Learn how to utilize PR for increased leads and profits
No matter what field you’re in – whether it’s accounting, law, medicine or finance – your business needs to keep growing in order to stay successful. You may already use tools such as email marketing and advertising to generate leads, but in today’s fast-paced, blink-and-you’ll-miss-something world, these tools are often not enough.
Competition in the professional services industry is fierce. A quick search either offline or online for legal, financial or accounting firms will net pages of choices. Your company must find a way to stand out from the crowd, and many have discovered that the solution is PR.
Why you need PR
Many people stay connected to the wider world for a majority of the day. They’re on smart devices using apps and checking social media and they rely on online sources to get their information.
Traditional methods for reaching consumers, like television and radio advertising, have become almost obsolete. Devices such as DVRs, satellite radio and caller ID have made it almost impossible to reach people this way. Its fine to use conventional means, but don’t stop there.
Develop a comprehensive, well-rounded communications plan that coincides with your strategic goals. This must incorporate aspects like news media, reputation management and social media, making PR a must-have for any organization.
Many professional services companies think they don’t need media relations. This belief typically stems from not understanding all that media attention can do.
Studies have shown that consumers give more weight to a news article or story about a company than to any other type of information delivery vehicle; it’s the equivalent of a third-party endorsement for your company. With help from PR, you can use it to increase your visibility.
The opinions of others are what make up your reputation. Research has proven that consumers travel through about 60 percent of the buyer’s journey before ever talking to your salespeople, and much of this is done online. Therefore, it is vital that the information they find is positive.
To manage this, you must take control of your image and the information consumers see. With PR and a complete reputation management campaign, you can combat negative information, handle crises and improve search engine rankings.
Although most professional services companies now have a social media presence, many are not using it for maximum effectiveness. Social media can be a powerful tool to boost your brand presence and connect with customers.
You can encourage shares and likes and cultivate super-fans with the right content and a solid plan for delivering it on the correct platforms. It’s important to remember to focus on benefits over features.
All things being equal, consumers make purchasing selections based on that oh-so-intangible feeling they have about a company. When they know who you are and how you can add value to their lives, they’re more likely to choose you over the competition.
You can build these relationships by being visible and telling your story. One way to do this is through blogging, where you can provide useful information about your industry and establish yourself as a thought-leader in your field.
The value of the right PR firm
Online reviews, media outreach and social media can be difficult to manage alone – after all, you do have a business to run. Even if you have in-house PR staff, all these tasks can be overwhelming.
Trust Axia Public Relations to handle it for you. We can help to build your brand and differentiate your company from the competition for increased profitability. Contact us today or register for our 60-Second Impact for more tools and tips to grow your business.
Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business, higher education and technology PR. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter @axiapr.
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