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IT’S YOUR BUSINESS: Good public relations are integral to success in the business world

Joe Smith

Special to The Record

I recently came across a situation that reminded me of how important it is to ensure you respond as quickly as possible to enquiries.

This all came about when an organization I am involved with was trying to give some business to a company but over a three-week period could not get a response from anyone who could take the order.

In this day and age of challenging times, this is certainly not good business and most importantly not doing anything for the company’s reputation. In other words, in this case, a classic example of bad public relations.

PR is many things, but for the most part, it is all about building awareness, creating interest, stimulating demand, reinforcing your brand, and ensuring your name is recognized as a company worth doing business with. All of this does not happen with one campaign or one phone call but must take place through an ongoing series of activities whose key message and actions must remain consistent.

Like any other business strategy, it is important to establish some key goals and clearly articulate how you are going to achieve them through a series of objectives. If you have not done so recently you need to dust off your strategic plan and take a good look at what you perceive to be the fundamental tenets of your business.

One of the critical aspects of the success of any PR plan is to ensure that you and your employees, if you have any, all buy into the importance of responding in a positive way and in a timely manner to the needs of your current or potential clients.

With the ability of people able to access the online world where they have the opportunity to say anything they want about a company, whether it is accurate or not, you must do everything you can to mitigate any negativity about your business. This should be a real concern as you do not want to give anyone cause to damage your reputation.

And that is the crux of the matter; public relations is all about your reputation. It is the result of what you do, what you say, how you respond, and what others say about you. In this day and age of social awareness, these attributes are the keys that will separate your business from everyone else.

Many companies these days are operating on tight budgets. They do not have huge amounts of money to spend on multi-channel marketing strategies. Good PR is in many cases the most cost-effective way of ensuring you are generating positive results not just in reputation but in improving your bottom line.

Joe Smith is a communications consultant and an accomplished fine artist. He can be reached via email joesmith@shaw.ca

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