How Public Relations Can Drive New Business

Earlier this month Nashville Business Journal ran a column I wrote in its “10 Minutes to Better Business” section about how public relations can drive new business. The article is part of the publication’s premium content, which means you have to be a subscriber or pay to read it all online, but NBJ granted me permission to reprint the entire column on my blog:

What can public relations give you that no other marketing tool can replicate? Credibility.

When your company or brand is the subject of a news story, people know the story has undergone the scrutiny of an objective third party’s fact filtering. Although you lack control over what’s reported, that’s precisely why news media coverage is so much more credible than an advertisement—audiences realize the message wasn’t purchased.

It’s no accident that some companies get more ink and air time for their brands than others. In fact, a small company’s adept use of PR can level the playing field with larger competitors if it has an intentional, ongoing effort to generate publicity and its leadership has made PR a priority.

Publicity tends to beget publicity, which in turn makes your company or brand more “discoverable” by journalists, influential bloggers and prospective customers. Social media can help you extend publicity’s reach even further.

The key to using PR effectively to drive leads is to have a strategy in place that compliments new business development initiatives with a clear focus, target and purpose. Without those elements, PR tactics tend to lack direction and consistency, or they simply fall off an organization’s radar as the tyranny of the urgent takes over.

If properly targeted, PR tactics will give your brand higher visibility, position you as an expert in a particular niche and get the attention of decision makers—all of which are invaluable in generating new business leads.

(Reprinted with permission of Nashville Business Journal. The original article ran in NBJ’s September 6, 2013, edition.)

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