that alluring, double-edged sword of Damocles, has made public relations truly public: people who like you can sing your praises from any number of venues; people who don’t can be equally enthusiastic. And as more than a few companies have learned, if you don’t like what those people say, there’s very little you can do about it — unless, of course, you start taking an active role in controlling your public image.
There are plenty of ways to do that but, in essence, you simply tell the story of your business. Like any good storyteller, though, you pick and choose which details get shared, enhanced, or ignored to make your story as compelling as possible. Share all the basics, of course: location, contact information and a good overview of what you do. After that, pick and choose what you want to emphasize: if you have incredible customer service, focus on that. Brag about it, collect testimonials to share, post videos on YouTube of people raving about how much they love you. On the other hand, if your crabby receptionist or lackluster sales reps leave something to be desired, you’ll probably want to skip any mention of customer service and talk instead about your terrific warranty, speedy delivery or amazing array of options. You never, ever lie (count on that coming back to haunt you), but as the proverbial saying goes, you should always put your best foot forward.
Today’s PR possibilities are vast and many are free; take advantage of these opportunities to tell the world your story. If you’re not sure where to start, give VantagePoint a call at 864-331-1240; we’ll be glad to help.