Sales strategies are essential for growing your business and revenue, but you’ll also need tactics to bring new potential customers, partners, and investors into your circle. That’s where public relations (PR) can help.
PR is often used to increase brand awareness, improve public perception, and grow audiences through organic and occasionally paid opportunities. This means public relations strategies often target “top-of-funnel” consumers or people who are just hearing about your brand for the first, second, or third time. Top-of-funnel audiences are in the “consideration” stage of purchasing, so the more good news they hear about your business, the better. Businesses of all sizes can and should employ smart public relations strategies to grow top-of-funnel flow and nurture new audiences into becoming loyal customers.
What Are the Best Public Relations Strategies For Growing a Business?
Public relations is a wide-reaching industry, and when building your PR strategy, you’ll have many options from which to choose. If your main goal is to grow your business, you’ll want to focus on strategies that filter qualified consumers into your funnel. Following are some public relations strategies that will aid you in growing your business:
1. Conduct an Audience Audit
Before beginning outreach, you should work with your PR agency or internal PR team to conduct a thorough analysis of your current audiences. Factors to review should include age ranges, geographic locations, interests, devices they use the most, social media platforms they are most engaged on, and economic status. Gathering as much data as possible about your audience will help determine the best channels for your public relations strategies.
From there, you can use your robust data set to pinpoint new audiences you’d like to target. Maybe your brand wants to break into the Gen Z market, or you’re looking to expand into western states. Whatever it may be, do some preliminary research on those types of audiences so you can use that information to inform your upcoming strategies.
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2. Nurture Strong Relationships with Journalists
If you have well-established relationships with journalists, your business can perform much better in the market. Journalists help you build a positive public image, which is an engaging public relations strategy. Consumers have a lot of choices; therefore, they need reviews and assurance from trustworthy sources when making purchasing decisions. Journalists are meant to be unbiased sources, so if a local reporter covers a positive story about your business, you can expect local audiences to react positively to this type of media coverage.
The best way to nurture your relationships with journalists is to stay in touch with them often and connect on a human level. You might ask a local reporter to grab coffee, or you can plan a quarterly call to catch up and share mutually beneficial information. Remember that these types of relationships should be symbiotic and benefit both parties!
3. Increase Your Online Presence
Online platforms allow you to connect to your target audiences with just one click. Many paid platforms even allow you to adjust your audience targeting so you are sure to reach certain groups. Digital platforms are great for gathering feedback in real time; if there is miscommunication, you can clear it up swiftly. With online platforms like social media channels, you can also expect lots of creative freedom and visual options for your messaging, which can be helpful when trying to reach younger audiences.
4. Get Involved in Community Events
What better way to reach new audiences and organically grow your business than by getting involved in the local community? On-the-ground, guerilla marketing tactics have been an effective public relations strategy for years, since well before digital marketing existed! This type of strategy works best for smaller companies or local franchises looking for community support and to grow their local audiences.
There are a few ways to build audiences in person. You can host pop-up shops, meet-and-greets, or fun workshops; you can partner with other local businesses to plan panels, mixers, or festivals; or you can sponsor higher-profile local events, like your town’s restaurant week or summer fair. When making your selections, think carefully about the types of people that attend each event and make sure they are well aligned with the audiences you’re looking to get in front of.
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5. Partner with Influencers
Influencers can broaden brand exposure and raise consumer awareness due to their highly effective reach. An influencer’s followers are likely to pay attention when they support your brand because many influencers are considered highly trustworthy thanks to the personal, parasocial relationships they work hard to build with their online followings.
Because there are so many influencers out there, your team will need to conduct extensive research to determine which are best suited for your campaign. Be sure to check engagement and reach, and make sure their values align closely with your brand. Inauthentic influencer partnerships tend to fail.
6. Follow The Golden Rule
The golden rule—both in public relations and life—is: “Do Not Lie.” Any level of dishonesty puts your customers’ respect and confidence at risk. It could damage your reputation and hurt your business’s financial health. Companies must maintain their credibility, trust, and reputation, and lying is the fastest way for all these important characteristics to crumble.
Getting Started with Public Relations Strategies
Employing the aforementioned public relations strategies can help you grow your business by targeting highly qualified consumers, engaging with them online and in person, and building their trust over time. Make sure to take your time while researching and building your PR plan, as there’s no such thing as being too prepared in the world of public relations.