Having a good public relations strategy is very crucial especially if you’re looking to promote your business and reach your target audience effectively. It will be a wasted endeavour to just send out messages to just anyone without considering the exact people you want to hear your message. To adequately market your business, you need a good PR strategy because it will help you target the right audience all the time. There are so many reasons why having a good public relations strategy is important to the success of your business.

When creating your PR strategy, you will have to think about the target audience who you want to receive your message. This is very important because it helps to ensure that your message reaches your audience and creates an impact. Without knowing your target audience, your message will not be received by the right people and your PR activities will not be very successful. Another importance of having a good PR strategy is that it helps to create a business’s key messages. Key messages are the underlying points you want your target audience to hear and understand through your PR activities.

It takes time to achieve success in business and having a good PR strategy can be a great help. After you must have determined your target audience and your key messages, you can now think about what publications to use. The best publications are the ones that your target audience reads. You will also need to have a goal for your PR activities. Note that by determining your goal, you will be able to maximize your PR activities. By creating a goal you can then plan out the steps to achieving this goal.

Also, to create a successful PR strategy, you will need to establish a time frame. When you have a PR strategy, it will be easier to communicate your goal and activities. A PR strategy enables you to consider every aspect of communicating your message in the best possible way. Below are 40 Best Public Relations Strategies that work.

  1. Leverage Native Advertising

Native advertising is a form of paid media that makes use of contents that naturally suits its environment. Native advertising in some perspectives do not look like advertising, it looks like a regular piece of content, with the sole purpose of attracting new audience to your brand. Native advertising is picking up steam because people are now becoming fed up with traditional advertising. Native ads, on the other hand, are non-promotional. They provide real value to the reader, and that value leaves a mark — creating a bridge of trust between that reader and your brand. One Unique feature of native advertising is that it blends seamlessly into its environment.

  1. Make use of influencers

Referrals, press coverage and endorsements have long depended on one key marketing tactic: third-party credibility. Irrespective who your target market is, the most effective way to gain credibility and awareness is to have people of influence tell others what they love about your product or service. With the advent of technology and the prominence of self-publishing platforms and social-media networks, brands can now align with connected individuals whose published content carries great clout amongst niche audiences. When compared to press releases and prized interview slots, influencers are usually prided content creators who want to collaborate with impactful images on Instagram, well thought-out prose on Twitter or a series of compelling videos on YouTube.

  1. Make the Most of Business Cards

The importance of good quality business cards cannot be overemphasised. It’s very pertinent that you invest in good quality business cards, and make sure that you always have them handy. One key fact about business cards is that you never know when you’ll need to share your details. You can also consider hiring a designer either via a crowdsourcing website or by going directly to someone who can work with you.

  1. Media Relations

One of the age-old characteristics of a good PR is making sure the media gets to know about the campaign. Have it in mind that it doesn’t matter if it’s a single press release or a full-blown PR blitz – having strong alignments with the media will give you a very high advantage, particularly in this age of blog power. You need to understand that journalists and especially editors are busy people and don’t have time to look at every news or media release. But if you can get one on your side, you will undoubtedly get the media attention your story needs. To get the media to support you, you need to make sure your story is newsworthy first. It should be timely and interesting. The next is to call your desired media source to introduce yourself and explain why your news will be of interest to readers. If they’re not free to talk at that time, offer to call back (or even meet) at a more convenient time. It is believed that meeting someone face-to-face is one of the best ways to build trust – and if your story is indeed newsworthy, you might be at the verge of building one of the most potent PR strategies.

  1. Capitalize on Branded Merchandise

Almost every company will end up with a heap of branded merchandise after events and promotions. So it can be very helpful if you plan ahead for ways you can help the local community and spread the good name of your brand. Pens, bookmarks, mouse mats etc. can be donated to a range of local organisations and charities. Many business leaders are active philanthropists and volunteers, so you never know who might see your name in a positive light, away from the noise and competition at a trade show.

  1. Ban Something

One unique PR strategy that seems awkward but can certainly perform wonders is to ban something. In this age of technological advancement and fierce economical competition, people love controversy. If you post on your social media that you‘re banning something, people are going to be interested. They would want to know what you banned and why you banned it, it raises a dust that attracts people and traffic to your business. For instance, companies have been known to ban using the word “Christmas” in any of their holiday posts.

  1. Add value

It’s very important that you earn your audience’s attention on social media. You need to recognize that social media is part of “personal space” for many consumers and that you need to provide value driven content to be there. So instead of focusing on chasing metrics, focus instead on how your content adds value for your audience; the attention will soon follow once you start doing that. You should also consider what your audience’s needs are, and adjust your social strategy to address this. You also need to stay relevant and be aware of what is happening in your industry and ask yourself how you can build upon this to add value to your social media posts.

  1. Consider Sponsorship

You don’t have to support a mighty football club or a tennis tournament to leverage this PR strategy. Supporting a local sports team can be an excellent way to reach the community, and who knows if a world-class or Olympic star might be lurking. Local events and organisations also value sponsors and will be far more accommodating than if you’re the smallest of 50 companies all contributing to a much larger event. Also note that a lot of local groups might appreciate other resources than financial sponsorship – for instance, office space that could be used as a meeting place, or other support your business could provide.

  1. Offer Exclusivity

Indeed the level of competition among traditional media outlets is growing intensely, especially with the constant cutback of staff and resources within these outlets. A major way of attracting these outlets to your story is to offer them an exclusive. Do not make the mistake of blasting out your press release to several outlets in hopes for a bite. If you want to attract a big fish to your story, offer it to them, and only them. First, find out who within the media outlet you want to target. Have it in mind that each journalist has his or her own beat, so you should do your research, and only target those whose beat relates to your story.

  1. Offer Plenty Prizes

Competitions and prizes are very popular in digital and offline marketing. But reports have it that offering a number of smaller value prizes will work better in gaining entries than one very large prize, as entrants will believe they’ve got a better chance of winning. And with every entry comes the opportunity to gather customer data and make contact at a convenient later date – as long as you don’t abuse that privilege.

  1. Communicate your ‘why’

Due to the fierce competition in the world now, brands are scrutinized with every consumer touch point. Right from YouTube videos that show poor customer service to Twitter comments that accuses brands of not living up to their promise, companies can no longer hide inefficiencies. For many good reasons, this is a threat and also an opportunity for brands to create and infuse core values that humanize them and make them more attractable to the public. It’s advisable that you take the time to think out and create the “why behind” your company and infuse it into your culture. If your purpose goes beyond profit, you are more likely to appeal to the public.

  1. Make your Print Material Special

Even with the advent of online PR, flyers and pamphlets still play a critical role both in event marketing and direct mail. Check, check and check again for typos, spelling mistakes and other errors before any material is sent out. You can try to be a little innovative and go beyond standard design templates – just consider where the recipient will be when they get your print material, and whether it’s still practical for them to read, keep, and save. A lot of local businesses these days provide print newsletters for customers, which is a great way of keeping your community informed.

  1. Join Conversations on Twitter

Create a branded Twitter page, and you can use its budget-friendly resources to create a buzz about your business, boost your brand awareness, and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. This social media platform also allows you to follow and join in on various discussions. Be current with industry-specific hashtags and keywords that will allow you to hone in on hot-button conversations. Share your expertise when appropriate, and get your small business’s name into people’s minds. You can also host (or co-host if you don’t yet have an established audience) a Twitter chat, possibly in an “Ask the Expert”-type of setting.

  1. Personalised Holiday Cards and Gifts

To some people, Christmas cards and gifts can be common and ordinary. But a thoughtfully designed and personalized card or present can go a long way to say that your company really cares about customers or clients. You can also show your company values by donating to charity or supporting a good cause on behalf of your clients.

  1. Stay consistent

What makes a market leader in any industry is consistency and innovation. Keep all your posts consistent in frequency and style. Agreeably, you might be tempted to change your strategy if you don’t see results straight away, but take your time because consistency always pays off in the long run. There is also need for consistency in posting frequency, in brand voice, and in messaging.

  1. Humanize Your Brand

With the advent of technology and social media platforms, just anybody can put down your brand. All it takes is one angry customer to run to social networks like Twitter, Instagram or YouTube and extensively criticize your company. This has put so many organizations under the microscope. Humanizing your brand is the best way to counter this rising trend. Establish and share core values that mirror your company, giving it a more human feel. Create values that represent you well and make your values authentic. These values should also seep into your content. Include them in your vision statement, and make sure everyone representing your company embodies these values. All of the content that you create as part of your strategy should demonstrate how your company embraces those values as well.

  1. Mind your tone of voice

Social media is all about being informal and connecting with the right audience. It’s important that your social media activity reflects your company image. You need to understand that this is a major component of a successful social strategy to ensure your content comes across as genuine, rather than just pushing sales on different channels.

  1. Specific Group Discounts

Another PR strategy to consider is supporting relevant groups locally and nationally by offering a specific discount for them. This does not just allow members to feel privileged, but it also creates something the group itself can advertise as an incentive for coming along to prospective new members. Opportunities for bulk buying and discounts can also lead to large sales boost.

  1. Create content, not ads

The ad buying strategy is innovating and keeping up with current world trends. Tools like sponsored posts and native advertising gives brands the opportunity to create rich user-specific content that tells a relevant story rather than a repetitive promotion or sales pitch. Have it in mind that the period of guaranteeing mass viewership of catchy slogans are dwindling. Consumers can now choose what content to engage with. Right from responsive video series to interactive social media campaigns, its important that you become clever and more customized than ever with your online content.

  1. Consider billboards

No matter the type of promotion and advertising you plan doing; consider making it a bit edgier or innovative to make your business stand out. And make sure your Call to Action is relevant and clear, particularly if you’re by a roadside when customers will be speeding past. Innovation and technology have affected how billboards are managed, measured and adjusted. For instance, start-ups like Immersive Labs, use webcams to deduce the gender and age of people looking at their boards and display segmented ads accordingly. Cisco has also developed billboards that determine a drivers speed, messages are then delivered in a readable length for each driver.

  1. Tap Into Pinterest and Instagram

Indeed these two social networks are sometimes seen as a B2B marketing tool, but they are still a great way to boost your start up PR strategy. You can create a helpful and vibrant infographic that will reach a wider audience with these platforms. Establish and design visually appealing and thought-provoking graphics that speak to your audience. Include relevant and popular hashtags — or create your own company-specific hashtag to track views and shares.

  1. Organise your packaging

Even if you don’t sell physical goods, there are countless opportunities to add some marketing and branding boosts to your business delivery. You can consider providing your customers with some free stickers, which is a simple and cost-effective way for fans of a brand to spread the word. If you’re providing a service, stickers and branded pens left behind can all still work for you.

  1. News jacking

This is a super effective social media strategy you should consider. The term is self-explanatory and simply means the strategy of “hijacking” current news and trending topics to promote your brand’s message. Note that although it can be a highly effective strategy, it is very necessary that you get it right. Meaningful news jacking is the only sort you should be interested in. Making use of this strategy means that you need to stay ahead of the curve, using good judgment, and choosing your angle. By staying ahead of the curve, you can make sure that your content gains maximum exposure. It’s very important that you assess whether or not the ‘conversation’ is worth joining.

  1. Ask for Advice

No man, it is said, is an island. We all need help and we all need to be guided. Knowledge can be gained through personal experience or by learning from people who have that exact experience. One way a business can benefit from this psychological principle is to create an expert advisory panel of valuable connections – from other businesses, or from high value customers etc.

  1. Make use of your Customer’s Voice

Statistics has shown that this is one of the best PR strategies you can use, this is because nothing is more powerful in PR than an actual customer singing your praises. Make use of those happy customers as your spokespeople. It will show more credibility to hear in their words how your company solved their problem than to have you shout about it yourself. Immediately you have a good supply of customer testimonials and case studies, think of innovative ways to feature them. You can start by creating interactive videos that use the customer’s own voice and mannerisms. You could also feature the case studies in blog posts and Slide Shares. Include snippets of customer testimonials in your marketing materials, or in images that you post to social media. Your customer’s voice is a valuable asset to your PR strategy, so seek creative ways to maximize that value.

  1. Make the most of Trade Shows

Be it to display or to attend, always ensure you have a clear objective for trade shows and exhibitions. Even if you need contacts in a certain field, or a set number of business leads, always make sure your primary objective is clearly stated and communicated to everyone attending from your company. Your promotional ideas, material and tactics will need to change to suit your objective.

  1. Give traditional press exclusivity

Things like newspaper dailies, trade journals, broadcast shows, and commuter papers still carry third-party credibility in today’s digital world. A mass press release, for that matter, is not likely going to gain you a coveted feature in your national newspaper or a slot on the local morning show. This is why if you want to land earned editorial with the traditional press, offer the outlet you are targeting an exclusive angle. You have to make sure that your brand has many layers. Locate the right outlets to tell each aspect of your brand story to.

  1. Network, network, network

Indeed you will have plenty of opportunities to build a business network by attending events in even the smallest town. Always ensure you’re aware of all the relevant business networking opportunities in your area and are actively attending as much as possible. Events like these can be a lifeline for any referral-based business.

  1. Answer Questions On Quora

Many entrepreneurs neglect the impact of Quora. In this platform questions are asked and perceived industry experts are expected to answer. Answering questions on Quora puts your content and your expertise in the spotlight. Start by creating a profile that includes your business name and Twitter handle. When appropriate, you can also include a link to your business’s website in your post. Note that as your credibility grows, people will most likely visit your site directly when they have questions or problems.

  1. Celebrate your success

If you’re not shy to do your job and render excellent services, then you shouldn’t be shy about celebrating the success of your business. Make the most of press releases, testimonials and recommendations, and even parties to celebrate achievements. An annual celebration of being in business is a good way to meet more potential business leads and network, as well as reward yourself and your employees.

  1. Engage in conversations

It’s important that you understand that creating content as a brand on social media is not enough. To reach and understand your customers, you will have to interact in real conversations with your audience. Don’t be afraid of questioning your audience either. Asking them for suggestions or opinions on topics is a sure-fire way to boost engagements. Also note that engaging your competitors is also an effective social strategy if doing so is in line with your brand persona. Just like news jacking, you can jump into other brand conversations to promote your own message.

  1. Join Relevant Awards

Indeed there are awards in every industry which you can leverage as a strategy to boost your business. Always make sure you’re entering relevant local awards on a regular basis, and be prepared because national awards tend to have an associated level of quality and quantity when it comes to entries.

  1. Reach Out to Niche Publications and Blogs

There are questions you will need to ask if you want to leverage this strategy. For instance, what niche publications does your audience read? Target these smaller publications and blogs in your industry, because they’re smaller and more niche-specific, and they get pitched to less often.

  1. Become Artistic and Project Your Business

This might not be suitable for every project, but the cost of outdoor projection is becoming less and less. And that includes the 3D projection used to show detailed film on almost any structure. This strategy has long been used by music and entertainment companies to promote movies and videogames; the cost is constantly coming down as the technology improves – and smaller scale approximations are also available to do something a bit different. You can also consider speaking to a few local artists and see what ideas they might have. Have it in mind that not everything will always be suitable, but you could get something amazing, from chalk street art to something much more complex.

  1. Use video contents

With the help of technology, videos are becoming the new standard content format. Entrepreneurs all over the world are beginning to understand the importance of using visual content in social media campaigns. Report has it that this trend is not changing anytime soon. For you to accurately utilize video as part of your PR strategy, you have to make sure you are up-to-date with the latest trends, and how new developments like Facebook Live affect your brand’s online use of video. As creating video content can be time-consuming, it’s advisable that you plan in advance and schedule time to work as part of your overall social media strategy.

  1. Make the most of your location

This strategy involves making good use of your physical location, particularly if it is interesting in some way, or it involves a physical retail space which you can use to drive your online marketing. You have to ensure you have clear prompts if you wish your customers to ‘check in’ via Facebook, Swarm, or review your business online as well as in person. You could even have a laptop or tablet available for customers to use, as long as you’re careful to clear all data in between users.

  1. Publish on Free Content Sites

By now you must have known that your content is a very crucial key to growing your credibility as an industry thought leader. And because plenty sites allow you to do this for free makes it more interesting and worthwhile. Always make sure it doesn’t end there, do not forget to include a link to your website where you can groom that interest. Once your content is on these sites, ensure a maximum amount of traffic by promoting them on your social media networks.

  1. Pop up in vacant spaces

Report has it that pop-up shops and restaurants have received a lot of press recently. These shops are a great way to make temporary use of a vacant space, and local councils and landlords are often happy to help any activity that improves the local area and encourages longer-term tenants. Note that this can be something closely related to your business, or something to benefit the local community – a cafe, art exhibition or charity event.

  1. Guerrilla Marketing

In Guerrilla Marketing, people can’t really say if it’s marketing or not. Things like organizing a street concert in a city centre or a street dance competition etc. It can also be a themed tour of your local area, or temporary graffiti and street art. No matter what you decide to do, just make sure any artwork is easily removed and you’ve got the relevant permissions to remain legal.

  1. Speak at Industry Events

You don’t have to just attend industry events or read about them after everything must have happened. You can get off the side lines and join the league of industry leaders by becoming a speaker. You don’t have to be afraid to start out and you can start in a smaller role. If possible, bring a client or customer with you to co-present, this adds a compelling human element, and bolsters your story.

Conclusion

Public relation is not as simple as it seems from the outside. It is made up of many working parts that create a positive image of your business in the eyes of your community. Having a solid strategy in place can keep these efforts organized and create the image you want for your business. Although the tools and landscape may have changed, the core of what motivates the public to appreciate a product, service or a brand has not.

Ajaero Tony Martins