When you think about the definition of image, what comes to mind? When a business or person wants a certain image conveyed, they try to find an image that draws their consumers in. How do they execute this? It’s all in public relations. Public relations is the medium between the public and an image that is to be perceived. Whether it’s to clear up bad publicity or to help gain numbers, image is very important.
A strong communication plan can provide the vision and credit needed to put you on the radar of the right people. Choosing the right source to get your business out there is the most important factor. Depending on the size of your business, you might need an agency. At an agency, PR pros can not only find information for you, but get you to the right places at the right times. Agencies are fairy godmothers to businesses, and from rebranding to researching, they have all your answers. Need to get your name out to the public? They can manage your social media. Better yet, they market you to different news media. Agencies think of it all and then some to improve their clients’ brands and images.
To improve its image in community-oriented ways, a company can:
·Give back to the community. Everyone loves a good Robin Hood (just exclude the stealing from the rich thing).
·Volunteer its services. For example, if you owned a limo service, you could offer your services to a charity auction or better yet team up with a well-known charity.
·Become a sponsor of an organization. For example, Johnson & Johnson is an official sponsor of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Any time the Olympics are mentioned, so is Johnson & Johnson.
·Send out emails and special promotions. These are great ways to gain interest as well. People love when they think that you care enough to find out personal things they care for and highlight them.
·Send thank-yous. Unexpected customer appreciation is the icing on the branding cake. There's nothing more surprising than receiving an envelope in the mail that says, “Thank you for being a valuable customer.” It brings loyalty and good credibility to your company. Next thing you know you are getting new customers by word of mouth. You want to stay on the tip of consumers’ tongues and always at the back of your customer's mind.
Today, people like to receive their messages digitally. Instead of an ad in a magazine, why not just post something to Facebook or tweet it? Not only is it faster, but it lets your consumers know you are growing. The Internet has become the premier information source for the customer. With the rise of online searches, trending news and online shopping, why should you pay an arm and leg when you're trying to reach your public? The rise of online searches and ranking affects the visibility of a company's name and image. By evaluating your activities and introducing new ones, your public image might grow larger than you think.
--by Aramis Harmon, PRSSA General Member
All blogs are written by general members of UAPRSSA and Capstone Agency.