As business owners we are approached on a daily basis by those who wish to sell us marketing and promotional services. It is often difficult to decide which of these services will be the most effective and reap the greatest reward. After all, there is a lot of transparency to SEO and often times a business owner can become confused with regard to what he actually receives for his hard earned money. In as much as marketing and promotion do require attention there is one extremely important point that is almost always overlooked. A business owner will typically track marketing and promotional results based on immediate return or ‘ROI’ over short periods of time, discounting one very important factor. Businesses fail to maximize the results of local and organic marketing due to little or no public relations in the community. Webster’s University Dictionary defines ‘Public Relations’ as:
“The methods and activities employed in pursuing the public to understand and regard favorably a person, business or institution”.
As a great example, the John C. Lincoln Organization has initiated several public relations actions which make them visible and more importantly, remembered locally, such as it’s ‘Desert Mission Food Bank’. The food bank has been feeding those less fortunate in Sunnyslope for years. The contribution cannot truly be measured. And public opinion shows that their organizations / foundation truly care for and are very much involved in the community. The results are a wide spread favorability of John C. Lincoln and a reach for service that exceeds the limits of Phoenix and its residents. Public Relations acts as a catalyst for marketing and promotional success. In fact it is often found that LESS marketing is needed when effective PR actions remain constant in one’s business model and local community. Everyone wants less overhead, correct?
So the first question I pose to you is: What are YOU doing to make yourself well thought of in your community?
If your answer is “Nothing” I would not be surprised by statements such as: “Marketing is a waste of money” or “Marketing doesn’t work in my business” etc, etc. The truth is that marketing results (especially on a local level) are greatly influenced by Public Relations and a lack thereof. Perhaps the time has come to ask not what you can get out of your community in terms of dollars, but what your community can gain from your presence aside from products and services. What exactly are you giving back? Why would anyone in the community utilize your particular products and services? And what sets you apart from your competitors? It is what you do to help your community that will increase your community’s regard for you and your business. And there is no time like the present to start!
I hope this article helps you get on the right track! Your comments are also welcome and appreciated!