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04 - The Business Plan Writing & Using a Business Plan

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Old 04-13-2008, 03:34 PM
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Default Public Relations and Your Small Business

What do you call advertising without ads? You call it public relations or PR, and it is something that no business, large or small, can do without. At its most basic, PR is the face your company shows to the world, how your organization relates to the public. It can be as simple as the way your employees treat your customers or it can be a complex array of things playing their part in a larger marketing campaign.

This kind of communication is not done through paid advertisements. The credibility of advertising is limited at best since it is naturally assumed that the advertiser is trying to sell something. Public relations uses the news media as its conduit. The primary tool for this is the press release.

Press releases are stories, written by you (or someone in your organization or even a professional PR firm), covering something newsworthy pertaining to your company. It is usually a page or two in length with the majority of the space given to the subject of the release. The last paragraph often gives basic information about your company that would be useful in any story. These press releases are then distributed to local, regional and national media depending on the coverage you need.

“I don’t have anything newsworthy!” I hear you cry. Of course you do! Important dates, promotions and important new hires, grand openings, ground-breakings, new products, your Little League sponsorship—the list is limited only by your imagination. Still, to really hook the media, you may need to stage an event.

Just because you are staging something, that doesn’t mean it isn’t news. Some years ago, while working for a local PR agency, we had a fledgling office machine supplier that was ready to have their grand opening. Having some pull with local government (contacts help a lot) we were able to have the kick-off party at the Art Institute of Chicago and the main event, a charity copier demolition, in Grant Park. Under the encouragement of former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka, participants paid $5.00 for the chance to take a sledgehammer to an old copying machine. The money—well over $600.00—went to a good cause and after the copiers had been reduced to scrap metal and plastic, everyone trooped into the museum for a great evening. More importantly than that, there was TV and print coverage that did more for that company than any ad could have. Our client was separated from the crowd in the heart of their target sales area, Chicago’s downtown business district.

Would they have done well without the big kick-off and charity event? Probably, they had solid products and good people, but their arrival in the market would hardly have had the force that evening of champagne and sledgehammers gave it. We were able to take a relatively minor event—the opening of an office equipment supplier—and turn it into something that helped to propel their sales for some time afterwards. All it took was a few calls and a well-written press release.

Those few calls, some to political figures and some to press contacts, highlight the importance of cultivating positive relationships with those who can help you make things happen as well as those who can get your story into print or on the air. After all, your press release is worthless if no one reads it. You need to consider these to be long-term relationships and it is important to keep up with them even if you don’t need their services at the moment. Someday you will.

Now, you can do all of this yourself, which is a lot of time and effort if you plan to do it right, or you can go with an expert who already has the contacts you need. PR Newswire is the world's largest electronic distributor of press releases and they will ensure that your news is delivered to all your critical audiences including media, investors and potential customers. On top of that, they are offering members of America’s Best Companies a package of free and substantially discounted services valued at $1,400.00. Check out their offer and see what public relations can do for you.
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Old 04-13-2008, 06:48 PM
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I agree. Public relations is key to a number of companies. As an attorney and entrepreneur, I have utilized PR Newswire for a number of my press releases and would highly recommend them.

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Old 05-13-2008, 01:48 AM
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What about international business?
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:42 PM
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Public relations is for every and all businesses. It's often overlooked, yet, will usually produce the greatest ROI. Very effective with the right strategy and implementation.
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:16 AM
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Thanks nice article... very informative post.. Keep up the good work...
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:03 AM
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Default Re: Pr

Great write up! Public Relations is often overlooked by some businesses because they feel shelling out big bucks for ads is the most effective way to get new business. They're (unfortunately) wrong. PR is a cost-effective way to gain loyal customers, inform the masses, and get results quickly.
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Old 09-01-2008, 02:26 AM
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Thumbs down Bobby Kotick

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Old 09-04-2008, 12:29 PM
agentyumi agentyumi is offline
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Good PR is the telling of a good story. The better the story, the better the acceptance by the public and the better the public relations. Of course if the story is especially appealing to those that could be your clients, then you could have a PR homerun. In this case, it is communication with your target market that may or may not be very public.

Public relations is just one part of marketing, as marketing is made up of many things. The good news about PR is the cost and the effectiveness when it's in front of your target market.
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Old 04-23-2009, 04:48 AM
hkalilinks hkalilinks is offline
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Smile china Welding Electrode

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Old 05-23-2009, 02:49 PM
Landlord Landlord is offline
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I agree wholeheartedly, but unfortunately it's something that a lot of small businesses fail to effectively implement. Some overlook it altogether, while others think they can DIY it and still succeed with the PR campaign.
Luckily for most entrepreneurs and small business owners is that, if done correctly, it pays for itself several times over. The trick is simply to find the right person for the job, whether through a PR agency or hiring an individual.
Best of luck my fellow entrepreneurs!

Last edited by Landlord : 08-29-2013 at 03:24 PM.
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