What you don’t know about using PR to its fullest advantage could be holding you back
Tesla has never bought an advertisement. Its product has required several recalls. The CEO picked a public fight with media powerhouse The New York Times. Yet, the electric-car maker has retained a glowing reputation and millions of loyal fans. How has Tesla gotten away with actions that would send many other companies to bankruptcy? By understanding and harnessing the power of public relations.
Tesla and its outspoken CEO, Elon Musk, have been called ambitious, ludicrous and years ahead of the competition. Perhaps most importantly, audiences consistently discuss the company and its products, increasing their visibility and brand. You can learn what Tesla is doing right and what your company can also do to make the most of PR.
Love him or hate him, most people know Musk’s name. He blogs, is active on social media and gives news media interviews seemingly every day. In fact, he often releases news and answers the public’s questions personally. Although Musk did not develop the idea for the Tesla cars (two engineers did), he is now seen as the company’s public face.
Decide who your spokesperson will be and get him out there. Post, Tweet, like and share. Create webinars and podcasts. Give speeches and attend community events. The more people see you sharing expertise and demonstrating that you care about how your product can add value, the more they will trust you, make purchases and support your company.
Tesla envisioned an electric car that was also a testosterone-inducing, powerful, fun car to drive. It was bold, courageous and some questioned if it was even profitable. There were numerous doubters and plenty of bumps along the way, but Tesla stuck to the plan.
Determine what is unique about your company and the things that you do better or that no one else does and capitalize on them. Explain your history as well as where you will take your company in the future. Customers like associating with companies that are on the cutting edge of their industries and will be eager to see what you will do next.
Musk is brash and not afraid to gloat about his triumphs. He also defends his products like a parent protecting a child. The public feels his zeal and has eagerly jumped on board. As a result, they have cultivated a legion of fans who love the product, the company and what it is trying to do. Anyone criticizing the company is met with a swarm of Tesla supporters, both actual customers and those who can’t even afford the product.
Show some love for your own company and brand. Strive to make your company the best possible organization and promote it. Demonstrate your shared values and beliefs to help promote emotional attachments. Make those beliefs part of your core operating processes. Highlight corporate responsibility efforts and don’t be afraid to take a stand on something important.
Musk is known for being exceptionally intelligent. He learns all he can from those around him. Additionally, when he discovers a solution to a problem, he works hard to blaze the path and achieve success.
Whether your company’s problems stem from lack of visibility, poor reputation, looming crises or branding, a PR firm can help. They have the expertise it takes to make your company great.
Let the professionals at Axia Public Relations use proven PR tools and tactics to position your company as a leader in your industry and get you noticed. Contact us or download our e-book Maximizing Your Public Relations Investment to find out more.
Lisa Goldsberry is a blogger for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business and technology PR. Lisa has worked for Axia since December 2013. Learn more about Lisa Goldsberry. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.
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