Improving Public Relations

public_relationsThe act of public relations—in the simplest sense—is how well your company relates to its customers. Good PR is all about communicating your company’s values and interests in a way that resonates with specific audiences.

A crucial part of PR is your corporate image. It defines who you are as a business and what it is you do. It will also make you and your products easily recognizable to your clients and customers—which can set you apart from the competition. You want your company’s corporate image to be consistent, visible, and memorable.

There are several steps you can follow for creating your corporate image and solidifying your PR efforts. These simple steps will help you to identify your brand and the communication efforts that will work best for your company.

Find Out About Your Competitors

It doesn’t hurt to know what the competition is doing. Go to their websites and social media pages and check out how they present their products and services. Read through any testimonials you can find. Determine if you get a good sense of their values and ideals and pick out what you like and don’t like.

Discover Your Company’s Purpose

Before you start presenting your company to the public, you need to have a consistent idea of who you are as an organization. Review your company’s origins and the ideals that brought it into existence in the first place.

Look at your corporate documents: mission statement, value statement, business or strategic plan, etc. to get an idea of what your business is passionate about (beyond getting money from its customers) and how your way of doing things is different than your competitors.

Determine What Others Think of You

It’s important to know where you currently stand with your audience. It only takes a bit of effort to research what others currently think of your company. You can conduct surveys, perform interviews, or even hold a focus group with stakeholders to get an idea of your company’s current corporate image. Then, decide if you want to build on your current image or change it. Work with stakeholders to create a cohesive vision for the future.

Brand Your Materials to Reflect Your Identity

Once you’ve got an idea of what your company is and where you want it to go, you can begin to develop branding items like logos, color schemes, or images with graphic designers and writers. Once you’ve got your brand solidified it’s time to start making identity materials.

The type of business you have will affect which identity materials are effective for you company. Depending on your industry you may need business cards, brochures, flyers, websites, letterhead and stationary, etc. These materials can also include swag you hand out at tradeshows or industry events: pens, flash drives, key chains, etc.